Trying to fit in as the new kid in school? Making friends can be nerve-wrecking, but you never know who comes along unless you put yourself out there and socialise. Here are some tips on how to foster long-lasting, meaningful relationships on campus.

THE SMARTIES

the smarties

How to spot them: For starters, they can always be seen with a book in hand – whether it’s between classes, at the library, or even during meal times.

Why they make good buddies: Hanging around smart people will boost your knowledge and motivate you to learn more yourself.

How to be their friend: Ask them questions about what they’re reading or currently into, and they’ll be more than happy to share. Friendship is a two-way street, so be sure to tell them about interesting news you’ve come across as well! Smart people are always open to knowing more people, especially if their new friends seem keen to engage in elevated, well-informed conversations.

THE FREE SPIRITS

the free spirits

How to spot them: They’re the ones on Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram living life to the fullest. You can usually find the whole gang at the hottest gigs, the newest eateries or the coolest hangouts.

Why they make good buddies: Fun and easygoing, you can always count on them to know the latest hip spots and where to go for good food, shopping and more.

How to be their friend: Seek recommendations and share your own, but be mindful not to come across as overly clingy. They want to know that you’re fun to hang out with, so socialise widely with everyone and never gossip so they know they can trust you.

THE QUIET

the quiet

How to spot them: Although they may seem shy and soft-spoken, this group has very good thoughts and ideas – they just may not be comfortable sharing them before they feel ready.

Why they make good buddies: A humble and unpretentious bunch, they make it a point to give others a chance to voice their opinions and value what you say.

How to be their friend: Be patient and not pushy. Give them lots of space, and make sure conversations aren’t one-way by offering them plenty of opportunities to speak up. If they seem uncomfortable, don’t prod them too much for answers. It will take them some time to warm up to you, but if they sense that you are genuine and trustworthy, they will eventually confide in you.

THE ACTIVE

the active

How to spot them: They are the ones who willingly sign up for fitness classes and make use of lunch hours to happily chat away about last night’s soccer match or rugby game.

Why they make good buddies: Besides making good exercise partners and motivating you to work out, they can teach you a lot about how to use your body correctly and efficiently too.

How to be their friend: Even if you’re not a super fitness fanatic, making friends with them is easy, especially if they are involved in a team sport. It’s hard to find people to play with, so if you’re keen to join, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the ranks. Show genuine interests in things they like, and ask them to coach you as well if you feel inclined.

THE EMPOWERED

the-empowered

How to spot them: These people have a passionate cause and aren’t afraid to speak out about it, whether it’s advocating for gender equality, animal rights or even a vegan lifestyle.

Why they make good buddies: They raise your awareness about issues of discussion and encourage you to make a stand about the things you care about.

How to be their friend: You don’t have to be passionate about the same things to be their friend, neither do you have to agree with all their views. Just be supportive and not antagonistic. In the case where they might be wrong, disagree without a hint of self-righteousness and offer to look things up together.

THE ARTISTS

the-artists

How to spot them: When they’re not occupied with classes, they can be found practising for an upcoming dance performance, theatre piece or music gig. Either that, or they’ll be busy getting crafty – doodling, painting or creating forms of art.

Why they make good buddies: They encourage you to develop an artistic streak, even if you think you’re not creative to begin with.

How to be their friend: Show interest in their works and ask about their inspirations. If their after- hours activities are causing them to struggle in class, offer to help them out with school work. Because everyone works hard at their craft, don’t diss their rivals even if your friends do. Instead, help them improve their own skills and encourage them to help others who may be interested in the same things too.

THE CARING

the-caring

How to spot them: With their amiable and kind-hearted personality, they’re often the ones people turn to for advice and offer you a listening ear when you’re down.

Why they make good buddies: They will always be there for you throughout the highs and lows in life. These are the people whom you should keep close to you.

How to be their friend: Be appreciative of their support and loving friendship through words and deeds. They’re human just like you, so they’ll definitely have their fair share of rough patches in life to go through. Don’t be a fair-weather friend who’s only around for the good times – learn from them and be there for them for a change.

This article was adapted from Teenage Passport To Your Future 2018.

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