The 4 Traits Your College Friends Should Have

Despite your major, your interests, your political beliefs or any other feature that makes you a pure and unique snowflake, there are people who have certain traits, with whom you should be friends in college. You will learn as much in college from your friends as you will in class, so it's supremely important to make sure you have friends from whom you can learn.

Find friends who are developed in the areas of your personality you want to grow. Some may have traits that overlap with you or your friends' personalities and others will fill multiple categories on which you want to expand. In fact, your friends should fill multiple categories. Check out who you need to know, then find them.


What does that mean? People aren't circles! Find friends who do more than just schoolwork. This shouldn't be so hard, as most college students have interests that expend beyond academia. This really should be a trait that all of your friends have. If people you know define their existences by one trait or activity, then you will probably not find them to be interesting for long and you'll have little to learn from them.

Having some friends who are several years older than you can help, as well. With age comes more life experience, and having friends outside of college will give you perspective on the real world because college is not the real world. Their experiences likely reflect their personalities.

If I were to define a well-rounded person, the definition would include someone who has built a personality out of years of experience in multiple disciplines of life. Well-rounded does not mean being the president of four different high school clubs.

Real Work

Have friends with jobs — especially if you don't have one. A friend working in your field of interest should lend insight into the actual job experience. You can learn how to prepare yourself to land the job of your dreams, or you could find out that you held a fatal misconception about the industry.

A friend outside of your field of interest will show you what a part of the rest of the world has to offer and will help drag you out of your small bubble of intellectualism built by the courses you take for your major. A job in the service industry will also forever change your views on human interaction, and having a friend who’s had that experience will teach you something.

Extensively Traveled

Friends who have traveled extensively are prizes because their perspectives are likely to be wider than yours. Any amount of firsthand knowledge of culture besides beyond your own will broaden your perspective on the world and world issues. These friends will be able to share with you the perspectives of people you may never meet, but who may still have a large impact on the world in which you will enter as an adult.

Academically Successful

The straight-A student has a lot to offer you, even if you already are one yourself. Whether it's a new study technique, building good study habits or more incentive to attend lectures, there's always something to learn from those who do well in their classes. Surrounding yourself with successful academics will help you to become a better one, too.

Your friends are a large part of your environment, and your environment will shape who you are as a person. By focusing on becoming friends with people you admire, you will begin shaping yourself and making yourself more like them. Work with people who inspire you. Hang out with the kind of people you aspire to become.

But most of all, find friends who are different from each other or you may find that your personality is defined by one activity you do or trait you have. The four traits I mentioned shouldn't represent the only friends you have, but they're four important qualities to explore in college and beyond.

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