Four steps to making friends with differing mindsets

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We have the privilege of having a diverse community at Kansas State.

Not only do we have racial diversity but we have economic diversity; there are students who come from wealthy, connected backgrounds and students that are the first of their families to go away to college and pursue a degree in higher education.

We naturally search for connection through commonalities. It is the easy thing to do, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is just as important to make connections that cross gaps and differences because it provides opportunities to see different perspectives.

When it comes to making these connections and growing a diverse group of friends, there are four tips to keep in mind.

1. Implement a growth mindset

Think about where you are, who you know, what areas you could grow in and how you can be a mutually beneficial friend to someone different than you.

2. Understand that what makes them who they are doesn’t need validation

There is more than one right way to do just about anything. Be mindful to try not to alter their way of accomplishing things or communicating unless they ask you to or they express that they would like to make a change.

3. Be willing to learn

You may know a great amount about something that you can share, but they might know something you may not. It may be on a topic that you never thought you would be interested in, but listen to what they may know that you may not.

4. Take it personally

When you learn about someone’s story and what is important to them, you gain compassion for others that face different struggles because it affects you as their friend. Along with that, take ownership of what is important to you.

Making friends that may be different than you will give you perspectives that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise and prepare you to be more well-rounded forward-thinking professional.

Mykia Carrell is a senior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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