By Megan Walsh, Staff Writer
One of the most interesting parts of being a freshman is probably the amount of time you spend with your friends. Suddenly we have all gone from spending about half our time hanging out with friends with the eventual return to home, to being with friends and people our age every second of the day. You wake up, they're there. You go to bed, they're there. Along with the fact that they're always there, comes the fact that someone is always talking about problems with their boyfriends, roommates, professors and the problems on top of problems.
Essentially, there is always a problem someone wants or needs to share with you. How do you do that without ripping their head off for talking about how "Jeff doesn't understand me anymore" or the fact that "the professor hates me?" Well, some may say it's a simple process but it really isn't. You need to make sure you aren't blowing off a friend who is in a serious situation. If a friend is at a point where she categorizes herself as in an "emergency," don't tell her that she needs to work it out on her own. Those statements lack compassion and won't help the friendship. It will probably just leave you and everyone else involved ticked off.
Instead of blowing off your friends or giving them advice they probably don't agree with, wait and listen to them. I mean really listen. Sometimes that's all people need—someone to yell and scream at who will listen without judgement. If after you are done listening, you truly have something to say that will help your friend, beautiful. If not, keep your mouth shut. The last thing you want to do is alienate a friend.
What do you do if this is a chronic problem for your friends? They may call you at 2 a.m. needing to talk about their latest issue with Joe or Billy Bob. What do you do when you don't want to get out of your bed or stop writing the ten page paper due tomorrow? Ask if it is an emergency. If it's not, tell your friend that they should go back to bed and you will get back to them in six hours when you wake up. That way you will be better prepared to listen. Be a friend, but at the same time don't let their problems cause you to become bitter.