By: Carrie Garcia
Sometimes college can be a scary transition in your life, especially if you go away to school. It may be the first time you are on your own, the first time away from home, and maybe even the first time out of your city! It can be a lot of change at once, which may be overwhelming, but one thing you can always count on is your relationships! Who is your support system? Who are your cheerleaders? Who is it that you can turn to in time of need?
Some of you may be close to your family, or maybe certain friends come to mind when you are thinking of these questions. Having a support system is crucial in your journey through college. It can make all the difference, especially when you have days that just aren’t going your way or you feel discouraged like you don’t fit in on campus. Having support from people we know and love can significantly impact our success.
There are a few things to consider when considering our support system and its relationships. First, identify the important people in your life. Is it your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, cousin, best friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend? Think about it. While pondering it, please start thinking about where they would lie in a relationship circle. Who would be surrounding you? You can have different levels of support depending on your interactions with people. The more consistent and daily interactions may be in the first level, then you may have people you interact with but do not communicate with daily, then maybe acquaintances you see from day to day, and so forth. Your relationship circle is yours. Your circle may look different from your best friend’s circle. It is how you see the importance of the relationships around you.
Another thing you can do with this exercise is to identify which relationships you want to work on and strengthen. Life happens; we can all get busy sometimes and may not show the proper attention to some of the relationships that are valuable to us. Knowing where you could do better is important; it is all a part of growth.
This exercise will help you be aware of your available social support and also help you become intentional about your relationships to decide where you want to invest more of your energy. College is a time where you find yourself and learn about who you are. The relationships you surround yourself with are all a part of that.
Listen to The College Corner Podcast Summer Melt Series: Relationship Circles