College is a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends that you will have for years to come. Through the first day of classes to the last, having solid friendships is crucial to surviving the stress of college. A lot of times, life gets busy and you drift apart but if you want to prevent that, try deepening your friendship during college and your friendship will be strong enough to stand the test of time. If you aren’t in college, don’t worry, these tips work great for friendships and relationships throughout your life.
1. Be A Good Listener
This is a basic concept that a lot of people have a hard time with. Being in a tech-driven world with so many things going on at once, it can be hard to truly pay attention when someone is talking. If you want to deepen your friendship however, it is important to show your friend that you are really listening. Try removing any distractions, maintain eye contact and keeping up a rapport. Being a good listener not only means being in the moment, but also remembering what is important to your friends and proving your knowledge in later conversations.
2. Have Meaningful Conversations
Along with being a good listener, you should make sure to have meaningful conversations along with the fun, gossipy ones as well. If you want to have a deeper relationship, it’s simple: have deeper conversations! Talk to your friends about their childhood or their hopes and dreams. Talk about each other’s families, show off your embarrassing middle school photos and talk about how high school changed you. Just move beyond the surface and your friendship will as well.
3. Try A Random Act Of Kindness
Show your friend you truly care by surprising them with a random act of kindness. Whether it is a grand gesture or just something to make them smile, kindness goes a long way. Get them some flowers or meet them after their class with a cup of their favorite coffee. Help them study for a test or pay for their dinner. Little acts like this might be small but it really shows them that you care.
4. Put Down Your Phones
This may be a really hard thing to do, but if you commit to spending some phone-free time together, you will find that you feel more connected and that you are connected on a deeper level. If you are distracted by your phone, you won’t be truly paying attention to your friend. Even if it is just for dinner, putting your phone away will show that you truly care.
5. Give Back Together
Friends that volunteer together, stay together! Find an organization or cause that you are both passionate about and get started! There are so many organizations in both your community and on campus that always need people to help! If you love pets, head to your local humane society and walk the dogs or take them to adoption events! If you are passionate about the environment, join a nature clean up group. No matter what you and your friend want to help with, showing compassion for a cause will really bring you together.
6. Walk Side By Side
Did you know that when people walk side-by-side with mirrored steps, they feel closer? The synchronized movements make you feel more connected, even if it is just for a short time. Set off to class or to events together and let yourself naturally fall into step together. Psychologically, you will feel more connected, even in this simple, easy way!
7. Talk About Everything
Along with being a good listener and having meaningful conversations, you should talk about everything with your friends. Be open and honest with your friends and in return, they will be too. Talk about your hopes, dreams, fears, what you find funny, who you find cute, your dream job etc. True friends know there is no topic off-limits, and if you really want to deepen your relationship, talk about literally everything.
8. Try Something New Together
Friends bond over experiences and if you want to deepen your friendship, experiencing new things together will give you another thing for you to bond over. Go on day trips, go home with them for holidays or go on a big Spring Break or summer trip together! If you don’t have time to travel, join a club, cook a new dish for dinner or learn astrology together! Making memories trying new things or experiencing new places will mean that every time they think about a trip or a place, they automatically think about you. Forming new memories with them will deepen the connecting you have-plus it is fun to try something new with a friend!
9. Follow Through
This advice is key for friendships AND for life. If you make a promise, you have to follow through. Half of being a friend is being there so if you make plans, follow through and show up. Whether it is showing up to see them in a play or just getting coffee Saturday morning together, keeping your promise is a key to building a strong relationship filled with trust. Every time you DO show up and keep your promise, your friend’s heart will fill with joy and that relationship will get deeper!
10. Spend Time Apart
Finally, in order to be a good friend, make sure you two spend time apart and work on being independent. If you spend every waking moment together, you miss out on all the opportunities college has to offer. College is an important time to discover yourself and if you are attached at the hip, you won’t have time to learn about yourself. If you spend time alone, you will get to learn more about yourself and have the chance to miss one another. Plus, if you experience things without one another, you will have something to talk about the next time you get together!
Which tip do you think is the best? Have a better way to deepen friendships in college? Share it with everyone below!
Emily Bell is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism with a Public Relations concentration. She currently lives with her husband and dog on the coast in Florida.