First, Her Campus cofounder and all-around college guru Stephanie Kaplan Lewis shared her advice on sororities. This time we’re talking all about college relationships, from friends to . . . more than friends.
CollegeXpress: What are your recommendations for college students anxious about making new friends?
Stephanie Kaplan Lewis: Make an effort to meet new people at every opportunity. Try out a club or extracurricular activity that interests you. Attend a variety of on-campus events, join an intramural game, or talk to other students before class begins.
CX: How does dating in college compare to high school?
SKL: Once you’re on campus, you’re constantly meeting new people, which will inevitably lead to crushes, hook-ups, and/or relationships. For most students, college is the first time that they are away from their parents and their parents’ rules. With that independence comes the chance to make real-life relationship decisions—both great and not so great.
CX: What are some of the warning signs of a toxic relationship (romantic or otherwise)?
SKL: It’s important to know the early signs of abuse so you can spot them in your own relationships as well as your friends’. These can include blaming negative feelings on another person, becoming insensitive to others, believing that he or she deserves special treatment, creating big problems out of small issues, getting jealous or upset if you look at someone else, and not caring about whether you are comfortable in the relationship.
CX: How can students accustomed to college freedom make their visits back home—and back to their parents’ rules—easier?
SKL: Discuss rules and boundaries with your parents right off the bat. Acting like a mature and independent adult by having an open conversation will do a lot more than yelling at your parents for giving you an 11:00 p.m. curfew. Try negotiating and finding a middle ground that you can all agree to. Also, be sure to keep in contact when you are out by sending a text or calling to check in.
Be sure to check out next week's post: Stephanie will be sharing more of her spot-on tips for college students.