Leave only footprints

Making a First Relationship

We’ve all been there; it’s your first day at a new school, or in a new class without any of your friends in it, or a new job and the butterflies are going crazy in your tum-tum. You are completely alone, no friends yet, a little confused about what exactly is going to happen. Unless you are an out-going person who loves meeting new people and being everyone’s friend you are in a strange situation. The first thing you try to do is make at least one friend. You try to find someone to talk to and feel a little less awkward. We all have a desire to fit in and not be the outcast. We want to feel at home. Let’s face it, when you have a job you spend more waking hours there than you do at home. And college? That’s worse, because it is your home. If you don’t feel comfortable there, you won’t do well. That first “relationship” is crucial to success in your new setting.

According to American College Testing (ACT), one in every four students leaves college before completing sophomore year. What’s more, nearly half of all freshmen will either drop out before getting their degree or complete their college education elsewhere. (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTR/is_4_22/ai_84599442/)

A major reason for this is that they don’t make a strong connection with someone. This isn’t a physical connection either (but it helps a lot) it’s simply finding a friend who can help you get through the hard times and meet new people. It is so much easier to make friends when you already have one. I met my first friend at my college orientation. At the end of the 2 day event we decided that we wanted to be roommates freshman year. Our reason was because we didn’t want to get stuck with a “weirdo”. Turns out that’s what we both got. The thing here is, that we had started becoming friends and it made staying in college a lot more desirable and obtainable. We ended up staying roommates until he went to a different college to work on his new major in education. We remained friends to this day and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have joined a fraternity that I eventually became the president of. One thing that happened freshman year was that my roommate started to take on some of my traits and behaviors as I did some of his.  Halfway through our first semester our RA (resident assistant) couldn’t tell us a part. One night we were drinking in a friend’s dorm room, which was a no-no, and Corky (my roommate) ended up leaving. About 20 mins after he left the RA came and busted up the party. He asked if I was Corky and I told him that I was Joe. The RA said that he could never tell us apart since we were always together. A lot of people would just say hi to us without knowing who was who. While we were getting written up Corky comes back to grab a hoodie he forgot and the RA said, “So you’re Corky” and he said that he was, thinking that we had ratted him out. If we weren’t so alike he wouldn’t have gotten in trouble with the rest of us. This just goes to show how when you make that first friend you start to become like them.
Our situation was unique as we were both in a new situation, but what happens when you’re the new person and your friend is a seasoned veteran. Typically the new person takes on the friends traits while the person who has been in the job longer doesn’t change much if at all. In my 3 years at my current job I have watched people change from the nervous little mice that come in to the protégées of their “mentors”. It happened with me as well. When I came into my current position, my mentor was a jaded/suspicious/quiet person. In a matter of weeks I too was jaded and suspicious as well. It’s sad when I see people come in and they make the wrong first friend. There are some downright mean people here and when a new person comes in and finds themselves sitting next to a mean person, within a couple weeks, that new person is just as mean. We find one person to help us adjust to the new setting and subconsciously we begin to portray the same personality traits as that person. This can be beneficial and detrimental. If the person you meet is a nice, friendly, helpful person; your role in the new environment will be the same. If the person is a nasty, cunt of a whore, you will start to become one as well. This is all part of our desire to fit in and be accepted.

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