It may be hard being the new kid at school, but at UC Merced it’s the norm - everyone is new this year. And although students may struggle being away from loved ones, college life offers you the opportunity to develop many varieties of fulfilling relationships with roommates, classmates, friends and maybe even the cute guy or girl you see walking up to the library every day.
How do you make sure those relationships are good ones? Executive Director of Residence and Student Life Valery Oehler, UC Merced Police Commander Mike Parish, and campus psychologist Dr. Paul Ratanasiripong offer a few smart tips to help you build healthy, happy and safe relationships in a college environment.
Valery Oehler, Valley Terraces Housing:
- Get involved in as many things as your school schedule will allow
- Focus on yourself first by acclimating yourself to studies, eating well, exercising.
- Stay connected with old friends and family
- Stay true to your own values
Commander Mike Parish, UC Merced Police:
- Look for friends that are solid and responsible
- Protect each other, travel in pairs whenever you can
- If you are going to a party do it with people you trust
- Don’t be afraid to call either the police or a social service organization if you in trouble
Dr. Paul Ratanasiripong, Counseling Services:
- Communication: Healthy relationships require good communication
- Time (for each other): It’s important to have both quality and quantity
- Balance: Balance the time spent with each other and other activities, academic and other
- Respect: Having a healthy respect for each other will go a long way
The most important and basic tip comes from Valery Oehler from student housing: If you feel stressful in a relationship or friendship, then something is not right.
Follow your instincts to stay healthy and safe, and make sure to celebrate all the wonderful people in your life this Valentine’s Day!