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Underclassmen Advice: Red Flags in College Friends

By Emma Khayat

When you first get to college, you will meet a ton oftons of new people, but how do you know who to avoid? Today, we'll cover red flags in college friends, so you know what to look out for.

Personally, or I suppose, luckily, I wasn't sure where to start with this, so I asked all my friends their thoughts. The most common answer I received was, "No friends back home." While some people just had a bad high school experience, having no friends from home could indicate something about that individual's personality. On one hand, some people are bullied or just don't find where they fit in, but on the other, they could be the problem. Either way, I'd keep a lookout so you can determine which it is.  

The next red flag is someone who only talks about themselves. To me, this is huge. When coming to college, you want to meet new people and make life-long friends. It's important to pay attention to the people you mingle with to truly get to know them and see what they're about! When I meet a fresh face, and all they do is talk about themselves, it's like I'm not even there. Those people won't make you feel good or be a good friend to you; they will only focus on how you benefit them. 

An extension of this is someone who always finds a way to make the conversation circle back to them or one-up your accomplishments. Some individuals always manage to connect whatever you share to something about them or something they did. Friends like this are only going to make you feel small. You should look for friends who will make you and what you do feel important. 

The final red flag is love bombing: friend addition. Maybe it's just me, but I've met people all my life who try to rush into being best friends. All the attention is flattering at first, but you should remember that the brightest flames burn twice as fast. Not knowing anyone is terrifying, so some people rush to make connections and find their people. However, jumping headfirst into friendships fast forward through experiences that build trust, closeness, and other elements of a sustainable friendship. If you meet someone cool who might be trying to rush things, I recommend setting some boundaries and taking things at a pace you're comfortable with. 

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