The Friendships That Develop In College

As students move through college, friendships will develop naturally. They occur through the contacts students have with classmates, dorm mates, teammates, work mates and other associations that come about by chance and circumstance.

Aristotle opined that there are two kinds of friendship: mutual need and mutual appreciation. “Mutual Need” friendships include those of ‘utility’ and those of ‘pleasure.’ They tend to satisfy short-lived needs. “Mutual Appreciation” friendships are based on the ‘personal qualities’ of the people themselves and often last much longer.

Because short-term friendships are frequently built on utility or pleasure, they usually exist because each person immediately benefits in some way from the relationship. Class projects, school athletic teams, extra-curricular activities, part-time and summer work assignments and community activities all fall within the category of friendships that are short-lived. They satisfy an immediate need and provide pleasure and satisfaction.

However, when friendships are based on a mutual appreciation of each other’s personal qualities, goodwill and positive behaviors they can come together to form, develop and strengthen a longer-lasting relationship. It is important to understand that long-term friendships are based on an additional set of factors that may include:

During college, every student will have a variety of friendships and relationships of various lengths and depths. Importantly, it is the longer-term relationships that will mean to most. These more serious and special friendships can last for years. For the fortunate students who experience love during college, the relationship may last a lifetime.

Friendships matter! Every student should work to broaden their pool of reliable and caring friends. The more good friends someone has helping them to become successful and happy, the more likely it will happen.

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