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The College Experience

How do you make new friends in college? Many of us had a group of friends in high school. In fact most people that I have talked to have only hung out with the same people for years. I often found myself hanging out with the same groups of people for the last year. I never realized that I wasn’t going out of my way to make new friends when I came to college. I was acting quiet and reserved. I was in a new place, away from home, and I was nervous about college. So for me, it felt natural and better to keep to myself for a little period of time. “Introverts prefer to use a different neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, writes Christine Fonseca in her book Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World” (Why Introverts and Extroverts are different: The Science). Acetylcholine “powers our abilities to think deeply, reflect, and focus intensely on just one thing for a long period of time”(Why Introverts and Extroverts are different: The Science). With the new situation I was in, it was easy to turn inward for me to reflect on where I am in life. Another part of the reason for this was that I was hanging out with the same friends in college as I was in high school. I was worried that this was gonna damage my opportunities to a fresh start and meeting new people, when in fact, it did quite the opposite.

Considering the options, your group of friends could hurt or help your chances at making new friends. There are many ways to look at this. Consider that your group of friends are all introverts. Everyone would keep to themselves and only hang out with their one group of friends and no one else. This is clearly a result of no one putting in any effort to meet new people and branch out of the friend group as well as add new people to it. So this is a way that your friend group could damage your new opportunities. On the other hand, let’s say your friend group is full of extroverts. Given this idea, your friend group would branch out and talk to many different people. According to a paper written by Lecia Bushak, “Common knowledge dictates that introverts are quieter and tend to feel more energized from spending time alone, while extroverts are louder and gain reinforcement and energy from being with others”(The Brain of an Introvert Compared to That of an Extrovert: Are They Really Different?). Basically, this says that extroverts feel better about themselves when they are with different people, which is the reason why they will actively go out and try to make new friends. This occurred in my friend group. Everyone went out and talked to new people, then continued to bring them to our old friend group so we would constantly be meeting new people. This was a recurring cycle that is still going on to this day.

There are many different possibilities that could happen from coming to college with a group of your high school friends. They will either help or hurt your opportunities. No matter what happens, all of the outcomes depend on who your group of friends are and how you and your friends act. This is crucial because it can make or break your college experience. Being lonely could ruin your college life. This can be proven because “Julianne Holt-Lunstad did a meta-analysis of social support and health outcomes and found that not having enough friends or having a weak social circle is the same risk factor as smoking 15 cigarettes a day”(This is How to Make Friends as an Adult). So not having friends is equally as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. But no matter how your group of high school friends affect your opportunities, it all comes down to how you act.

Works Cited:

This Is How To Make Friends As An Adult: 5 Secrets Backed By Research, November 4, 2017

Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science, November 4, 2017

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