• Keeping Friends

College Friendships: A Case of Easy Come, Easy Go?

Published: August 11, 2007 | Last Updated: August 30, 2022 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
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Some might say that college friendships are as easy to go as they are to come.

Everyone agrees that college campuses are fertile settings for the development of close relationships. Students live together, study together, and party together. With geographical proximity—and shared interests and experiences—it’s not surprising that many of the friendships that begin in college dorms and classrooms last a lifetime.

But a study of these friendships suggests that without nurturance, these relationships are at risk of falling apart.

Glenn Sparks, a professor of communications at Purdue University, and his research team studied the friendships of a group of college graduates over the 19-year period from 1983 to 2002. The group included 32 same-sex pairs and
13 male-female pairs of best friends.

On average, the graduates moved six times after college, and
the typical distance between friends was 895 miles. In addition to the
challenges posed by geography, friendships also were affected by blossoming romantic
relationships, growing families and increasing career demands.

Sparks
offers a cautionary note based on his study: “Even if you have not spoken
to a friend for three years, get back in touch,” he says. “You may
find a friendship that will last your whole life, and that is a great thing.”

“Making friends is like managing a bank account. You
must make investments, and it is never too early to start,” he adds.

This research was published in the summer edition of the
journal Personal Relationships.

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (2)

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  1. Irene says:

    I agree with you. Read my latest blog entry~

    Best,

    Irene 

  2. Anonymous says:

    I seem to remember that sociologists find proximity is a large factor in friendship. But I find that these days, the internet provides a form of cyber-proximity that helps maintain far-flung friendships, even if they don’t have the same easy familiarity that face-to-face allows. Still, it’s better than nuthin,’

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