The Engineer: Maintaining Relationships
College would not have been possible if it weren’t for my friends. We supported each other, relied on one another, and encouraged one another. In college, I would say making friends is relatively easy. If you live on campus in dorms, your friends can become your roommate or floor mates. If you join organizations on campus, you can make friends through those organizations. The issue I think that comes with having friends is not really making friends but maintaining those relationships.
Relationships require effort. You have to take time and invest to foster meaningful relationships and build upon those connections. For me, fostering meaningful relationships was easy because all my friends either lived with me or lived close to me so it was easy to see them all the time and build those connections. However, after graduating college and moving away from my friends to a new city, I realized that it’s really hard to not only make friends but maintain them.
One reason why I think it’s difficult is because you have to put more of a conscious effort to maintain your friendships. You go from college, where all your friends are near you, to the real world, where all your friends are spread a part. You have to make more of an effort to spend time with your friends either by visiting them and/or talking to them on the phone. As you get consumed with your own life, you can easily become out of touch with your friends whom you used to be so close with. If you value the relationships and connections that you’ve made with people you need to make a priority to sustain the connections.
Being able to sustain relationships in your personal life can help you sustain connections in your professional life as well. In the day and age where it’s not just what you know but who you know. Your connections can be resource to help you find new opportunities or create your own opportunities.
Invest time in the people you care about. You don’t know how much it could mean to someone as well as how much it can mean to you.