How to make friends at Tufts: start with a smile
By Julia Lifschultz, Daily Editorial Board

The Tufts Daily, MA
Sept 1 2004

Out of all of the adjustments that come with starting college, one
of the most overwhelming is the need to meet people and forge new
relationships with them. Whether mourning the loss of a tight group of
high school friends, a significant other far away, or the comfort of
family life, every person goes through this process in their own way.

Some decide to skip the entire process and resign themselves to a
college life of studying a lot and racking up frequent flier miles
home. Others approach college with a laissez-faire attitude: everything
will work out, and they'll meet people they mesh with.

In another approach, some people decide that they will duplicate the
security of home and forge the fastest group of best friends ever.
Unfortunately, by day eight they frequently find out that these
friends aren't quite what they expected.

Every year, the incoming class of Tufts freshmen goes through
a similar experience, and every year they land on their feet. And
though partaking in pre-Orientation and Orientation events, joining
campus clubs, and mingling with other students in class are the
conventional means of forming freshman friendships, the quest for
meaningful college friendships is not limited to those areas.

Nor is it a solo voyage: many students even got a little help from
some pushy parents. Senior Alicia Faneuil has her mom to thank for
a friendship that has remained to this day.

"The first day moving in freshman year, my mom clicked with Liz
[Glassman]'s mom," Faneuil said. "She saw her from afar and was like,
'She looks nice and cute!' They introduced themselves and realized
that their daughters were in the same suite in Haskell."

"My mom bugged me every day after that to introduce myself to Liz:
'Have you met that girl Liz yet? I know you girls would like each
other. I just know it. Why don't you just go into her room and say
hello? You're right next door!'"

Even though her mom was trying to be helpful, Faneuil was having none
of it. "I kept trying to tell my mom that I would make friends myself
and that I didn't need her help" she said.

However, when Faneuil finally took her mom's advice, she hit it
off with Glassman, also a senior. They have been best friends and
roommates ever since. "It's so annoying when parents say they know
best," Faneuil said, "but it's even more annoying when they do."

Other students find they have to battle preconceived notions more
often than jitters about meeting people. Senior Caitlin McGarty did
not know what to expect when she first learned that her roommate would
be coming from Turkey. "I had no idea what to expect," she said. "I
think I learned more from living with her than I did from any of my
classes that year."

Having a diverse group of students in her hall made the Massachusetts
native much more aware of the world around her. "It was very
interesting to listen to [my roommate], the Israeli kid, and the
Armenian kid who lived in my dorm all discuss history and politics,"
she said. "I realized how America-centric our schooling is, and how
people view things differently in other countries."

Senior Ethan Wishnick learned that college co-eds can be more
than just objects of desire. "I had seen this hot girl around and
lived in her dorm, so one night we went up to her room to say hi,"
Wishnick said. "In the end, her roommate and I ended up hitting it
off, and three years later, we're still close. I even still talk to
the hot girl."

Senior Hilary Wentz also had some luck with members of the opposite
sex- with the help of her mom. "My mom forced the kid living next
door to me to build a shelf for me," Wentz said. "[She] proceeded
to talk to him about his entire life while I rolled my eyes. We went
out together that night and later became really good friends."

Graduate Frank Bruzese (LA '04) was able to use his charms to win
over many of his current friends - and win an extra bed. "I was pretty
good about just introducing myself to people," he said. "Then I just
invited myself to sleep in two of my friends' rooms and that pretty
much cemented it."

Students don't shun more conventional ways of getting to know each
other, though. "One thing that really made my freshman year a great
experience socially was being part of an athletic team," senior
Lauren Ungerleider said. "It was great to see people on a regular
basis at practice, and this obviously led to getting to know them
well. It made sense that when the weekend came and everyone had the
same restrictions in terms of weekend competitions that you did,
the people on your team were the most fun to hang out with."

"The best way to meet people was through participating in as many
activities as you can," senior Erin Connolly said. "Through going
out at night, to playing a sport, to joining the Greek system, to
trying out different clubs, the opportunities are endless to meet
many different unique people. It is nice to have a large group of
friends and really gives you the opportunity to be friends with many
different cliques in the end."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress