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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Putting the YOU in university: Securing your friends

September 1, 2021

Hopefully, you’ve read parts one and two by now but if not, check out the introduction to the series and the first two parts to help you make the most of your university experience. 

Friendships often tend to be the most interesting aspect of university life to me because of the versatility one can use to go about doing this. Your friends will play a major role in supporting you but always remember the actions need to be mutual. Don’t just be a receiver. Equally, be a giver. 

Friends are developed based on circumstances, personal interests, plus a likeness in personality. So, I will help you categorize different kinds of friends you can have. As well, make sure the quality and quantity in all of these different areas are secured. 

The close friends

A close friend is someone you rely on and trust. If you have a best friend this would usually fall under this category. These people usually graduate from the other friend groups below so we won’t talk much about their discovery here. At this point, you should already know the kind of people you are friends with and if they will be a good influence on you. You should never feel the need to constantly impress someone because you are scared of not having friends, if not you will constantly be subjected to them and not be able to truly be comfortable around them. If you guys are meant to be friends, you will be. The formula to determine a good influence is straightforward - think about your values in life and if that person’s values STRONGLY deviate from those, you probably shouldn’t let that person into the inner circle of your life.

The good friends

These tend to be people you see often and have at least one common interest with. For example, I could have someone who lives in the same residence as I do and might also be taking the same classes as me. There is a high chance of us interacting often as a result so I can tag that person as a good friend. The evaluation process does not need to be as strict here and could be as simple as seeing if the person isn’t the kind that does bad stuff that jeopardizes you in general. You may not necessarily seek advice from this person and your topics of conversation are the kind that could be discussed with just about anyone so it’s pretty general. These are just your go-to people to have such conversations. Such people are usually found through mutual friends. In fact, you will find most of your friends in university through mutual friends. When you are hanging out with your friends and you come across one of their mutual friends, make it a habit to make a positive and lasting impression on that person. This could be as simple as getting their name or making a positive comment about their appearance or a general event they can relate to. That way when you see them, it will be easy to start a conversation.

The ‘good terms’ or ‘hello friends’ 

For me, these are usually people I see in my lectures but may not know their names. They are very similar to acquaintances but these are people I would feel comfortable saying “hello” to if I saw them walking down an aisle. The method to finding such people is similar to that for good friends, in fact, mutual good friends develop from people you get to good terms with. When you both engage in a mutual activity, you can make sure you appear approachable and nice so that they feel comfortable talking to you. That way they know one thing about you when they see you. I’ll give you some instances of mine because I don’t know how best to explain this. When I play pick-up soccer, sometimes I try to get the names of the people I’m playing with and make remarks like “good pass” or “well done” so that we get comfortable speaking to each other. I also make sure I give a parting greeting such as “good game buddy!”. That way if I happen to see them again, I can say hi to them and it won’t be awkward because the one thing they know about me is that I am a nice and approachable person. However, most times you have to be the one to initiate or start off this interaction.

The acquaintances 

This group is the most basic level of interaction you might have with someone. These are usually people who are in your tutorial group, lab section, or even the workers in the cafeteria. They are what I call fruit - they can all potentially be ‘hello friends’ but you will have to initiate this interaction. At this stage, your means of approaching them can vary greatly so what I will say is that you should let it flow naturally. For example, I met someone because I helped him with a question he seemed to have a problem with during a lecture. In another case, I became friends with someone in the cafeteria because I asked him for his opinion on what was being served that night and he gave me a very honest answer.