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College friends do not always equal friends for life

Photo by Eva Carillo
Photo by Eva Carillo

Friends made in college are friends made for life.

On Aug. 28, troughs of incoming freshmen and transfer students went to Queens College for the first day of school. But many unseasoned and seasoned college students may have a difficult time in one pivotal aspect of college life: making friends.

QC is a large campus with a large student population. The school covers 77 acres and the current enrollment is over 20,000 matriculated students, according to the QC website. New students often feel intimidated by the mass of people and the vastness of the college setting.

With such a large student population, QC seems to be a nursing ground for friendships. According to recent findings by Lifeboat — a group that studies friendships — less than 30 percent of Millennials claim they are satisfied with their friendships, yet more than 70 percent say they have someone to speak to if they need to talk. Millennials fall into an age range of 18 to 34 year-olds, which includes college students.

The survey was conducted in January 2013 using an online opt-in research panel maintained by Survey Sampling Inc. 1,016 Americans ages 16 and up took part in the study; they have at least 100 complete surveys for 10 age brackets.

With these statistics and the largeness of the QC campus, do students consider the college to be friendly?

Pavandip Bains, a 21-year-old transfer student from Hunter College, has just begun her first semester at QC. She believes that QC has a very friendly environment and that the people are very open to conversation.

“There’s a very nice flow here”, Bains said. “And everyone’s busy doing their own thing, which shows that they’re focused and I like that.”

For Bains, Welcome Day, which took place on Aug. 27, was geared more toward the freshmen than the transfer students and was time-consuming. She states that the meet and greet exercises were “a lot like speed dating” and that she didn’t get to know a lot of people.

Faresha Bishnauth, a 20-year-old transfer student, is also starting her first semester at QC. She expected a big, beautiful campus with a mature atmosphere and so far, she feels she has been right. She considers the students to be polite, but not very sociable. To change that, Bishnauth believes that QC should continue to have large events throughout the semester — especially at the beginning — so students can meet each other in a relaxed and fun environment.

However, that does not mean that students are unable to do anything on their behalf. “New students should look up clubs that they are interested in and think about joining one,” Bishnauth said. “We also should try to go to these events since the more people come to them, the more likely they are to be fun.”

What would be her response to a prospective QC student when asked about the school? “The campus is great and there’s a lot of potential here,” she said.

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