Everyone knows the importance of making the right friends. They can make you or break you; the most influential person in the life of a young person is another young person; never underestimate the power of friends. We've heard all the catchphrases and one-liners there are to know about having the right kind of influences around you. But when it's your first week of college and you're scrambling around for a friend, how do you know who to hang out with and who to leave alone?
#1. Don't be in a hurry. It's easy to spot a popular looking girl and start a conversation with her in the lunch line, hang out that night and become fast friends, only to find out later she has a bad reputation for making it her point to break every rule in the handbook. The solution: Instead of desperately clinging to the first girl or group that appeals to you, stay back and watch for the first few weeks. Don't be antisocial, but don't "commit" to one single group either. The reason you should stand back and watch is because the rebels will always find other rebels, and the ones who actually want to serve God will do the same. Wait until basically all the awkward social categorizing is over, and a godly girl or group of girls will always accept you.
#2. If you want a friend, be a friend. True friendship is more than just, "I need a friend. Will you be my friend? I want a buddy. Will you hang out with me? I want... I need... I... I... Me... Me..." Don't be selfish when looking for someone to befriend. More than you might need someone, someone out there might need you. Look for ways to encourage people, and you will discover that the grateful ones will absorb every bit of it and will encourage you in return.
#3. You don't have to "get rid of" bad friends. If you've made the mistake everyone else has at some point and hastily made a friend that you'd really rather not be hanging all over you, there is hope! You know it's just not Christian to blurt out, "You're rebellious and annoying, please go away." The great thing is, you don't have to! Next time she brings up a "stupid rule" in the handbook, ask her if she's ever thought about why they made that rule and proceed to tell her. When she complains about a project or paper, tell her something that the Lord taught you through studying it yourself. Basically, combat evil with good. Eventually, your bad friends will get rid of you!