Meaningful friendships open opportunities to feed your soul
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 01:10
Coming to college, I was never nervous about meeting friends. I had always been successful socially, and people tended to like me. Coming here knowing not a single soul, I knew the best chance I had at making lasting friends was participating in organizations and activities I had passions for. Now with three years of college under my belt, I can look back and see which friends mattered, and who I’ve moved on from.
Common interest in a productive activity sparks true friendship that can develop and be sustained through demonstration of accountability, hard work, and decency. Of the friends I have made on the water polo team, my fraternity (Phi Delta Theta) and various other groups and clubs on campus, all of them have exemplified those qualities, if not more. The difference between a great person and a great friend is the ability to share common interests and passions. Some of the best ways to find those people are through opportunities offered here at Oregon State University.
Activities and organizations around campus are abundant and are, in fact, very diverse. I am sure you have witnessed all the different social roads you can do down here in Corvallis. While some might be more tempting — drinking to get drunk, doing drugs excessively, etc. — the more fulfilling paths are through groups with positive intentions and results, and having members who strive for defined goals. I will use an example from my water polo team. At the beginning of the season, we all attempt to put ourselves in the position to win every game. We accomplish this not only by showing up to our practices, but also working incredibly hard, and becoming better as a team through getting to know each other.
To put this in perspective with what I am trying to say, we first developed respect for each other, which in return gave us the ability to become best friends. True best friends are the ones you can depend on because you have depended on each other in the past, and have been successful. I challenge you to show me a group of college alcoholics who have that kind of shared passion, and accountability.
Being able to filter true friends from false ones has really saved me a lot of time and energy in college. Solely dealing with those that mattered to me has been eye opening. I can look back over the past three years and remember situations I put myself into where I was attempting to be somebody I knew was bad. At the time, I justified those actions by simply telling myself these are my friends, therefore I have to be like them. I could not have been more wrong. I would have been better off immediately going home and calling someone I knew in my gut was good.
Ultimately, the message I’m sharing is the beauty I have seen in opportunities stemming from reaching out. Sharing my time with people I can relate to, in a productive way, is essentially the easiest way I have grown as a person, and have become more prepared for real-world situations. Furthering my passions with people I care about is something I cherish, and I can only thank Oregon State University.
Jenson Vliss is a senior in entrepreneurship. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Vliss can be reached at email@example.com.