As students move through college, friendships will develop naturally. They occur through the contacts students have with classmates, dorm mates, teammates, work mates and other associations that come about by chance and circumstance.
Aristotle opined that there are two kinds of friendship: mutual need and mutual appreciation. “Mutual Need” friendships include those of ‘utility’ and those of ‘pleasure.’ They tend to satisfy short-lived needs. “Mutual Appreciation” friendships are based on the ‘personal qualities’ of the people themselves and often last much longer.
Friendship: Reciprocal Goodwill — Aristotle
Because short-term friendships are frequently built on utility or pleasure, they usually exist because each person immediately benefits in some way from the relationship. Class projects, school athletic teams, extra-curricular activities, part-time and summer work assignments and community activities all fall within the category of friendships that are short-lived. They satisfy an immediate need and provide pleasure and satisfaction.
However, when friendships are based on a mutual appreciation of each other’s personal qualities, goodwill and positive behaviors they can come together to form, develop and strengthen a longer-lasting relationship. It is important to understand that long-term friendships are based on an additional set of factors that may include:
– You enjoy being with the person
– The person is important to you
– You have good feelings about the person
– You know the person can be counted on to perform or help you
– You know that the person can be trusted
– You seek and value their opinions
– You can confide in them
– You feel a responsibility to protect and defend the person
– You like what the person stands for and how they behave
– You have good thoughts of your relationship with the person
– You want to stay in touch when the two of you are apart
– You are willing to make sacrifices for the person
In addition to the components of long-term friendships, love is even deeper.
– You are highly attracted to one person who is special
– You find that you are willing to give whatever is needed
– Positive, caring feelings, words and actions are mutual and unfailing
– You find yourself thinking about the person often
– The person treats you in a way you want to be treated
– You always want to please the other person
– You desire sexual pleasure and gratification with this one person
– You look forward to being with the person
– You do not want this relationship to end or fail
– The two of you are becoming one in your thinking and behavior
During college, every student will have a variety of friendships and relationships of various lengths and depths. Importantly, it is the longer-term relationships that will mean to most. These more serious and special friendships can last for years. For the fortunate students who experience love during college, the relationship may last a lifetime.
Friendships matter! Every student should work to broaden their pool of reliable and caring friends. The more good friends someone has helping them to become successful and happy, the more likely it will happen.