As you enter college, your social circle explodes. You are suddenly thrust in front of thousands of people from various places. You’re living with complete strangers. All of these new relationships can be difficult to manage unless you keep in mind which relationships are most important.

To help you properly prioritize your college relationships, here is College Life’s list of five relationships you must absolutely nurture and protect with your life:

1. Roommate

Face it: even though you probably didn’t choose them, you have to live with them. This means your happiness and well-being are inextricably linked to theirs. A fight with your roommate–or even just lingering resentment–can ruin your ability to focus on your studies, and that can leave a dent in your grades. Fortunately, roommates’ expectation of each other are low, and a little bit can go a long way.

We recommend taking the time during your first week to hang out with your new roommate. Feel out their temperament, what they like to do, what gets on their nerves. Then be considerate of these things. If you know socks on the floor drive them crazy, go out of your way to keep your laundry pile in check. If you have some leftover pizza, offer him or her some. These small tokens of friendship can keep your roommate relationship rosy.

2. Professor

These titans of the ivory tower have your academic future in their hands, and they know it. Like Greek gods of old, some wield this power with benevolence. Others wield it with a vengeance. Either way, you want to be on good terms with your professor.

Thankfully, you don’t need to take them out for lunch or buy them jewelry. What professors crave most of all is intellectual respect. They would love nothing more than for you to pay rapt attention during their lectures and then ask them deep, well thought out questions that show you’ve been listening. They just want to be your sensei. Make their sensei dreams come true by paying deference to them, and your academic future will be that much more secure.

3. Teaching Assistant

As Peter was to Jesus, so are teaching assistants to professors. They’re more approachable, more relatable. And they usually do more grading than the actual professor. So, although they’re not likely to expect any veneration from you, you do want them in your corner when it comes time for term papers.

How do you keep a good relationship with a TA? Stop by to chat when you know they’ll be working. Chat with them before or after lecture. But do NOT date them. I repeat, DO NOT DATE YOUR TA. It may seem like a good idea… until you break up with them.

4. That Girl/Guy Who Works at the Takeout Place

When times get tough and you have to choose between paying your rent or buying groceries, it helps to have a guardian angel. Guardian angels, in my experience, often work at takeout places. This is one of those reasons you should be a good friend to pretty much everyone, because you never know who will end up working at the local pizza place or Chinese delivery. Takeout places get bad orders all the time, and these generous souls get to decide what will happen to that pizza order that got cancelled at the last minute.

5. Rich Kid

Hey, Richard Wellington Fairbanks the Third needs friends, too. You don’t want to befriend him only because of his money, but having Mr. Fairbanks’ credit card on hand could definitely be a nice perk. So be a good friend–you might just get a chance to see how the one percent lives.

What college relationships have you found to be most beneficial? Which ones should you avoid? Join the conversation in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *