• Daizha Lankford

Got Friends? A Look At Friend Groups In College.



Friends. Sometimes they're here for a moment in life, sometimes they're here for a lifetime. Whether they're more like family or just the occasional shoulder to cry on... friends can be the backbone of your college experience. However, real friends can be hard to come by. My friend group (#17), answers some questions about what it's like to be such a large friend group in college, and specifically on Hampton's campus.

Being in a large group with individuals that have plenty of accomplishments, how do you personally stay motivated and avoid being envious of others?

Kendall: Well first things first, you shouldn’t be envious of your friend’s success and accomplishments. If yall are friends then there should be support coming from both ends. In order to stay personally motivated, you have to simply focus on your own journey and trust Gods plan for you instead of comparing your friend’s accomplishments to yours.

Tevin: Yeah, so first of y’all. This large group of individuals are my second family. They keep me motivated by the continuous hard work they show and fearful Attitudes towards obstacles is just like AYO, who gonna fade them? Yeah, NOBODY. Envious? Never, not hating on what motivates me, i hate myself for not wanting to do more.

Even though you all are close ,naturally arguments occur. How do you resolve conflicts or try to avoid them in the first place?

Daliyah: I think like any relationship, the biggest key is communication. If something happens and someone may be feeling some type of way, all of us pretty much remain transparent in how we are feeling. Also, because we are a family, there is no false or malicious intent if and when we do get into arguments (which tend to be fairly rare). With respect, love, and communication, the disagreements and arguments are miniscule to the bigger picture.

Kendall: In big groups like this, the best thing to do is address the problem directly with those involved and leave everyone else out until it is resolved. That is the best way to avoid big issues. For me personally, I like to protect my peace and energy so if I feel like certain issues are not worth the drama, then I won’t address it especially if it is so minute that it won’t matter the next day. I’ve also learned that people are going to do as they please at the end of the day so whatever needs to be done on your part to keep the peace. Communication and patience are the most important things to remember when dealing with issues.

What is it like being single in a friend group full of couples?

Kiatre: Being in a friend group with people who are in relationships with one another is different, can sometimes be frustrating and annoying. I sometime find myself being an extra body at times cause everyone is around their boo. Sometimes I do find myself looking at their relationships and say “Damn, that must be nice”. No bull, it can be annoying because you might get tired of seeing your friends boo’d up and not just socializing and laughing at your jokes but its cool, that’s just part of it, can’t say i’d do anything different. At times if one couple is going through something, it can kinda have effect on us FSBM (Faithful Single Black Men) because it’s like you don’t know which one to comfort cause it may make the other upset, which is why it’s best to keep your relationship between you two than within a group because it can cause problems. However, it’s different if they come to you to vent or seek advice, I am always there to help if needed. I can say, i wouldn’t trade the couples in for anybody simply because they bring in a different dynamic and always try to include me in things so yeah, its iight i guess.

Do you believe in long distance relationships?

Daliyah: Considering that I am in one, I believe long distance relationships are difficult but doable, but not for everybody. Being completely transparent, being in a long distance relationship if FAR from easy, especially when the two are on entirely different paths in their life. My boyfriend and I have gotten into countless arguments about petty shit, merely because we just have so many emotions and are passionate about one other. But our highs surpass our lows, without a doubt. For every argument, feeling of temptation, we are reminded at the end of the day that it’s the two of us. With love, communication, strength, and God, distance is merely a temporary obstacle.

How did y’all come to be friends in the first place?

Kiatre: IIGHT SO BOOM! When we first arrived to Hampton for NSO week one of the days SLP had all the freshman in the football stadiums bleachers teaching us chants that our class (ONYX 11) should know. Towards the end of the event, some of our fellow peers from SLP walked around with a plastic telling each freshman to grab a number. It was me and three other friends (Jonathan, Malcolm and Kendall) all sitting next to each other because we already knew each other. Among us 4, I was the closests the aisle. As the numbers went around we all discussed that we should all the grab the same number because we didn’t want different bigs, so…..I was the first one to get the bag and I just randomly picked the number 17. As a result of me picking that number everyone else decided to search the bag and find a number with 17. Luckily there was just enough for all of us and as result we ended up with wonderful big, Daliyah Ross. Little did Daliyah know that we came with a little (a lot of) extra baggage, which eventually led to countless numbers of our other friends becoming her littles.

Adrianna: It’s actually a pretty funny story, because all of our stories are very different and that’s what makes it beautifully unique. Me personally, the big I was assigned during new students orientation week was kind of MIA for a little and I would always sit with my boyfriend (Jonathan), our friends, his big and the rest of her littles. I was kind of the outsider because I didn’t know anyone else and I was still learning the ropes at Hampton. After a few weeks of sitting with them their big Daliyah Ross asked me if I wanted a big and she adopted me and from that day our family has continued to grow and my experience at Hampton would not be the same. I can truly call them my family away from home and I couldn’t be more grateful for Daliyah taking me under her wing.

Daliyah: My perspective to how 17 came about it a little different than everyone else’s since I was on the opposite side. My first NSO week, my first week as a Student Leader, I was beyond nervous to get my first group of littles. From jump, I told them I didn’t have a car, or an apartment, but would provide them as much love and guidance that I could despite my lack of … “the essentials.” I would have never guessed that this crazy group of freshman would end up becoming my world at Hampton. From our Sunday brunches to dinner every night in the cafe, to the first time I made them slutty brownies at MY big’s house, to our sleepovers at my apartment, 17 has literally become a part of me and I would do ANYTHING for each and every one of them. God knew that I needed a family, and on August 20, 2016, He blessed me with some of the most successful, amazing, loving, goofy, supportive, beautifully spirited people in my life… and the family continues to grow.

What are some things to maintain a healthy long distance relationship?

Daliyah: Consistency and conversation.

What is one of your funniest memories from the last two years of college with each other?

Byron: My favorite memories from the past year would be: Daliyah making slutty brownies, me making breakfast for everyone, and the HU vs HU game in D.C. there’s too many to name.

Daliyah: One of the funniest memories I have with 17, was when everyone was at my house and Tev came in wilding and undressing himself in my living room. No one knew how to react or what was going but it was all laughs. Also the time that Adrianna was turnt off of percs because of her surgery. But I have so many other favorite moments, like watching my kids Walk Tall, every slutty brownie/movie night, when you guys surprised me on Valentine’s Day after my break up...and so much more.

Do you believe in the Hampton Man/ Woman?

Robbie: The definition of Hampton Man/Woman has been skewed and often misinterpreted over my time at Hampton as someone who is your “perfect match” in every way and gets along with you all the time. I believe the Hampton Man/Woman doesn’t exist, but there are happy couples that do meet at Hampton. At the end of the day you go to Hampton for 4-5 years and then you’re in the real world so the title of Hampton Man/Woman is useless and unnecessary.

Kiatre: Imma be honest, Hampton Man/Woman has been played out since I got here. Everybody try to make it seem as if there is a certain thing you got to look for but there isn’t. Be honest, Hampton Man/Woman is simply what you think it is and not what everyone else thinks it is. There can be a nice guy who embodies what a woman wants but she will ultimately not claim as such because he might not popular on campus, be able to dress or have a beard, vice versa for guys as well minus the beard. When finding that type of love you shouldn’t force it, let it happen naturally because those are the best kinds.

What makes you all unique from other friend groups on campus

Brian: We literally have our hand in everything that we do and we excel in all that we do on this campus. We are game changers and there is no one like us.

Daizha: I think we are all so diverse and so spirited that when we are together or apart we remain so connected to each other. We have so many things to offer to the world and it’s seen in everything we do.

How do you feel about the party culture at Hampton?

Jonathan: One of the biggest things I learned early on at Hampton was ‘balance’. My freshman year, I honestly wasn’t much of a partier due to the fact I was so focused on making sure I was establishing a strong foundation for the rest of my time here. Sophomore year, I went out a little more and had more of a social life, yet never allowed it to interfere with my goals and other priorities. While parties are a natural stress reliever, it’s important to not always be looking for the “move” to the point where they consume your life. Sometimes, a relaxing movie and homework night or spending time alone is a refreshing stress reliever as well.

Byron: The party culture at Hampton can get very hectic. It’s very easy to get caught up in parties and forget about school work. It’s happened to me a few times, but having friends that have a school first party later mentally helps you stay focused on school. Although it hurts to miss a party to study for a test you have to remember your here to get your education first.

Is catching a twerk cheating?

Kendall: If not from your significant other, then yes.

Jonathan: Yup.

Adrianna: Yes.

Robbie: is it cheating? yeah BUT if y’all communicate that y’all can both do it (catch and receive) there is no problem

How do y’all keep God involved in your lives?

Byron: I keep God involved in my life by having a bible app and a daily scripture that sends me a notification for with verse of the day, I’ll read it reflect on it. The app that I have also has moods you can select and it can give you verses based on your mood. I also pray, by thanking God for waking me up, every thing he’s done for me, and friends and family. I also like to find God in my my life and surroundings. An example is the sky, I like to think of it as “God’s canvas” and every morning and evening it’s a different “painting”. No sunrise and sunset will be the same. I usually stop to admire the different colors and how they change as the sun rises and sets. Also another way is to go to chapel at Hampton. If you don’t like chapel at Hampton try going to the churches in the surrounding Hampton area.

Brian: I’ve been a Christian my entire life and have had an intimate and close relationship with Jesus Christ through my parents. In June of 2012, I made the grown up decision to have a relationship for my own and not rely on my parents relationship. For me I simply just talk to my Heavenly Father on a regular basis and watch my services at my church at home. Just connecting and having time with God is beautiful within itself. It shouldn’t be a chore or a burden to do so but simply something you yearn after and look forward to.

How do y’all handle such strong women in the friend group?

Tevin: By sacrificing my time and trust in them for it to be reciprocated but 10x more coming back in return.

For The Relationship People: How do y’all not get tired of being with your partner? how do you resist the temptation of not being single?

Adrianna: For starters, I'd like to say that me and Jonathan started off in an unconventional way lol. We started off disliking each other for about 2 years then we found a common ground of our love for animal crackers in 8th grade interestingly enough! After that our bond continued to grow and we became best friends then soon into a relationship. Since the moment we became bestfriends I have found something new to love about him everyday. I cherish our relationship even more day by day because of the memories we share, our spiritual, mental and emotional connection, our aspirations in life and as much as we say we are the same person we are very different. We balance each other out in an unique way and I am irrevocably and will be forever in love with him. I can’t get tired of him because as much as he may annoy me you can’t live without one side of your body. And figuratively that’s what he is for me. Also, without God nothing would even be possible. I can’t explain the love for him and to answer the second question, I couldn’t even think of him not being apart of me.

Brian: The answer is simply Jesus. We are to love one another as the Lord loves us and that unconditional love my lord has for me is reciprocated onto my girlfriend. Grant it there will be times we get on each other nerves and situations occur that aren’t the best, but that’s life and trials and tribulations occurs but knowing I have someone as special and as amazing as her makes the process that much better. I would have to say, that the thought of hurting another man’s daughter that he has entrusted for you to love is what makes me not go back to the single life. The fact her father has enough faith and love for me to be able to say to love his daughter as God would love me is enough for me to do nothing but cherish her.

Do you consider every person in the group a real friend or an acquaintance?

Byron: I consider everyone in the group a real friend because I know if I ask anyone of them to help me with anything they can help me, if they can’t they will try to the best of their ability to help. I also consider them my friends because we have so many shared memories we can tell our children and grandchildren.

Robbie: I don’t really know Kaloni like that (met her my freshman year and hung out a few times in the harbs through mutual friends) I’d like to get to know her better, but everyone else I absolutely consider real friends. The dictionary defines Supreme as: of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else. I define it as my friends. As leaders, as children of God, and as the backbone of Onyx11, they are of the highest kind, quality, and order. Supreme. [holding back tears] I feel like I can sit down 1vs1 with any of them and talk about anything that’s bothering me and they’ll actually care. I’ve had a small circle of 3 people I considered my real friends at Hampton since freshman year so coming into this group has been a blessing. Friends are there for you in times of distress and times of joy, from my car running out of gas to going through SLP week/Elections/SoJu and many more adventures I consider y’all my real friends.

Who’s the first person in the group you turn to when something is wrong? (No significant others)

Daizha: I personally usually turn to different people depending on the problem. There are somethings I automatically go to Adrianna for, some things I go straight to Kendall for, and other times I have to go to Kiatre cause he will keep it real and make me laugh in the process. I feel like what makes our group so special is that we all have such different meanings in each other’s life and we can turn to each other for different things.

How do you balance the strong personalities in the group?

Jonathan: Having so many Type A personalities in one group is a blessing... mostly haha. Having a dominant personality is great for us in our various realms on campus and definitely has allowed us to establish ourselves, yet when it comes to our group they definitely have to be put aside at times. Personally, though I love making sure that I get my point across, I understand that sometimes I have to take a step back, whether I agree or not. Too many opinions can cause chaos and will be counter-productive in a group setting. Once you realize how strong your personality can be at times, you also have to know how to curtail it, overall I think we do a good job of being mindful of how others in our group can be rubbed the wrong way by some things we say, just always something to think about!

(Bonus)

How do you make sure everyone in the group feels included?

Daliyah: As the mom of 17, I feel like I’m always annoying them to come spend time we me or hang out with me. For the most part, Kaloni and I have had an open door policy this past year, which has been used quite a lot...and I love it. I always want my kids to know if they every need a roof over their head, or some non cafe food in their stomachs that I will be there to provide as much as I can.

#college #relationships #friendships

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