"I Haven't Made Any Friends Yet!" - page 3

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

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Countless first-semester and first-quarter nursing students worriedly exclaim, ďI havenít made any friends in nursing school!Ē Over the years Iíve made a few curious observations about the nursing students who express the most... Read More


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    I'm not in my nursing program yet; I'm about to apply after completing 4 semesters of prerequisites. I'm definitely categorized as a non-traditional student -- I'm in my mid-40's and re-entering school 25 years after graduating high school. I actually embarked on this endeavor fully expecting to not make any friends. But my focus was not on friends; I merely wanted to get in, get my degree, and get a job.

    Before I started, I envisioned a situation where I would be in classrooms filled with young 20-somethings who would shun me for being too old. In many of my core classes, I was in fact the oldest person in the room. Older, in some cases, than even the instructor. But I was far from shunned. Upon entering my science pre-reqs, I found a world with more older students -- a couple even older than I am! Initially, I gravitated toward people in situations similar to mine. They were older with families and looking to make themselves more attractive when re-entering a hostile job market. However, as we got deeper into each course, I found myself studying with a few much younger people as well. I was again teased for my "life experience," but that same life experience is what brought us together. Maybe having a child of my own near their age helped.

    I guess the point of my rambling post is that making friends is often like that watched pot that won't boil until you look away. If you try too hard, friends are harder to come by. Make an effort without being too eager. Be yourself. At the same time, be strong and depend on yourself. Intense study in my A&P Open Lab actually brought me a few friends, because we knew we had something in common: we all wanted good grades, and by being in Open Lab we each knew the other was willing to work hard for those grades. We ended up gravitating toward each other and studying together. As a result, I have built foundations for mutually beneficial friendships that I believe will stand up to the stressors of an intense program. Mutually beneficial friendships take time, and those are the ones you want.

    Very often, I think the difference lays in the mindset of the student going in. Generally speaking, to younger students, college isn't just about education. Like high school, it's a forum for learning and for socializing. Their friendships are just as important as the education. In contrast, older students re-entering school are there for the education. Friends are an extra, secondary to studies, and nowhere near as important. Mind you, this isn't always the case; I'm speaking very generally. Everybody wants friends. Everybody enjoys cameraderie. It's just more important to some people than it is to others.
    Last edit by Blue Felt Fedora on Dec 19, '12 : Reason: Adding a thought
    chorkle likes this.
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    Quote from vintagemother
    Very interesting point, Commuter. I know that i am an extrovert, but didn't realize that this may affect my need to be social. Furthermore, I work well alone. As in all by myself independently self led. I don't function well in a large group in which I am still expected to function independently. Perhaps I'm weird for this.
    No, you aren't weird. I'm this way as well. Total extrovert, but I like to study alone.

    Interesting article, Commuter. I'm an older student (okay, old), and I love making friends with all the students, regardless of age or child status, but I leave it at school for the most part. I don't have time or the energy to "hang out" with these people, and I love to study by myself because I know what works for me. But, at school, I'm the class clown and just love to have a good time with all my fellow students in between lectures and during lunch at clinicals. We text or email with questions or advice, but I have only gotten together off campus once and that was to have lunch with about 20 students after the final.
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    There are those who, when asked to describe their school or workplace will immediately answer with a comment on the social scene as they perceive it. And there are those whose off-the-cuff answer would more likely relate to intellectual challenge or some other aspect. And in general, there probably is some correlation with age among those two groups. Older individuals are more likely to have already developed a more complete set of life commitments and interests: spouse/significant other, children, circle of friends/associates, employment, community involvement, etc.
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    Great advice!
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    I went to college from 17-21. I knew then it was going to be one of the last chances at socialization available on a big scale. Also most of the students my age also did not have children or big obligations outside of work. Also, most of my old high school friends had many friends they made in college. i went to a bsn program and the last 2 years were all nursi g classes and clinicals. so i only spent time with those classmates. There wasnt much interaction with students from other majors.
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    Quote from TheCommuter
    I'm not necessarily implying that having a solid sense of self or being 'older' reduces a person's need to have friends. I'm also not implying that all young adults (18 to 25 age range) have unformed identities, because many have a strong sense of self.

    However, countless young adults do have identities that never quite took shape. I'm saying that the adult whose identity has not yet developed will still place the highest emphasis on one's peer group and circle of friends, just like many teens do.

    Most teens are very into their peer groups in their search for their identities. The handful of young adults who have identities that have not fully formed are also deeply into their peer groups as they search for their identities.

    I did not delve into the topic of personality types, but I feel that extroverted people of all ages have a greater need for friends than introverts from all age groups.
    I agree....and this is a generation of socil media of how many "friends" and "likes" you have and value self worth by how many "follow" them on twitter.....they place way too much value of being "liked" by complete strangers.

    They need to find it from within themselves.
    gummi bear, TheCommuter, and x_factor like this.
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    Most of my 175 classmates are older. I have a small select group of friends, and this is because we all started online together in the LPN/Paramedic/RN bridge program. We only have class one day a week and we are split into two groups of 75 student its kinda hard to meet everyone.
  8. 0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I'm not necessarily implying that having a solid sense of self or being 'older' reduces a person's need to have friends. I'm also not implying that all young adults (18 to 25 age range) have unformed identities, because many have a strong sense of self.

    However, countless young adults do have identities that never quite took shape. I'm saying that the adult whose identity has not yet developed will still place the highest emphasis on one's peer group and circle of friends, just like many teens do.

    Most teens are very into their peer groups in their search for their identities. The handful of young adults who have identities that have not fully formed are also deeply into their peer groups as they search for their identities.

    I did not delve into the topic of personality types, but I feel that extroverted people of all ages have a greater need for friends than introverts from all age groups.


    oh, then i did misunderstand your remarks when i wrote:
    //"I'm not sure i even completely follow the notion, if i am understanding this article correctly, that having a sense of self reduces one's need to have friends, or their tolerance for lonliness. I'm not sure i'd agree."//


    I think one can be insecure, at any age, actually, though. Maybe being insecure, is related to not understanding your "self identity", i don't know if that is what causes insecurity. It might be that person understands their self-identity as "less than" others, and that might cause that person to need more emotional support than another person, not sure, but, possibly.

    I don't know if THAT is same thing as someone just wanting a friend in a new town, in a new school, though, and your article seems to imply, that it is same thing.

    Or even for periods of time, a person might feel insecure, and need a lot of positive feedback, as result of this event or that life change, humans can go through various stages for a while here or there.
    Not sure that is exact same thing as the normal urge of most humans to have friends, though.

    Some ppl are insecure, lack confidence socially, even as adults,
    some younger ppl do have much confidence,
    and some ppl, for whatever reasons, might not want friends period. Loners can occur during teen years, too.
    Not sure someone who has little desire for friends is actually more confident or more secure than those who do enjoy having friends,
    but, maybe. maybe.

    My first reply, on page one, was more to the tone of your post, which seemed to imply,
    there is some lack, something wrong with ppl who want friends.
    I think it is normal for most humans to want friends, not all,
    but most. Whether they are outgoing, or introverts (even most introverts have pals, and not all loners are introverts, either. To me, there is a difference between a loner, and an introvert. There can be some crossover, but, some loners are NOT introverts, just loners,
    and most introverts do have pals).

    i myself don't see wanting pals, especially pals who are also in nursing school, as a deficit of some kind, nor a "lack of self-identity".

    I think it's normal for most humans to want friends. I really do!!!
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    Quote from Esme12
    I agree....and this is a generation of socil media of how many "friends" and "likes" you have and value self worth by how many "follow" them on twitter.....they place way too much value of being "liked" by complete strangers.

    They need to find it from within themselves.


    that might be true.

    What *I* think of,
    when i think of the joys of having a true friend,
    is not the same thing as "being liked by strangers" though.

    I do think it is normal for most humans to want a friend.

    not all humans,
    but,
    most humans do want a friend. Especially in a new town, in a new school, it can make it easier to discuss over the day's events with someone who knows you well, who you respect, etc.

    I don't think that indicates there is something wrong with the person, either.
    anotherone likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    oh, then i did misunderstand your remarks when i wrote:
    //"I'm not sure i even completely follow the notion, if i am understanding this article correctly, that having a sense of self reduces one's need to have friends, or their tolerance for lonliness. I'm not sure i'd agree."//


    I think one can be insecure, at any age, actually, though. Maybe being insecure, is related to not understanding your "self identity", i don't know if that is what causes insecurity. It might be that person understands their self-identity as "less than" others, and that might cause that person to need more emotional support than another person, not sure, but, possibly.

    I don't know if THAT is same thing as someone just wanting a friend in a new town, in a new school, though, and your article seems to imply, that it is same thing.

    Or even for periods of time, a person might feel insecure, and need a lot of positive feedback, as result of this event or that life change, humans can go through various stages for a while here or there.
    Not sure that is exact same thing as the normal urge of most humans to have friends, though.

    Some ppl are insecure, lack confidence socially, even as adults,
    some younger ppl do have much confidence,
    and some ppl, for whatever reasons, might not want friends period. Loners can occur during teen years, too.
    Not sure someone who has little desire for friends is actually more confident or more secure than those who do enjoy having friends,
    but, maybe. maybe.

    My first reply, on page one, was more to the tone of your post, which seemed to imply,
    there is some lack, something wrong with ppl who want friends.
    I think it is normal for most humans to want friends, not all,
    but most. Whether they are outgoing, or introverts (even most introverts have pals, and not all loners are introverts, either. To me, there is a difference between a loner, and an introvert. There can be some crossover, but, some loners are NOT introverts, just loners,
    and most introverts do have pals).

    i myself don't see wanting pals, especially pals who are also in nursing school, as a deficit of some kind, nor a "lack of self-identity".

    I think it's normal for most humans to want friends. I really do!!!
    Erikson might say that someone who is intensely focused on finding a peer group, "fitting in," or defining themselves by or through new friendships well into their 20's or 30's had some difficulty in resolving the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage of their adolescence.

    I would imagine they are mostly those whose sense of identity was marred by their adolescent friendships/social status - either by not having an opportunity to define themselves socially because of a lack of friendships in high school or by having their self-identity disturbed by popularity. Often times teens who achieve a high level of social status come through the other side with either guilt (feeling undeserving of the notoriety they achieved) or an unrealistic and inflated self-perception (from being accepted even when their actions or behaviors are socially unacceptable) or some combination of both.

    I tend to run very quickly in the other direction away from folks my age who seem overly preoccupied with making friends. I'd rather not be the object of their unrequited identity formation. If that makes me a jerk, I'm okay with that.
    TheCommuter likes this.


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