Apart from traveling and dining in our favorite restaurants, one of the things we dearly miss is bonding with our friends. A typical college student’s life would consist of strolling around campus, hanging out at your favorite tambayan, and eating different kinds of street food at Totobits. We would’ve had a great time if it had not been for the pandemic, making new fun memories with our best buddies. Building and maintaining connections amidst the distance at this point is a big hurdle we have to learn to jump over.
On a positive note, this situation can also be the time for us to have “new friendships” while maintaining the already “established ones”. So how does one twist the current situation to make friendships—both old and new—work?
Communication is Key.
Limited interaction does not imply limited communication. There are still other ways to stay connected to others. This is the right time when we should utilize our social media accounts to bond with our friends. We can still do video group calls or chats, or even watch a movie or play games with them, or whatever entertaining things you can come up with to keep the bond intact. These are also ways for us to establish new relationships with other people. Take advantage of the online setup—be bolder and initiate conversation with the person you always wanted to be friends with! (Who knows whether this will become a way for you to get out of your “single-since-birth” label)
Establish a virtual presence.
We have to accept that the virtual world is now our new world. You can establish a virtual presence to the special people in your life by congratulating them on their achievements or reacting to any of their posts. In such a way, we let them know that we are still part of their life—that we are still here for them and that there are ways to contact us, whatever the situation may be. The same goes for when we want to gain a good impression of the people we want to befriend since through this, we can make them feel that we want them to be a part of our life and not just for the sake of being coworkers or classmates.
Be more open, approachable, and understanding.
If you are the type who gets nervous about starting a conversation, this online setup should help! You can start by looking for interests which both you and the person you are speaking to like and it is guaranteed that the conversation you have will never end. As we enter the “adulting” world, developing our social life at this point is relevant for our future careers. You would never know whether that random person you saw while scrolling on Facebook might be your future colleague in the workplace. Whether it is for new or old friends, remember to always demonstrate a good impression. Make your presence in their lives meaningful.
Develop the habit of asking the question, “How are you?” or “How have you been?”
Our country’s status quo brought so much distress and drought to our lives, especially to our physical and mental health. In these situations, we rely on our loved ones like family and friends to overcome them. For our new friends, let us develop the habit of asking “How are you?” — a simple question yet it contains lots of love, care, and concern for someone. On the other hand, for our old friends, we must make it a habit of asking the question, “How have you been?” — a question that will show that we still appreciate them despite not seeing them physically.
Trust is a fundamental factor in any relationship. We can accomplish this by simply following through on our promises, which would then leave a lasting impression of sincerity. When meeting new people, remember to take things slowly and at a pace that is comfortable for the both of you. There is no definite rule in befriending someone. Relationships grow stronger over time, as long as you both stay true and provide each other an escape whenever necessary.
We must open ourselves to new friendships and find means to still make old friendships function. Remember that aside from our families, we can rely on our friends during our ups and downs, highs and lows, achievements and sorrows. Have in mind that finding new friends and maintaining old relationships can be hard work, but almost everyone is in the same position as you.
We all struggle to put ourselves out there and meet new people while keeping our old friendships still intact, but as long as we put these tips into our hearts and minds, and into practice, the impossible would be possible.
LAYOUT BY: Cristine Joie Q. Bacud
PHOTO SOURCE(S): Canva