College Relationships - Staying Connected while at College
As women, we rely on healthy
connections (relationships) to grow. Especially when starting a
new school, you are often geographically separated from your
supports, which are your (extended) family and friends. This is
especially difficult during "the gap" when it's too early for new
relationships to be developed. This along with academic pressures,
and the competitive nature of college environments, can leave young
women feeling alone.
Myth: I should be able to handle things on my own. I'm in college now.
Contemporary researchers at the Wellesley Center for
Research of Women explain that traditional literature describes the
primary task of moving from adolescence to adulthood, is to become autonomous, to break
off family ties, and to individuate and separate. Their research
validates many others' to explain that this does not fit
young women's mode of growth. They say that for young women to
enhance her sense of self as competent, able and empowered toward
the fullest utilization of her abilities…that she must be connected
to (not separated from) healthy relationships.
How do I find good friends at college?
Finding good friends takes
time. Rushing off to quick invitations to parties isn't always the
best way to meet good friends. Try to be patient, and keep your eye
open to meet others that you share things in common. (There are many young women out there looking
for what you're looking for.)
Here are some tips:
Find a routine that you enjoy…a walk after class, dinner in the
evening at 6:00pm, working out in the gym on Saturdays. You can
often meet people doing the same activity because they enjoy it too.
If you're lonely, sometimes it helps to go places where there
are other people alone too (especially on a Friday night) like a
book store that invites browsing, a gym to work out in, or church.
Somehow that feels less lonely.
Look for a group at school to join. If it is something you
enjoy, then you'll share something in common with everyone else in
Reach out to friends and family that love you. A little "boost"
can go along way. Go to a card store and choose cards to
those people that "say it all".
If there's no one around, take this time to do things that
make you feel good, as listening to music that
cheers you up, doing your nails, taking a nice long shower, or writing in your journal.
Take this time to develop a relationship with yourself. You'll never go wrong learning to enjoy
hanging out with such a special person...you. Cuddle up in your
comforter and draw, sketch, read poetry
or even create your own.
Also, journaling is a wonderful way to share ideas when the right person isn't
Be knowledgeable about the school counselors and health
services. If you are struggling, reach out. It's the best move you
you are feeling suicidal or unsafe now or need immediate
help: Dial 911 or the operator and just ask for help or go to
your nearest hospital Emergency Room.