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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Five students share their experiences forming college friendships

Students talk about the unexpected ways they met their best friends on campus and offer tips for others

By JALAN TEHRANIFAR — features@theaggie.org

Making friends in college can be intimidating when first arriving on campus, especially since most students are living alone and moving away from home for the first time.  

Parents’ advice to their kids going off to college is often to keep their dorm room doors open and meet people on their floor at the beginning of the year, but Natalie DiMeglio, a second-year cinema and digital media and communication major, chose a different method. She found her best friend in the laundry room. 

“I was doing laundry when this girl walked in and — without introducing herself — goes on a rant about Tide Pods and how people don’t know how to use them,” DiMeglio said. “After [that], she introduced herself and invited me to go to the farmers’ market with her all in one sentence. I agreed, and the rest is history.” 

Now, DeMeglio and her laundry buddy are housemates and best friends. 

           Alyssa Contreras, a second-year sustainable environmental design major, said she also met her best friend in an unexpected way. Contreras explained that the first time she met her now best friend, they didn’t get off on the best foot.

“She was driving me to one of the locations for our project, [and] one of my favorite songs came on, and I regrettably reached for the volume button and blasted the music,” Contreras said. “She was shocked and froze for a second until she quickly reached for the volume button and turned the volume down. She told me she had sensitive ears, so I apologized and lucky enough we were both able to laugh it off.” 

Contreras had been working for the girl at the time, and though they started off not liking each other much, they ended up becoming close.

“Honestly, I think having such a bumpy start to things allowed us to be really unfiltered around each other without being afraid of what the other would think,” Contreras said. “Thankfully, we both gave each other a second chance because nearly a year has passed by, and I can’t say I have a friend better than her.” 

Unlike Contreras’ experience with her best friend, others find friends that they click with from the very start. Farah Mustafa, a first-year animal biology major, shared that she and her on-campus best friend met through their orientation group and clicked immediately.

“We spent a lot of time together the first few days before the first quarter and we got along really well,” Mustafa said. “After orientation was over, we decided to meet up for dinner one night and we’ve just gotten closer since then.”

With the help of social media, some students have even been able to make college friends before stepping on campus for their first quarter. Rachel Guaer, a first-year communication major, shared that she made most of her campus friends online. 

“I used Instagram a lot over the summer to connect with other freshmen coming to Davis,” Guaer said. “I talked to a lot of people and was able to meet up with them right when I got here, which was super helpful because it gave me a sense of ‘knowing’ my new friends before I came here. A good majority of the people I am friends with now are people I talked to over social media before arriving.” 

Some friendships take a bit longer to develop than others, so don’t fret if you and your acquaintances don’t immediately become best friends. Angela Kim, a third-year cinema and digital media major, met her best friend in middle school, but they weren’t necessarily close friends up until recently.

Kim explained that though she and her best friend met at a young age, they didn’t become friends until senior year of high school.

“I got the surprise of getting to be reacquainted with her in our yearbook class,” Kim said. “[And] after graduating high school, we got closer after finding out we were both accepted and committed to going to UC Davis. Since we were both pretty anxious about not knowing anyone in our freshmen year, my friend and I talked more through that experience.” 

Though Kim explained that COVID-19 prevented them from hanging out last school year, this fall, they were both back on campus and ended up getting really close.

“This year, returning to in-person classes, we found out we live super close,” Kim said. “[We] hung out almost every week in downtown and finally got the chance to talk about everything. I got to meet her cats, and we even decided to house together next school year.”

Friendship takes time, consistency and effort, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you might miss out on making lifelong friends. It might feel scary to approach someone and ask to hang out, but the worst that’ll happen is that they’ll say no and you’ll never see them again. Eventually, you’ll find someone who says yes and, who knows, you might find that they’re the person you’ll want to be stuck in a senior home with for many years from now.

Written by: Jalan Tehranifar — features@theaggie.org

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