Being a fresher on a tertiary campus is an exciting time. For the first time, you have the freedom to live as you please. No rising bells, no house prefects dishing out punishments and no parents. On the other hand, this can also be an intimidating and confusing time. Having good friends will definitely make the transition much easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.
Here are some tips from our mentors on how to make good friends as a fresher:
- @Sisba ( KNUST Alumnus)
Choose your friends with the future in mind. Link up with fellows who have the potential to help push your future agenda. That means associating with people who have the same drive and ambitions as you have. In Ghana and the world in general, the opportunities you get will to a large degree depend on your network (who you know). So, start making those connections on campus. Many of the opportunities I have received in my professional life have been from people I met on campus. If you are a Christian, don’t just limit yourself to the ‘chrife’ fraternity but make sure you don’t backslide as well in the process of making new friends.
2. @Nana Bee (KNUST Alumnus)
Remember that friends will influence almost every aspect of your life on campus and even after. So choose your friends wisely. Some ‘A’ students have failed to graduate and some ‘C’ students have graduated with first class honors purely based on their friends and associations.
Make friends with people of every class, tribe, religion, and gender. Don’t limit yourself to the same kind of people you hang out with in Senior High School. Remember that the tertiary level is a place to learn, grow and make good connections. I got an opportunity to work with Baker Hughes Company after school based on the recommendation of a friend from Tech who later became my Boss.
However, make sure your inner core friends or very close friends are people of like mind and faith. If you are a Christian, make sure your close friends are Christians as well so that you can encourage one another and build up one another.
Know your limits and set boundaries especially in terms of your associations with members of the opposite sex. If you are a guy, watch how closely you associate with the ladies. If she is your friend, maintain friendship standards. Many young men on campus have broken the hearts of many young ladies because of this. Don’t ‘test the waters’ as they erroneously say. Maintain good friendships and when you decide to be serious with a lady, commit to her. Don’t play games.
( Image Credit: <a href=”http://www.freestock.com/free-photos/two-colleages-discussing-ideas-using-tablet-386210677″>Image used under license from Freestock.com</a>)
- @Judith ( University of Ghana Alumna)
One of the key places to make friends is within your lecture groups. These type of friends will become helpful when you miss lectures, need to form study groups or need to borrow handouts and notes. If you don’t have friends within your course group, you will have a hard time.
Also, make friends with your roommates. You will spend a lot of time in your room and if you will be happier if your roommates are your friends so try to make friends with them. Your roommates will definitely be different from you and have a different set of values but find common grounds and find a way to get along with them. Some of my best friends now were my roommates back in Legon.
Then of course ,in church or within your Christian fellowship. This will be much easier if you join a sub-group within the fellowship. This way you can associate with other Christians and grow in your faith. Choose your friends wisely but don’t be a loner (ankonam). There is nothing to be gained by being an Island. You are on the university campus to network and study so don’t limit yourself fto just one. Be friendly and say ‘Hi’ to people often. You never know who you will meet and how important they will become in your journey of life. Some people have met their future spouses on campus, some their business partners, some have made connections which later landed them jobs and even political appointments. So open up and don’t be too proud to associate with everyone
- @Consolata (Kenya)
My advice is straightforward- If you want to make friends, be a friend. Be nice to people, help people, be open and smiling. Don’t keep to yourself hoping someone will come and talk to you. Someone is also waiting for you to make the first move. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice but the rewards of making good friends can be very enriching.
So to all freshers, go out there, be nice, associate with other people and make some good friends. Who knows, you might be making friends with the future president of your country…..