St. Edward’s students Victoria Applewhite and Brian Mack enjoy each other’s company over a cup of Jo’s coffee.

College connections necessary for well-being, future networks

It’s often said that friends are the family we pick. They are with us at our worst moments and also at our best. They become our caregivers, our confidants and our best friends. They are the support system that pushes us forward to achieve our goals, our dreams, and they allow us to reach our full potential. It is because of these relationships and networks that friends become essential to our college experience.

This is the case of St. Edward’s students Alyssa Aguas and Desiree Manriquez, two friends who met each other in their study abroad program in Angers, France, last fall.

When asked what role their friendship plays in their college careers, the two said it has contributed to their lives inside and outside the classroom.

“I definitely think it helps you take a step back and not be so stressed out, so caught up in what you are doing. I think to have a friend there to talk to you about anything you are worried about or anything you are going through or even just to have fun, it lets you take a weight off your shoulders,” Aguas said.

“I think friendship helps balance everything out,” Manriquez said. “Sometimes you get so busy with all your classes, and your friends are there for you to fall back on when you are stressed. They help ground you; they bring you back on your feet even if it’s just with little words of encouragement, personal things we tell each other to push us to do great things.”

In college, many students suffer from stress and anxiety, so it’s recommended to build some sort of support system. Aguas and Manriquez talked about how support groups form part of a healthy college career.

“When you are in college it is important to have a support group, because they are your eyes in moments you need them the most,” Aguas said. “They are able to sit you down and be there for you, telling you, ‘Hey, you need to get your stuff together, let’s go! We can get through this.’ It’s a nice thing to have someone who loves you be there pushing you to do your best.”

Manriquez said, “College is a journey. Sometimes that journey is blurry, and we get lost in that journey. It is thanks to those friends that tell you hey it’s left, not right, and guide you. They see for you.”

The friends we make in college are also our future colleagues and networks. After high school, we are pushed to make friends so we can develop strong connections.

Manriquez said, “you make friends with different interest and those interests are what pushed them to be part of different organizations. They take you to their different events and you meet people that’s how you find different networks and opportunity. They become a way to expand your circle and to find a better chance to get a good job. But you don’t really know this when you meet them, its when you find each other’s interests and passions.”

Having friends is a necessity, a motor that helps you thrive during the hardships of college. They can be our vehicle to success.

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