“Congratulations, you have been selected….” E-mail; and you successfully fly into the USA to begin your fellowship. You come up with a checklist and advice about living in the US. But who is your fellowship friend? We agree that this type of friend is not an absolute must for the one year, besides you have your real friends and family connected via WhatsApp, Facebook e.t.c

My fellowship friend, I thought about the friends I made in 4 weeks ( I must say, I do have more than one fellowship friend). Our relationships defined by our interests, hobbies, challenges and daily experiences. My close fellowship friend is attached to me; he is a call, text away, listens to me rant (about the deadlines mostly), my social chaos then he pats me on my back “through the phone” and says “you are my wingman let’s do this”.

Met at the airport

We met at the airport; I arrived earlier than him we immediately connected (we were excited about this new adventure, uncertain of what we shall experience the whole year but we were determined to make the best of it).

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
– C.S. Lewis

Our common interests made us talk but, our differences made the connection meaningful and deeper; our ability to discuss our families, friends, religious belief, fears, food, dislikes and explore business deals makes this new journey adventurous.

Serving in different states

During this fellowship, my friend and I serve in different states. This is a test of the type of relationship we share; are we able to pass through the test of time, sacrifice to make our friendship worth and memorable? Behind the scenes of long-lasting friendship are communication, loyalty, mutual growth and development.

Deeper into our friendship, we share rewards which are beneficial to both of us. We respect each other’s opinions but, still care such a friendship warrants joy and happiness. It has helped me personally to maintain my mental and emotional well-being.

How to do this…….

Instead of waiting for the other person to say hello, make a move.

There is no limitation as to the approach and, it can be one good move for your next networking opportunity.

But remember;

  • Establish a connection with the person
  • If possible always try and find out their interests and culture to avoid awkward interactions (through observation, social media, research)
  • Give the benefit of the doubt

It is a wise thing to approach people when you are relaxed and calm; stress and anger are bad recipes for interactions.

Human behaviour influences the interaction people have based on;

  • Connection- people generally like to connect with their environment.
  • Interest- recognition is one of the tricks you need to master to get people’s attention at times, remind them of their contribution and presence to your environment.
  • Empathy- show concern, care and understanding in their well-being.

There is no proven list or procedure for human interactions, but the world is a free place for you to do your best and make your fellowship friendship and other relationships stronger and longer……………..

 It is not easy to have a long-lasting connection with new people; even with new friends; it is not easy to obtain it as a forever friendship; it calls for efforts, dedication, time, tolerance and trust.

 “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
— Dale Carnegie

To cultivate a fellowship friendship built with intention and based on a mutual appreciation of character and goodness is indeed a practical possibility. These friendships get strengthened over time and even last for life. Friendship is all-natural you don’t define it.

Yes, a fellowship friendship is important; energy boosters, partners in crime, listening buddy, our reality checkers, outspoken encouragement, reliable, and dependable most important love us dearly. So if you feel a little lonely during this fellowship, start looking for a way to connect with someone or a group of people.

The people in our environment “live” reflect a part of us. Our bonds influence our lives. Quality friendships are paramount to quality life lived.

Fellowship friends are reliable; they can make our one year memorable.  It’s a unique sort of exclusive friendship, which is what makes it different.