College x

Because there’s no way you do it alone.

Image via Odyssey

Although college is tough, there are four types of friends you can rely on to help make the experience a bit smoother. From time management to the occasional mishap, the party animal, the mom, the study buddy and the advice giver all balance one another out so you can both hang out and stay on track academically. Avoid stress by surrounding yourself with these four types of friends.

1. The Party Animal

This friend is gregarious and enjoys going out and having a great time. Since it’s easy to get bogged down in homework assignments, projects and studying for exams, he or she will remind you of the necessary social aspect of life. While the importance of class requirements should not be underestimated, studies prove students who balance work with free time and social engagement in order to be happy perform better academically.

Making time for the friend who wants to go out can build your network by enabling you to meet more friends and strengthen your confidence to network on a more professional level, but, even better, it relieves stress. The friend who is always up for a party or engaging in fun activities (and who is also, hopefully, skillful at managing his or her time) will encourage you to get out of the house or dorm room and take a well-deserved study break. Classes (and the professors who teach them) are very demanding, but socially engaging activities are also very important.

The party animal doesn’t only have to enjoy partying. He or she should also encourage you to take part in once-in-a-lifetime educational events. For example, you may want to attend the screening of a documentary film about modern day feminism if you’re taking a course in women’s studies. Certain events expand your knowledge and provide extra credit points for the class you’re taking. It can be worth it to attend special events that apply to your particular interests and you’ll be extra lucky if you and your party animal friend have the same major.

2. The Mom

Sometimes, no matter how prepared and self-reliant you think you may be, you find yourself in a tough situation. The mom friend makes sure that during these occurrences, your greatest needs are met. She will travel home with you at night so you’re not alone and share her lunch if you’re broke or dying of starvation (a likely possibility if your tuition is high).

Such a relationship is especially beneficial if you return the favor when she’s in a tough situation as well; the stronger the bond, the greater the assurance of safety and comfort. In addition, with mom friends you can rely on, you’re more likely to take study break risks (with common sense and moderation, of course) once in a while to enjoy the college experience.

3. The Study Buddy

Amidst the chaos of assignments, classes and events should be the friend who reminds you why you enrolled in college in the first place. As you may already know, as a student you can get quite overwhelmed from all the work required of you and attending the numerous events taking place on campus. You may feel like cutting classes, changing your major or even dropping out, but a good study buddy who helps guide you through the college process will steer you away from giving up. By studying with you and informing you of resources for extra help, she or he will motivate you to achieve both your academic and career goals.

The study buddy also keeps you on track when you have been spending too much time attending campus events or hanging out with the party animal. She or he prevents you from getting distracted and pulls you back into focusing when you’ve forgotten to prioritize. Taking advantage of the school’s resources and events is only a good idea if you’re submitting assignments on time and attending all your classes; a study buddy will remind you of that. Even if she or he manages to slip and not study as hard as usual, getting him/her on track by encouraging the two of you to study together will be beneficial to you as well. Looking out for your study buddy will help you maintain your own focus.

4. The Advice Giver

Balancing school with hanging out is only one of the challenges that make up the college experience. Along with time management comes budgeting, as well as maintaining professional, friendly and romantic relationships, taking care of unexpected mishaps and anything else I forgot to mention. The advice giver is good at telling you what direction you should take when something goes wrong. He or she will help decide between scenarios or come up with your own based on the issue you’re having and what the circumstances are.

Though smart, the advice giver should recognize when you need the advice of a professional. Although she or he is good at giving advice, she or he must know when to take a step back and let someone else do the talking. In addition, the advice giver does not try to make decisions for you or force you to do anything. Needless to say, she or he has your best interests at heart.

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