Extracurricular interests are key to lasting friendships in college

Extracurricular interests are key to lasting friendships in college

Extracurricular interests are key to lasting friendships in college
September 16
09:00 2018

It is the start of a new semester, and with that comes an influx of bright-eyed freshmen looking for their place at the university. There are many possible routes in regards to forming lasting friendships, such as making friends in your classes, joining a Greek organization, or making friends through your extracurricular interests. Fulfilling friendships add more joy to any activity, so why not make bonds with people who love to do what you love to do?

Making friends in your classes might seem like the best option (especially grade-wise) as you will always have people to study with and talk to about assignments, and in the long run, you will form connections within your field. But what happens after that first semester, when all your classes and schedules rearrange and you aren’t around the same people anymore? Unless everyone plans their schedules together and, for that matter, are studying the same major, you probably won’t have the same people in each class.

Personally, I can barely remember the people from my first classes as a freshman and I haven’t seen many of them in classes for years. The friendships you make in class won’t continue unless there is a shared interest outside of the class, so you should seek out other people with similar interests directly instead of waiting for someone to pop up later down the line.

Deeper friendships come from that moment when two people realize they have similar interests or mindsets. It’s the feeling when you play a song and someone recognizes it and starts singing along with you, or when you make an odd reference and someone’s eyes light up in recognition. You can have these interactions in class, at work or at an organization meeting, but these places are ultimately the first step to finding the people that you truly mesh with. No one ever says, “Hey, remember that time we studied for that test? Wasn’t that so much fun?”

Extracurricular activities lead to lasting friendships because they are things we choose to do with our time because we enjoy them, not because we are required to. Of course it is possible to make enduring friendships from a required organization over time, but wouldn’t you rather find that one group of people who share your interests as quickly as possible? For this reason, I would highly recommend seeking out a club or small group on campus for yourself.

You reading this article right now is the result of me seeking out an outlet and community for my interest in writing. I am also interested in video games such as “Super Smash Bros.” and by joining the UNT Smash Club I have met some of the closest friendships in my life — something that would not have happened if I hadn’t directly pursued activities that brought me joy.

You do not have to sit awkwardly at lunch with people you hardly like just because they are your only connections. You can reach out and find the people on campus that enjoy what you enjoy, and watch the friendship fireworks fly.

You would be surprised how many different clubs exist at UNT, ranging from card games like “Magic: The Gathering” to intramural sports like Ultimate Frisbee and Flag Football. There are even advocacy groups for mental illness and various human rights organizations. You can find a large list of clubs on UNT’s Orgsync page, and groups often have tabling events on campus throughout the semester.

Don’t waste your time around people you have to tolerate. Instead, spend it doing what you love surrounded by people that make it even better.

Featured Illustration: Elizabeth Rhoden

About Author

Nicholas Stiltner

Nicholas Stiltner

NT Daily Opinion Writer

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