During his inauguration, President Julio Frenk emphasized the importance of building bridges and strengthening connections. While he was referring to forming Pan-American connections, on a smaller scale, the friendships we build within our community are also important.
But how can we go about building strong bridges?
For many of us, college is the first time we must navigate uncharted social waters without the safe guidelines of familiar hometown communities. Forging valuable relationships with others can greatly enrich our lives, and sometimes, people are lucky enough to quickly fall into friend groups that naturally work well.
However, others often find themselves floating outside a set of close friends.
Despite the pressure to find a friend group quickly in college, it takes time to work out a comfortable dynamic with others. The right friends may not be your first floormates or the first people you meet at Orientation. It doesn’t hurt to reach out of your regular circles by joining student organizations and attending different events.
By testing new waters, you might find the people who can challenge you, teach you new things and have a great time with you. The friendships that generate meaningful discussions and new experiences are the most valuable, so search for dynamic relationships over static, superficial inclusions.
People also change; friendships may have to evolve as well. The same group of friends that you were close with in freshman year may grow apart by senior year, and that’s okay.
How we build bridges varies widely. Commuter students, on-campus residents, introverts and extroverts all have different priorities and opportunities to establish friendships. Some students may relish their independence while others may need to depend on a support system.
Regardless, “no man is an island entire of itself,” in the words of poet John Donne. Even if you aren’t included in any connections, there are always meaningful ones to be made. Serendipity might pave the foundation for those bridges, but strengthening the infrastructure requires patience and sincerity.
So follow your instincts. Take leaps of faith. Be genuine and engaged, and build some bridges that are worth crossing.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.