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Building Relationships = Major Key

March 19, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards   

Building relationships from day one through Graduation Day is a major key in college. From making friends to expanding your professional network, it could make the difference from being hired in a full-time job when you’re still in college vs. one year down the road. Trust me. It will help you eventually.

First, and foremost. Make friends with everyone you can on campus. In your club meetings, turn around get to know one person every other week. In your class, ask a question of the person beside you and see where that goes from there. I made a great friend/study-buddy in one class last semester by asking her a simple question and we are still close. When you’re out at night with friends of friends, get to know everyone’s names and then add them on social media to keep in touch. Be outgoing. Don’t sit in you room with your lovely (or not so lovely) roommate all day. I know plenty of people who only hangout with their hometown friends in college. That isn’t a bad thing at all, because my high school best friend is here and I’m glad she is, but college is all about building new relationships in a new community that will last you a lifetime. I bet some of my best friends right now will be my truly close friends for the rest of my life. Also, to be completely honest, make friends with the Housing Staff, the cooks in the dining halls, security officers, RA’s, and the list goes on and on. You never know when you’ll need something!!

Next, truly get to know your professors. They are actually human beings with stories and experience. Most of them are quite nice. But, at the end of the day, they are far more likely to go above and beyond for someone they already know. So don’t wait until you’re in trouble academically or you need a favor to get to know them. If you’re not doing too hot in a class by the end of the semester, chances are they’ll be more willing to find a way to help you if they know that you’ve been to office hours and you participate in class. Also, they will also come in handy as a reference when you are interested in applying for research experiences, internships, or externships in the future. They might even be willing to write you a letter of recommendation if you’ve truly built a great relationship which will come in handy if you’re applying for scholarships (do it do it do it) or acceptance into programs on campus or at other institutions. You may even end up being friends with some of these people!

Finally, be a good friend. Despite the fact that some girls that I’ve gotten to know recently screw up quite frequently, I continue to help them (sometimes when I should not) because that is who I am.  Sometimes your friends need you to be there for them and sometimes you’ll need them to be there for you. Don’t ever let them down. Stay true to who you are and they’ll return the favor when you need them.

Until next time…


  1. Talayah Johnson says:

    This is such great advice! This is one of the things I love about you ! you are always being friendly and making genuine conversations with people. I think i need to work on this because sometime it is definitely who you know and not what you know

  2. Mary Ohara says:

    Connections are key. Probably the most important lesson in college is to get to know people on a personal basis, you never know when it may help in the future. Especially your teachers, you should connect with at least 4 [for future reference and recommendations]. Connections make the world go around.

  3. Maddie Z. says:

    I can tell you from personal experience that expanding your relationships to those other than your peers (such as the housing staff, RAs, etc.) is a very important networking tip. Maintaining good relationships with people you will see in your day-to-day life can be helpful socially, but can also have future benefits academically and even professionally. If you start expanding your network now, it will increase exponentially over the years and will become a valuable resource in your life.

  4. Phillip R. Clauer says:

    I really liked this blog post because something as easy as finding friends and meeting new people at a campus full of 40,000 students your age can still be quite difficult, especially if you are already stressed over school and other aspects of freshman year. I really liked the advice and I think there are a lot of opportunities through organizations like Thon organizations or student councils that allow students to meet eachother and become friends. Afterall, we came into college with many friends, not because we went out of our way to meet other Millennium kids, but because our similar experiences forced us to bond together.

  5. Amanda Craine says:

    This idea is one that I learned while working in a hospital, and I think about it everyday. When in a hospital, the people around you all have a story. The woman who just walked by you may have just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or the man standing next to you may have just become a new father. Regardless, it is essential to treat the people surrounding us kindly. Basically, the way you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes. This is also relevant in college. These people are your peers, and more or less just as stressed as you are. Sometimes all someone needs is a smile, a compliment, or just someone to talk to to brighten their day.

  6. Ivan Yen says:

    I sincerely agree that being a compassionate person is an essential value to hold, a trait I’m glad you possess. Moreover, I completely agree with the importance of networking in any area (you never know when you can call for David Lenze for help)! I will definitely read through some of your other freshman advice because I’m sure I will pick something up. Keep up the positive attitude!

  7. Sarah Magee says:

    This is so true! I think that sometimes people struggle with meeting new people and building new relationships when they go to college because maybe their shy, nervous, overwhelmed…but it’s so important! This is some great advice because I think it makes for a more pleasant experience when at college.

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