The Secret To College is Having Numerous Acquaintances and Close Friends : Here’s Why.
Enrolling in college is one of the most exciting and beneficial things one can achieve. It’s a place where you can meet new people of different backgrounds, take advantage of amenities such as research and internships as well as taking certain classes which may be necessary for your career. However, one skill that is rarely discussed on college is the ability to network with others and find a common ground.
Many students are often mistaken to find out that they don’t need a thousand friends to survive in college. As a freshman, it’s quite normal to be hanging around with everyone and forming a large social circle. Unsurprisingly, as time progresses, you’ll start to shrink your circle due to things like affinity for a specific character, a desired manner of social identification and the presence of conflicts.
Even though it is normal for that to happen, you must still go the extra step to meet and interact with new people who are not necessarily in your social circle but can provide you with help when needed. This is what I call acquaintances and in this article, I am going to list a couple reasons why this skill is so important for both your experience in college and life in general.
You Don’t Owe Your Acquaintances S**t
Let’s start this list with some honesty. Your acquaintances are mostly needed for favors, help and networking. The relationship can cross the line if you have a special connection with them, but it is very important to remember that business means business.
For example, you are in a calculus class that’s very difficult and you have an incoming test. Let’s say you know someone in the class called Camila who you sat with on the first day of class and talked to for about five minutes. If she helped you study for the test and you ended up acing it, you are not required to attend her birthday bash with her friends if she invites you.
However, if one of your best friends called Rachel helped you study for a test, you are required to attend her birthday party regardless of whether you passed the test or not, because that wouldn’t be a good look for your relationship.
Acquaintances Provide Unbiased Opinions
Admit it. Your friends tend to be biased when it comes to your opinions, decisions and actions. They may not want to disrupt your confidence or infuriate you because it might contribute in destroying the relationship. Indeed, you may have some close friends who are not shy to express their views about your behavior, but that might not be consistent.
Acquaintances may serve as your source of objective opinions about your way of life. Sure, you don’t need anyone on earth to judge you but you may need some people to give an insightful view of your relationship with others, your behavior and look.
Acquaintances May Be Short-term So Plans Are Ephemeral.
Honestly, most of your acquaintances may stem from school, work, accidents or family. There is a slight possibility that some of your acquaintances may morph into your lifelong friends, but for the most part, they are temporary. You may mainly interact with them when you are working on a project together, need help or favors.
Thus, it is imperative to take into account the longevity of the relationship. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to burn bridges after a completion of a project because it is advantageous to have a solid relationship with them. However, if things fall apart, you shouldn’t get emotional because that’s actually the basis of life. You will meet people and interact with them and probably never see them again.
Now, with the advent of social media, you’ll probably see them post pictures and videos but you may never physically see them again. If these people were your close friends, that would be problematic but if they were your acquaintances, it wouldn't necessarily matter.
Acquaintances Are The Real-life Versions of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an app that allows people to interact with professionals in the job market, submit their resumes and apply for jobs. One feature of LinkedIn that is different from other social media apps is the use of the word “networks”. Networks are basically your professional “friends” on the app and they use this scheme as a way of creating the perfect imagery of acquaintanceship. Thus, you need to network with you so-called friends to ask about the availability of a job or the feasibility of a job application.
In a real life context, that's the same way acquaintanceship works. You may need the girl you studied with in chemistry class and apparently loved music to get you a gig at Rolling Stone or the janitor who you talked about your poor meal plan to help you get into the cafeteria free of charge. You may need to return a couple favors by helping them out with something that they also desire, but you are not obliged to do so.
It is super helpful to have close friends with whom you can share your ideas and plans. They are more likely going to be in your journey every step of the way. Your ride or die might help you in your darkest nights and may comfort you when you are at the top of the social ladder.
Some may even take a bullet for you in times of trouble. In this day and age where friends are morphing into electronic versions displayed on social media, it seems we have become so distant to the idea of true friendship. On the other hand, there are certain times when you’ll need people who you are not close with, to aid in you doing something regardless of the importance. Sometimes you might just need a frank opinion or networking capabilities that your true friends may not possess, and that's where the pertinence of acquaintanceship unveils itself.
Therefore strike conversations with people you meet in the streets, at your workplace or even in your school. They don't have to be the same age or have the same aspirations as yours but they can provide you with insight and opportunities that you could have never imagined. Take hold of the important skill of acquaintanceship because you’ll never know when you’ll need it the most.