Question: I’m a freshman and I’m getting nervous that the year is almost over. I’ve already established a nice circle of friends, but there are still other people whom I would like to get to know better before school ends. I don’t want to lose touch over the summer and have to start from scratch with them next year, so how do I cement these friendships in the next couple of weeks without looking too desperate? -Vacationbound
Chick: If you feel like you honestly click or connect with these other people, then go out on a limb and invite them to do something with you so you can get to know each other better. If they are in one your classes, ask if they want to form a little study group in preparation for finals and then make plans to meet at someone’s room to order dinner and make a night of going over notes and quizzing each other. Take advantage of the nice weather, too, and invite them to do something outside, like a game of Frisbee or grabbing some ice cream after class one day, or whenever you run into them. Just don’t act desperate – people can smell that a mile away – and keep in mind that you have already established a “nice circle of friends” – if things don’t work out with these other people, there will, literally, be thousands of possible new friends next year. Once finals begin, though, and people start getting ready to leave, casually ask for their AIM screen names to keep in touch, and you can judge at that point whether they would like to continue the friendship as much as you do. You should also ask what their plans are for the summer as well, because if they are going to pass through your hometown or city you should offer to meet up with them one of those days to hang out and show them the sites. Most importantly, though, just relax, be yourself, and remember that friendships can’t be forced, they just happen.
Dick: First off, don’t worry too much. Most of people’s long lasting friendships from college begin in their sophomore and junior years. The best way to cement a relationship is to divulge something so they feel obligated to be your friend. You could also bribe them. Bribes come in handy and can make people appreciate you. Everyone loves hanging out with the friend who always buys them stuff or gives them presents. Not to mention it will make them really grow to like your personality. Chances are, with a little money thrown at them and your oh-so-secure personality, everything will be hunky-dory when you get back. Don’t stress, just hope they don’t find someone better than you.