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How to Have Healthy Relationships During College

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Having healthy relationships can make you happier and help you enjoy your time in school more. Having a great relationship can also reduce your stress levels, whether it is with professors, friends, roommates, or family members.

Get Help When You Need It

If you are struggling, talk to a friend or someone who can help you. That might include a teacher, an RA, a pastor, or your parents. Your school might have resources to help students who are struggling. You could also consider using telehealth for bigger problems. You can review a guide on self-care tips for college students during the pandemic with information on how to learn to adapt. You should never be ashamed of asking for help when you feel that you need it.

 

Keep Open Communication

One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is good communication. It takes time, but try to be there for each other and genuinely listen. While the other person is talking, you should be taking in what is said, not thinking of what you will say next. It is also important to listen with both your brain and your heart since your friend might have an emotional message as well. If you feel you have missed something, don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. Show you are interested by asking their opinion as well. At the same time, you can share information, especially when you are first beginning a relationship. While you should be generous in sharing yourself, you also shouldn’t overwhelm them with too much at the beginning.

 

Understand That Relationships Take Time

It is important to keep your life in balance – others can make your life more satisfying, but your relationships should not be your only focus. You have to be the one to fill your life with other things you love. It is important to not go in the opposite direction and overload, but choose things that you love. Whether that’s clubs, projects, additional lectures, or volunteering, you will be able to naturally form relationships with others whom you have a shared interest with. It can be a process to form meaningful attachments with other people. It might seem like everyone on your campus is connected and has lots of friends, leaving you wondering how to fit in and gain friendships. Understand that it takes a while to get to know someone, so talk with others and don’t be afraid to take the first step, like inviting a classmate to meet up for lunch later.

Be the Friend You Want

You have likely heard that if you want a friend, you have to be one yourself. Consider the qualities you are looking for in others, and try to model them yourself. For example, be dependable by following through on plans you make with others. If you have a responsibility with someone else, make sure you complete it. It is also important to be flexible. It is easy to get into a comfortable friendship and try to keep things right the way you like them. It is not uncommon to feel angry or sad when people change and you are not ready for that. However, if your relationship is healthy, either of you is allowed to change and grow.

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