Pro: College With Friends

Hannah Christopher, Staff Writer

Despite popular belief, going to college with a close friend or significant other does not mean that individual has to room with them or marry them someday. This is one of the many fears that students share when discovering who they’re attending college with. However, most colleges are large enough so that someone can see their friend as much or as little as they want, allowing them to have a cushion to fall back on during difficult times while also being able to create unique and exciting experiences that are all their own.

I will be attending UC Berkeley next year with six other rowers from Oakland Strokes, all people who I have become close with over the years as well as my boyfriend who currently rows for another team. When telling people that my boyfriend and I are both attending UC Berkeley, I’m immediately met with ‘oohs’ and ‘awws’ and questions of marriage.

However what many don’t know is that we chose individually to attend Berkeley months apart from each other and were at first unsure of if we even wanted to be together for the start of freshman year. What many fear is that they’re closing themselves off to classic college life and that there will be too much strain on their relationship through the transition. What people also forget is that while relationships are difficult at times, they are also supposed to be fun and instill confidence to explore new things rather than close you off to them.

If you are closed off to new experiences and people then you are not in a healthy relationship and it will most likely fall through; we are all individuals and need interests outside of our relationships. What going to college with a significant other can bring is confidence and security to stay true to yourself while exploring what else your prospective school has to offer. Why end something great just because you are scared of what others who have no personal experience have told you? Have fun, enjoy the time you have with your significant other, and grow knowing that everything is temporary.

The thought of knowing someone through all of their changes in high school and in college is exciting and a friendship that cannot be replicated. There will also be rowers from across the country and the world joining our team giving us international perspectives and throwing us a little out of our element, a newness feeling that everyone seeks out at some level.

College is a time to try something new, make different friends, and paint one’s own picture. The irrational fear that you will not have a true college experience because there are people you know attending your school, is a suburban legend. It’s a challenging and transitional time for anyone, knowing a handful of people out of an incoming class of thousands will not make the experience feel like a repeat of high school.

For example, there are over a dozen students attending Oregon University next year, and because schools can often reflect individuals’ preferences, students in the same friend circles will be going to school together. Hank Larsen who is attending Oregon with his close friend Maddie O’Shea isn’t worried about the proximity and finds it comforting saying, “Especially in the first two months it will be nice to know people”.

Likewise, attending a school with people from your high school who you aren’t necessarily close with provides an opportunity to reach out and become friends as school comes to a close and summer begins.  Then come fall there will be a friend to fall back on and share nerves with, making the transition smoother.

You have the power to be as involved or as distant from someone as you want. You are an individual and have the freedom to make whatever you want out of the next four years, regardless of whoever else is attending your college.