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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Hug your friends

Show your appreciation for those who have made your college experience special




There’s an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” that describes a concept known as “graduation goggles,” referring to the poignant feeling of nostalgia as soon as a job or life experience is about to end. And whether you have three more years at UC Davis or you’re graduating in a few short weeks, that feeling manages to surface at this time every year. Freshmen are about to move out of the dorms, leaving behind the close-knit community they’ve built over the past year on their floor, sophomores are becoming upperclassmen and juniors are set to enter their final year at Davis.

With the hectic, fast-paced quarter system, it can be easy to let the weeks blur together and your time in college to pass you by. When you have upcoming deadlines for assignments piling up, it can feel like the natural solution to put off spending time with your friends. But you only get to experience college once, and the memories you’ll most cherish are those made with people that you care about. We’re not saying any of this to make you regret missed opportunities but rather to remind you of the importance of putting time into your college friendships going forward.

While obviously you shouldn’t forsake studying for your next midterm for the sake of having fun in college, when you can, prioritize your platonic relationships. They can bring you so much joy, and when your time at UC Davis comes to an end, you will miss having friends just down the hall, or the ease of catching up with people over a coffee at the CoHo in between classes.

If you’re still not convinced, according to an article from the Washington Post, “People with strong friendships tend to have better mental health and studies suggest they’re in better physical health, as well.” This even trumps the effects of romantic relationships.

So don’t take your friends for granted; friendships, like all relationships, take work. Show your friends you love them: cook them dinner, remind them that they’re appreciated and give them lots of hugs. Hugging can help lower stress, boost your immune system and is an easy way to show your affection for your pals.

In college, we’re in a unique position in that we are surrounded by thousands of people around our age with so many different ideas and passions. As such, we have the opportunity to make intentional friends or choose people to become closer to based on shared interests. In elementary, middle and high school, friendships are often born out of convenience; you make friends with those in your required classes because they are around you every day. But in college, you can choose which friendships to maintain and find people who are curious about the same things as you. When you meet someone that you have a lot in common with, make time for them, and make sure they know that you value their friendship.

If you are graduating, make an effort to stay in touch with your college friends after you leave. Social media can make it easy to stay connected in addition to sending them letters or newsletter-style emails with your own life updates. Who knows? Maybe your college roommate will be one of your closest friends well into your 80s (or maybe they’ll just be a funny story you tell at parties, either way).

So, what are you waiting for? Make plans with your friends this week and let them know how much you love spending time with them.


Written by: The Editorial Board