Having a friend who cuts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself can be a terrible and damaging experience. However, how do you know when to reach out to a friend and fix things, or when to say enough is enough and preserve your own self esteem? In this article, Peer Educator, Madison discusses some helpful tips about how and when to end a friendship. And be sure to check out the link at the bottom too!
When to End a Friendship
by Madison Wright
Why is it more common to hear about break ups in romantic relationships than friendships? Most people have significantly more friendships in their lifetime than they do romantic relationships, yet you don’t hear people going to their loved ones asking for advice on how to break things off with a friend. Is it more acceptable to put up with toxic behaviors from friends than it is from partners? I don’t think so. I would never stay with a partner who treats me badly, yet I forgive friends time after time for similar behavior. A large part of any relationship is communication, so it’s important to communicate your feelings and boundaries to friends. At that point it is up to the other person to respect how you feel and your wishes or disregard them in hopes that you will make exceptions for them. Exceptions for friends you trust are normal and usually harmless, but for friends who violate your trust and continuously cross boundaries, it may be time to reflect on whether that friendship is worth keeping. Examples of actions that reflect a lack of trust and respect are provided in the link below. Every relationship is different, but if you are thinking of ending a relationship remember that you should always put your best interest first. Ending a friendship is never easy, but it also provides you the opportunity to establish new, positive relationships.
At times, we all doubt ourselves and our own abilities. As college students, we may often feel that we don’t belong here or that we won’t be able to compare to the other intelligent students around us. Here, Peer Educator, Erich shares his story about finding his confidence in an overwhelming and intimidating environment.
by Erich Crawford
I have spent time worrying if I am strong enough to maintain my education at a university that has so many people and part of a UC system that I never thought I would be apart of. I grew up with the mentality that education was not the proper path for me and that I was not cut out to make it at a university. Luckily, my desire to learn and grow provided me with the opportunities and guidance to take that chance to apply to the UC’s. I chose this school with high goals but often do not believe that I belong here and struggle with the idea that I am smart enough, dedicated enough, or have the skills to succeed here.
There is a study called the big fish study and it explained to me how often times when you are surrounded by a lot of big fish you feel smaller. A report showed how the top students at less rigorous schools than Harvard were equal in scores and research opportunity. Yet the students at ‘less rigorous’ schools had higher success rates and feelings of accomplishment. Analytically they did the same but those at Harvard were comparing themselves to the highest achievements and that left them feeling like they were small. This always reminds me that my studies and work that I put in are valid and important and it helps me recognize how much I have grown in the past few years. This recognition motivates me to keep pushing and that I do not need to compare my work and grades to anybody else because that is not a true measure of value. My values are created by my choice and not by how well someone else is doing. If I am able to develop and learn while making a peaceful impact on people lives then I know I am doing well. I do not need a test score to show me how valuable I am.
If you ever feel like your confidence or self esteem are too much to handle on your own, CAPS is here to help!
Anticipation can often be the hardest part of any task. Our minds have this incredible power to build up things and jump to worst case scenarios. And it often gets to the point where the anticipation is much worse than the actual event itself. Read Peer Educator Aditi’s thoughts about the role that anticipation plays in anxiety and check out the psychology today article below as well!
by Aditi Sheth
Anticipation is like your mind’s own distorted movie, consistently playing in your brain. The movie that’s playing can be of any genre. Romantic Drama, the way your mind wanders when you think about a crush. Psychological Thriller, thinking about the different ways the midterm you’re about to take can trick you. Workplace Comedy, considering the way your friends at the office will react to that joke you want to tell. Sometimes though, these movies and their genres can take a turn for the worst. The tendency to anticipate can create a film that increases those symptoms of anxiety, causes stress and ultimately long term harm. Anticipation is a definite exacerbator of anxiety and for some people, it can be the main cause. Let’s take a look at this phenomenon with an article from Psychology Today, which talks about different ways to combat the Anticipatory Anxiety.
The end of the school year is a great time to think about self-reflection and to ask yourself why you are in the position you’re in. What good and bad things have lead you to this place? Are you happy where you are or are you ready to make a change? Read on to learn more about the importance of self-reflection and how you can reflect upon yourself this year.
by Jonathon Tsou
As another school year passes, I remember the little and the big things at Santa Cruz. There is a poem by Robert Frost called, “The Road Not Taken”. It is a relatively well-known poem that most American high schools teach their students. Most people would say that the poem is about regret and about the road that was not taken. But there is another hidden meaning. It says that there are outside factors that make up our minds for us. We will be given a chance to pick from a couple options for life, but these options are not discovered by us. They come and go at the willingness of invisible people. Any action we take will be regretted and remembered in the future. There is no path that is the best and no one person you meet or one place you go that is perfect. In the next couple of months, many of us will make a hard decision. From continuing to go to graduate school, to move to other places, to find a job. There is no perfect option but is also no wrong choice. It is a fantasy to say that there is nothing scary in the future. It is a fantasy to say that any choice is the right choice. It is a fantasy to say that there is something that is easy.
As I look back to my time at UC Santa Cruz, I ask myself why. Why did I do this and why I am here? I ask you to look back at your life and why you are here. In Psychology, we are taught that self-reflection is important for self-improvement. We are not perfect individuals, but we are people who all want to strive for excellence. So thank you all for such a great year.