PHOTO: DYLAN FREEMAN-GRIST

Year one: the types of friends you meet in first year

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By Nicole Di Donato

In high school, everyone is forced to be friends with each other because they are stuck together for four years. In university, however, I have come to discover that you can be friends or not be friends with whomever you want. Ryerson is such a big and diverse school, and being here has taught me which people I want to surround myself with and which people I want to filter out of my life.

To all those other first year students out there, I want to take you through some of the friendships I have made so far and some of the friendships I advise you to avoid making altogether.

The shoulder to cry on

This is one of the first friends I made in residence and she has easily become one of my best friends. This type of friend is essential to have in order to keep your sanity. My “shoulder to cry on” is there for me when I am stressing out about school or when I need boy advice. She will take me out on late night walks to clear my head and always knows what to say to cheer me up when I’m in a bad mood. If you don’t already have a friend like this, I suggest you find one because they will literally make a world of difference in your life, especially during this tough transition to first year university.

The party friend

If I didn’t have this friend, I would most definitely be an emotional mess. This friend can take your mind off anything by encouraging you to go out and party or to explore downtown Toronto in the middle of the night. My “party friend” and I once spent a good two hours walking to Queen Street from residence, and somehow ended up in Chinatown. This is another friend you will need to have by your side in order to survive the stress and pressure of first year.

The school friend

The “school friend” is a friend you probably didn’t even realize you had. You will make this friend regardless of whether you try to or not. In one of my classes, I met this really sweet girl on the first day and have sat beside her in class ever since. These friends are great to have because you can text them about your homework questions and sit beside them in lectures.

The clinger

The “clinger” is the friend you should avoid making throughout the four years. This friend doesn’t fit in with your close friend group but desperately wants to. I personally do not have a friend like this, however, I know a couple people who do.

From my knowledge of their experience, I would advise you to focus on getting close to the people you have a natural connection with, rather than forcing a friendship that is not meant to be.

The friend you want to bang

Don’t lie, we’ve all had that one friend that we find extremely attractive and can’t help but wonder what it would be like to take things to the next level with. I recently had an experience like this and personally, I would advise anyone out there who feels this way about their friend to avoid pursuing it altogether, especially in the early stages of university.

Having a friend like this could end in one of two ways: Hooking up with them and potentially dating, or hooking up and catching feelings then getting hurt because they don’t feel the same way about you, or vice versa. I hooked up with a guy friend of mine and after that things got super weird for a while, but luckily we worked it out.

However, for some people this isn’t always the case. To avoid this awkward tension I would suggest that unless you have a strong feeling that things will work out between you and the “friend you want to bang,” don’t hook up with them and instead, focus on developing your friendship.


Nicole Di Donato’s column will appear Tuesdays

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