During your time at U of T, I bet you this year’s tuition that you are going to meet some of the most randomest, most beautiful, most unique or even the most interesting personalities you will ever meet in your life. Our campus is home to people from all different walks of life. They can be from a different country or even subscribe to a crazy cool sub-culture. The opportunity to pick the brains of these inimitable souls is one of the reasons I wake up in the morning. The way my Dad speaks about the people he met in university and the lessons he learned from them, tells me that who you meet now will be ever present in who you are tomorrow in our mannerisms, lifestyles or decisions.
I’ve realized that the friends I have in my life currently can be categorized into 10 archetypes that I’m sure all university students encounter in their life. These 10 archetypes also provide insight into how you can make friends in university and where to find your future BFFs.
Different Types of University Friends
1) The ones you meet through pre/post class small talk
I made my first ever friends at U of T, Anna and Shannon, before an ENG110Y1 tutorial started. Nervously excited Anna and I bonded over hating clubs, having awkward frosh experiences and reading books. Our conversation, followed by buying books at Bob Miller Book Room and lunch at Queens Park, turned into a beautiful friendship still going strong in fourth year. She is by far one of the funniest and most sweetest people I have EVER met.
Shannon and I bonded over boy-talk, fashion and fangirling over this one cutie in our tutorial. She is now my right-hand woman in both the Underwear Club and Because I am A Girl-UT. She’s the ultimate ride-or-die friend. Thank you U of T for the introduction! Pre-lecture or tutorial small talk is my favourite way to make friends. Chances are being in the same class is adequate footing for a friendship. An obstacle to these friendships is time. After first year, these friends go into their own programs and somehow not having the same class in common and suddenly you have long-distance friendships. However, I got lucky with Anna and Shannon! We can go weeks without contact and still be as cool as ever when we hang out. They are like long-lost sisters of mine.
2) The ones you meet through extracurriculars
I met Rida through FLC first and after realizing we shared a similar vision for the human condition, we quickly merged our paths through extracurricular activities. We now meet up occasionally to have long talks about all that is wrong with the world and what we can do about it right now. What I love about her is that she gets me. Not only do we share similar visions, but we share the same values! For the first time in my life, I have a friend who gets exactly why I don’t drink, party or date a lot! Its so nice to talk to someone who gets it after 20 years of being misunderstood.
3) The ones you meet through a mentorship program
You should all know how much I adore Jessica by now!
4) The ones you meet in the most random way
These ones are the rarest friendships because they are dependent on the actualization of the will. If you see a person at the same place at the same time constantly, and decide to befriend them, that is how these friendships are formed. They arise from the conscious effort to dissolve the otherness in your world. Most of these friendships are short lived because their beauty is encapsulated in the now; serendipitous and to be enjoyed in the present tense.
5) The ones you meet online
These friends are found on Facebook groups, on Twitter or even via mass emails through Portal. Some of them you will never meet, most of them you will make awkward eye contact with and a few of them may just become a vital part in accomplishing your dreams. I consider all of my Twitter followers to be in my closest circle of friends. They get me, and I get them. I care about them just like I care about my friends. Some I have met, others I would like to meet and most I would like to inspire and guide! These friendships are the easiest to maintain and usually the most prominent during exam season!
6) The ones you know from high school
I’ve known Shbina since high school and although we haven’t kept in touch as much in university, I know that homegurl will always be my well-wisher. Its really beautiful to have people from your past with you in the present. They know where you’ve been and can truly appreciate the breadth of your growth.
7) The ones you cling to because they are older
These friends are upper years, or for me, law school students or grad students. Through courses, extracurriculars and tutorials, Ive befriended quite a few older friends who’ve become my mentors. Doesn’t it feel cool to tell your friends “oh my friend in fourth year” or “my friend in law school…” They are great sources for support, and guidance.
8) The ones you only party with
I know these kind of friends exist. I just don’t party, like at all, to know of them. Goal for fourth year? Who wants to be the JWoWW to my Snooki?
9) The ones you commute with
The 4:50 on Thursdays. Compatible commuting schedules = a year of long talks on the train about life, boys and school. These encounters are a great way to end or start your commute.
10) The ones you meet through mutual friends
I met Shaquelle through a mutual friend in POL200 and we’ve been attached at the hip ever since. I hit the friendship jackpot with Shaquelle—almost like a match made in heaven. Same dreams, same values and same train of thoughts brought together by the power of a mutual friendship. I can’t imagine life at U of T without her now. Never-ending talks about the effects of colonialism on our perceptions of beauty at Sid Smith’s Cafe, pulling off events for The Underwear Club, preventing each other from sleeping in lectures, Shaquelle and I are like two peas in a pod.
These types are most prominent in my life at the moment. Whatever brings you together, know that it takes initiative to form lasting friendships. It makes me sad to think of all the people that have disappeared in my life, because of my failure to keep in touch with them after our first encounter!
Happy friend hunting!
PS. Did I miss any types of friends that need to be on this list? Comment below or tweet me!
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