At our fine university, we have around two thousand freshman students, and with that come freshman cliques. Yes, it’s true. During your first year here at the beautiful University of Miami, you will make life-long friends. You’ll have memories of stumbling home to Hecht, of attempting to study but then heading to the Rat for a beer instead, and in my case, of waking up outside some building in downtown Miami. If that’s not a bonding memory, I don’t know what is. All that being said, it is important not to wall yourself off with your brand new groups of friends.
During the first few weeks of freshman year, you’ll meet more people than you could ever believe. It takes no effort at all to find a group of people who share your preferences and life style. You love Entourage? So does that guy down the hall! You can’t live without Chipotle? Guess what? That cute girl over in Stanford is the same! However once you find people you connect with, it’s easy to shut down the ‘meeting people’ phase in your mind. This is not a wise choice.
Certainly keep this new group of friends close, but don’t fall into the trap of becoming a clique and not expanding your social horizons. How often do you see the group of the same four girls who are never more than six feet away from each other? How about the group of five guys that would go into a panic attack if one of their “bros” isn’t able to go out with them? You do not want to be a member of this kind of group.
It’s easy to tell if you are becoming one of these people. Test one: have you eaten with the same group of people for the last ten meals at Chartwells? Test two: are more than seven out of your last ten outgoing calls to the same people? Test three: are you sitting next to the same two guys you’ve been with all day as you read this article, and are you thinking to yourself ‘oh crap…’? If any of these sound familiar, then you might be part of a clique!
Keep in mind, the moral of this article isn’t to desert all of your friends. I’m not telling you to cut and run. I am telling you to keep an mind open. Don’t be afraid to socialize with new people all year long, even if they aren’t cut from the same cloth as you. After all, they automatically are related to you in at least one way… we’re all ‘Canes!
YOUniversity of Miami is a column taking a closer look at the many people that make UM their home.
Evan Peskin is a sophomore majoring in Pre-Med Psychology. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.