Monday, August 22, 2022 8 ways to be a good friend
Move-in and the start of a new semester is usually a time of making new friends. But once you’ve made friends, what does it look like to keep those friendships going? We have a few tips to help you keep one another safe and your friendships going strong, whether you've been friends for years or you met them yesterday.
Ways to be a good friend:
1 | Respect boundaries
Similar to a romantic relationship, if a friend says no, it means no. Whether they’re saying no to sharing clothes or to going drinking, respect their decision.
2 | Show up
A great way to support a friend is to show up for them when and where it matters. College is a great time to do this because you can show up to friends’ presentations, events they’re putting on or performances they’re a part of.
3 | Stick together
You're always safer with a buddy. If you’re headed out for the evening, make a plan on where you’re going and how you’ll get home – and stick to it! Don’t leave any friends behind.
4 | Give and take
A healthy friendship should be equal parts giving and taking from both people. Avoid talking only about yourself or centering yourself in all conversations. Instead, show genuine interest in what is going on in your friend’s lives. Conversely, if you notice a friend only talks about their life and doesn’t seem to care about what’s going on with you, it may be time to step away.
5 | Avoid competition and celebrate wins
College can be a competitive environment. Often, you’re in the same classes and organizations with friends, meaning you’re in direct competition with one another. Instead of getting jealous of a friend’s success, be supportive of their wins. Similarly, don’t pressure one another to participate in activities where you don’t feel comfortable. This includes avoiding any drinking competitions as alcohol affects everyone differently and depends on gender, body mass, medications being taken and food eaten that day.
6 | Keep an eye out
If you’re headed out together, be sure to watch out for one another. This may include things like holding a beverage if a friend needs to go to the bathroom. If they're being flirted with, make sure they seem comfortable with it – if they seem uneasy, help them get out of the conversation.
7 | Step up
Studies show that alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, can result in perpetrating sexual violence. If you notice that a friend has been drinking and seems to be romantically interested in someone who isn’t into it, step in and stop any potential harm. If you’re not sure how to best do this, attend Step Up Bystander Intervention training to increase your confidence and skills to intervene.
8 | Share location
If you feel comfortable with doing so, share your location with the friends who you'll be around. This can make it easier to find one another if you get separated or if you need a ride later in the night.