Fostering friendships is a vital college element

As a lifelong movie buff, I tend to learn a lot of valuable life lessons from watching films. One quote from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” in particular has stuck with me – “No man is a failure who has friends.” It’s the underlying moral of the film and one I find useful to live by.

As we go through our academic careers, we often let the various pressures of college get to us. Midterms, projects and internships all build up and start driving us insane, making us question our own self-worth and ability to get things done.

We think we’re carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and no matter what we do or how hard we try, we’re just not good enough. It’s enough to make anyone gouge their eyes out, myself included.

Since the semester started there have been so many times where I’ve thought that I wasn’t putting in enough effort. I felt like I was going to fail everything I did, and there was nothing I could do to improve myself. It’s a terrible feeling that I absolutely hate having.

Thank God then that spring break happened.

Over spring break I went down to Panama City Beach in Florida with my fraternity, and took a well-deserved vacation from the stresses of college life. Sitting on the beach surrounded by close friends, I realized that it was a privilege to be there with them.

I was with the people I have come to call my family while at college, people who look out for each other and always have each other’s back. Being with them reminded me that even if I’m at the lowest point in my life, I’ll still have them by my side. That right there is a feeling everyone should feel: no matter how bad things get, you’ll always have friends to be there for you.

I feel the most important thing you can do at college is find a place where you belong. Grades are important of course, but the real fun of college is finding people with similar interests to your own and developing a social circle.

You’re never truly alone if you have friends to remind you of all that you’ve accomplished. Sometimes we forget how extraordinarily lucky we are to be in college, or to live in a country where so much is available to us whereas others have none.

When you take a break from studying to spend time with friends, it’s rewarding to know that you’re part of something bigger than yourself and you’re with people who really care about you. No matter how bad things get, as long as you have friends, things will turn out all right.

Amid all the tests and upcoming projects I had to worry about, I almost forgot this. I’m glad Spring Break reaffirmed this to me, and I hope everyone has someone there for them when times are tough, because there’s truly nothing better in this world than knowing you have friends.

Bahnt is a sophomore journalism major from Spring Grove, IL. He is Scout assistant voice editor. Direct questions and comments to bfreiberger@mail.bradley.edu