Lessons Learned Part 2: relationships of convenience

Standard

Relationships of convenience: shallow friendships that come out of seeing someone around often; the type of friendship you would never inconvenience yourself to maintain.

I have a theory. The major difference between relationships in high school and university is the number of “relationships of convenience” that we keep. In high school, we spend lots of time with the same people. The result is an accumulation of lots of “friends” who aren’t really our  friends (let’s be honest). In university, circumstances change. There is less class, we might be commuting to school, and people are generally busier with life. It’s harder to see people regularly, so we end up with fewer and deeper friendships.
It’s tough to overcome the transition. A lot of people (myself included) have found themselves facing the brick wall of loneliness in the first few months of school. Since I transferred to Glendon from Keele this year, I found myself starting from the ground up once more, as I was finding my place in a new school community.
Finding friends in unfamiliar situations is a daunting task, but it is conquerable!

I’ve learned that I need to be intentional. Relationships die when they’re neglected, but flourish when we take risks, give our time to others, and put our hearts on the line. It can be uncomfortable, but it’s worth it.

I thought some of my closest friends might have something useful to say on the subject of relationships and intentionality, so I asked them what they’ve learned about relationships in their second year of university.

“Time just flies by and university can be really overwhelming. It’s really easy to shove making friends by the wayside, so it’s important to make time for socializing the same way you would for going to the gym and finishing your readings.”

“If you want friends or acquaintances in university, you can’t be afraid of being judged or always think about what other people think about you. Don’t be afraid to initiate contact with people!”

“What’s useful is thinking more about the other person as opposed to you. ‘I’d really like to talk to them,’ instead of ‘what are they going to think of me?’” 

What are your thoughts on friendships and relationships?

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6 thoughts on “Lessons Learned Part 2: relationships of convenience

  1. As a first year student on residence, I found myself falling into the trap of spending almost all time outside of class with my friends that lived around me. Which led to less than spectacular grades. I now realize that I need to include socializing into my "to-do" list and budget (an appropriate amount of) time for it just as I would studying for a test, or writing a paper… or tweeting.

  2. The same thing happened to me, except that I was a commuter student. I joined a school club and spent every spare moment with the people who also were part of it. Making a "time budget" is a great idea. Thanks for the comment, Juan!

  3. I believe that the 'click' factor is central in relationships at all stages in life, but we alienate ourselves from deeper relationships when we're not intentional about calling people/making time for others/showing our appreciation for those we care about. In my own past, I've isolated myself from people by waiting for others to initiate contact with me – call me, make time for me, appreciate me. I think that some people (not all) do appreciate when you reach out to them, but I say this as a conditional statement1. it helps if there is that 'click' factor you talked about – the other person has to have a reciprocal interest in pursuing a friendship2. sometimes it takes persistence to get a response from someone. They may not trust the sincerity of your intentionsThanks for the comment. The post wasn't as clear as I would have liked it to be so I appreciate the input.

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