Golf is not just a sport, it’s a community. Making friends in golf can lead to a lifetime of camaraderie, laughter, and shared victories on the course. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, building connections in the golf world is an essential part of the game. But how do you make friends in golf? It’s not as simple as just showing up to the course. In this article, we’ll explore the tips and strategies for building lasting connections on the course, from joining golf clubs to striking up conversations with fellow golfers. So, grab your clubs and let’s get started on making new friends and creating unforgettable memories on the green.
Why Golf is a Great Way to Make Friends
The social aspect of golf
Golf is often considered a game for the elite, but it’s also a great way to make friends. Here are some reasons why:
- Shared Interest: Golf is a sport that requires a certain level of skill and knowledge. When you’re on the course, you’re likely to meet people who share the same interests and passions as you. This shared interest can be a great icebreaker and a good starting point for building a connection.
- Conversation Starter: Golf is a great conversation starter. Whether you’re discussing your latest golfing achievements or sharing tips on how to improve your swing, there’s always something to talk about on the course. This can help you build rapport with your fellow golfers and establish common ground.
- Networking Opportunities: Golf is a great way to network and make new connections. Many business deals have been sealed on the golf course, and it’s a great way to meet new people in a relaxed and informal setting. You never know who you might meet on the course, so it’s always worth keeping an open mind.
- Social Setting: Golf is a social sport, and it’s played in a social setting. You’ll often find that you’re playing with people from different backgrounds and ages, which can help you broaden your social circle. Additionally, many golf courses have clubs and events that are designed to help people connect and make new friends, so there are plenty of opportunities to socialize.
- Outdoor Activity: Golf is an outdoor activity, and many people find that being outside in nature helps them feel more relaxed and connected to others. The fresh air and beautiful scenery can help you unwind and enjoy the company of others, which can help you build lasting connections.
Overall, golf is a great way to make friends because it provides a shared interest, conversation starter, networking opportunities, social setting, and outdoor activity. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, there are plenty of ways to connect with others on the course.
The opportunity to meet new people
Golf is a sport that offers a unique opportunity to meet new people, as it is a game that is played individually but also involves interacting with others on the course. Here are some ways in which golf can help you make new friends:
- Playing with a variety of partners: In golf, you often have the opportunity to play with different people, which can be a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle. Whether you’re playing with co-workers, friends, or strangers, you’ll have the chance to interact with a diverse group of individuals.
- Participating in tournaments and events: Golf tournaments and events are a great way to meet new people who share a common interest in the sport. Whether you’re competing in a local tournament or attending a charity event, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and make connections.
- Joining a golf club or league: Joining a golf club or league is a great way to meet new people who are passionate about the sport. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with others who share your interests and passion for the game.
- Socializing on the course: Golf is a social sport, and there are many opportunities to socialize on the course. Whether you’re taking a break between holes or enjoying a drink at the 19th hole, you’ll have the chance to interact with others and build relationships.
Overall, golf offers a unique opportunity to meet new people and build lasting connections. Whether you’re looking to expand your social circle or simply enjoy the company of others who share your passion for the sport, golf is a great way to make new friends.
The common interest in golf
Golf is a unique sport in that it is played at a slower pace than most other sports, which allows for ample opportunity to socialize and make connections with other players. The common interest in golf serves as a natural icebreaker and provides a basis for conversation and camaraderie on the course.
One of the main reasons that golf is an excellent way to make friends is the shared passion for the game. Golfers come from all walks of life, but they all share a love for the sport and a desire to improve their skills. This common interest creates a bond between players, as they can relate to each other’s experiences and challenges on the course.
Additionally, golf is a social sport that is often played with a group of friends or colleagues. This communal aspect of the game encourages players to interact with each other and build relationships. Whether it’s sharing a joke on the fairway or discussing strategy in the clubhouse, golf provides numerous opportunities for players to connect and develop friendships.
Furthermore, golf courses often have a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, which makes it easy for players to strike up conversations and make new connections. Many courses have a sense of community, with regular events and tournaments that bring players together and foster a sense of camaraderie.
Overall, the common interest in golf provides a strong foundation for building lasting connections on the course. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, the shared passion for the game can help you form meaningful friendships and create memorable experiences on the links.
Finding Golfing Buddies: Online and Offline
Online resources for finding golfing buddies
There are a variety of online resources available for finding golfing buddies. Some popular options include:
- Golf buddy apps: Apps like Golf Mate, Golf Buddy Finder, and Tee Time Golf are designed to connect golfers with similar skill levels and interests. These apps allow users to search for nearby courses, find potential partners, and schedule tee times.
- Social media groups: Many social media platforms have golf-specific groups where users can connect with other golfers, share tips and advice, and find partners for a round of golf. Popular platforms for golf-related groups include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Online forums: Golf forums like GolfWRX, The Sand Trap, and Golfing World offer a space for golfers to connect, share tips, and find partners for a round of golf. These forums often have specific sections dedicated to finding golfing buddies.
- Golf events and tournaments: Many golf courses and organizations host events and tournaments that are open to the public. These events are a great way to meet other golfers and potentially find a new golfing buddy.
Overall, using online resources can be a convenient and effective way to find golfing buddies. It’s important to be mindful of safety when using these resources and to thoroughly vet potential partners before meeting in person.
Joining local golf clubs and events
One of the most effective ways to find golfing buddies is by joining local golf clubs and events. This allows you to meet other golf enthusiasts who share similar interests and skill levels as you. Additionally, these clubs often host events and tournaments that provide opportunities to socialize and compete with other golfers.
To get started, you can search online for local golf clubs and events in your area. Many clubs have websites that provide information on membership, events, and contact information. You can also ask friends or colleagues if they know of any golf clubs or events in the area.
Once you have identified some potential clubs or events, it’s important to do your research and find out more about them before joining. You may want to attend a few events or matches as a spectator to get a feel for the atmosphere and the people involved. Additionally, you can reach out to current members or organizers to ask questions and learn more about the club or event.
Joining a golf club or event can be a great way to meet new people and make lasting connections on the course. Not only will you have the opportunity to play golf with others, but you’ll also have the chance to socialize and build relationships with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, there’s a local club or event that’s right for you.
Utilizing social media to connect with other golfers
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become a popular way for golfers to connect with one another. Here are some tips for utilizing social media to find golfing buddies:
- Use hashtags: Use relevant hashtags like #golf or #golfer when posting about your own golfing experiences. This will make it easier for other golfers to find your posts and connect with you.
- Join golf-related groups: Look for golf-related groups on social media platforms and join the ones that interest you. This is a great way to connect with other golfers who share similar interests and goals.
- Post updates and photos: Share updates and photos of your golfing experiences to help other golfers get to know you and your golfing style. This can help build connections and make it easier to find golfing buddies.
- Engage with others: Be sure to engage with other golfers on social media by commenting on their posts and responding to their comments on your own posts. This can help build relationships and make it easier to find golfing buddies.
- Be active: The more active you are on social media, the more likely you are to connect with other golfers. Make sure to post regularly and engage with others to increase your chances of finding golfing buddies.
Building Strong Connections on the Course
Showing up prepared and ready to play
When it comes to making friends in golf, one of the most important things you can do is show up prepared and ready to play. This means more than just bringing your clubs and a cart. It means being ready to hit the course and engage with your fellow golfers in a positive and productive way. Here are some specific tips to help you make the most of your time on the course:
- Arrive early: If possible, try to arrive at the course at least 30 minutes before your tee time. This will give you time to get settled in, warm up, and perhaps even have a snack or a cup of coffee before your round. It will also give you a chance to meet other golfers who may be arriving around the same time.
- Be respectful of others: Even if you’re there to socialize and make new friends, it’s important to remember that golf is a game, and there are rules that need to be followed. This means being respectful of other players, especially those who may be in the middle of a shot or a putt. Avoid distractions and try to stay out of the way of other players as much as possible.
- Be a good sport: Golf can be a competitive game, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a game. Even if you’re playing with someone who is more competitive than you, try to keep things in perspective and be a good sport. Celebrate your successes, but don’t take yourself too seriously when things don’t go as planned.
- Be ready to play: Finally, it’s important to be ready to play when it’s your turn. This means being ready to hit your shot when it’s your turn, not holding up the group behind you, and being ready to continue playing without wasting time. If you’re playing with a group of golfers who are more experienced or serious than you, try to keep up with them as best you can. This will show that you’re committed to the game and that you’re serious about improving your skills.
Being respectful and courteous to others
One of the most important aspects of making friends in golf is being respectful and courteous to others. Golf is a sport that is steeped in tradition and etiquette, and it is important to understand and follow these traditions in order to build strong connections with others on the course. Here are some tips for being respectful and courteous to others while playing golf:
- Remember to say please and thank you: It may seem like a small thing, but saying please and thank you can go a long way in building goodwill with your fellow golfers. Whether you’re asking to play through or thanking someone for loaning you a club, taking the time to say please and thank you can help create a positive and friendly atmosphere on the course.
- Avoid distractions: When you’re on the course, it’s important to focus on your game and avoid distractions that may take away from the experience for others. This means putting away your phone and avoiding loud conversations or other behaviors that may be disruptive to those around you.
- Be mindful of your pace: Golf is a game that is played at a leisurely pace, but it’s important to be mindful of your pace and not hold up those around you. If you’re playing with a group, try to keep up with the pace of play and avoid slowing things down unnecessarily.
- Show respect for the course: Golf courses are beautiful and fragile environments, and it’s important to show respect for the course and the natural surroundings. This means avoiding damaging the turf, not littering, and being mindful of any wildlife or other environmental factors that may be present.
By following these tips and being respectful and courteous to others on the course, you can help build strong connections and lasting friendships with your fellow golfers.
Offering to help others and being supportive
When it comes to building strong connections on the golf course, one of the most effective strategies is to offer to help others and be supportive. Here are some specific ways you can do this:
- Offer to play with others: One of the best ways to make friends on the golf course is to offer to play with others. If you see someone standing alone on the tee box, approach them and ask if they would like to play with you. This is a great way to initiate a conversation and get to know someone.
- Share your expertise: If you have a particular skill or area of expertise, offer to share it with others. For example, if you are particularly good at chipping, offer to give someone a lesson. This is a great way to show that you are interested in helping others improve their game.
- Be a good sport: Golf can be a competitive sport, but it’s important to remember that it’s also a social activity. Be a good sport, even if you’re not having your best round. Cheer on your fellow players, and offer encouragement when they need it.
- Offer to carry their bag: If you’re playing with someone who has a lot of clubs or a heavy bag, offer to carry their bag for them. This is a small gesture that can make a big difference, and it shows that you’re willing to help out.
- Ask about their game: Finally, take an interest in your fellow players’ games. Ask them about their swing, their strategy for a particular hole, or their favorite clubs. This shows that you’re interested in getting to know them and learning more about their game.
By offering to help others and being supportive on the golf course, you’ll be well on your way to building lasting connections with your fellow players.
Engaging in friendly banter and conversation
One of the most effective ways to build connections on the golf course is by engaging in friendly banter and conversation. This involves striking up casual conversations with your fellow golfers, asking about their experiences on the course, and sharing stories of your own. Here are some tips to help you engage in friendly banter and conversation on the golf course:
- Be open and approachable: One of the most important things you can do to encourage friendly banter and conversation is to be open and approachable. Make eye contact, smile, and greet your fellow golfers with a friendly “hello” or “good morning.” This will help put everyone at ease and create a more relaxed atmosphere on the course.
- Ask questions: Another great way to engage in friendly banter and conversation is by asking questions. This can be as simple as asking about someone’s golf game, their favorite course, or their experience with a particular hole. By showing an interest in others, you’ll make it easier for them to open up and engage in conversation with you.
- Share your own experiences: In addition to asking questions, it’s important to share your own experiences and stories on the golf course. This can help create a sense of camaraderie and connection with your fellow golfers, as well as provide a fun and entertaining way to pass the time on the course.
- Listen actively: To truly engage in friendly banter and conversation, it’s important to listen actively. This means paying attention to what your fellow golfers are saying, asking follow-up questions, and providing thoughtful responses. By showing that you’re genuinely interested in what others have to say, you’ll build stronger connections and make more meaningful conversations.
- Be respectful and courteous: Finally, it’s important to be respectful and courteous when engaging in friendly banter and conversation on the golf course. Avoid controversial topics or anything that could be considered offensive, and always be mindful of others’ feelings and opinions. By being respectful and courteous, you’ll help create a positive and welcoming environment on the course.
Nurturing Your Golfing Friendships
Keeping in touch with your golfing buddies
- Maintaining regular communication
- Regularly checking in with your golfing buddies through phone calls, text messages, or emails
- Sharing updates on your golf game, recent tournaments, or achievements
- Asking about their recent rounds, tournaments, or any improvements they may have made to their game
- Staying connected on social media
- Following each other on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook
- Sharing and commenting on each other’s golf-related posts
- Participating in golf-related online groups or forums together
- Planning future golf outings
- Coordinating future rounds of golf together
- Sharing information about new courses you’d like to try or upcoming tournaments
- Encouraging each other to improve your game and reach specific goals
- Supporting each other’s golf journey
- Offering advice and support when needed
- Celebrating each other’s successes and milestones
- Providing encouragement during challenging times or setbacks
By staying in touch with your golfing buddies, you can strengthen your friendships and ensure that your connections on the course remain strong even when you’re not playing together.
Inviting friends to play with you
Inviting friends to play golf with you is an essential part of building lasting connections on the course. Not only does it provide an opportunity to bond with others, but it also allows you to share your passion for the game. Here are some tips for inviting friends to play with you:
- Be specific about the date, time, and location of the game.
- Provide details about the format of the game, such as the number of holes or the type of tournament.
- Suggest a casual round or a more formal competition, depending on your preference and the level of your friends.
- Offer to provide transportation or arrange for a carpool.
- Be flexible and open to suggestions from your friends about the details of the game.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your invitation is clear and inviting, and that your friends have all the information they need to participate. Remember, the key to building lasting connections on the golf course is to create a fun and welcoming environment for everyone involved.
Participating in group events and tournaments
Competing as a Team
Participating in group events and tournaments is an excellent way to strengthen your golfing friendships. One of the most enjoyable aspects of team competitions is the opportunity to work together towards a common goal. Playing on a team can help foster a sense of camaraderie and shared accomplishment, which can lead to a more significant connection between golfing buddies.
Collaborating for Success
Team events often require players to rely on one another’s strengths, making it crucial to understand each other’s game styles. This collaboration can help you identify the best player to take on a difficult hole or provide advice during a tricky situation. Working together towards a shared objective can also help you understand each other’s golfing weaknesses, allowing you to offer support and guidance when needed.
In addition to promoting collaboration, group events and tournaments also provide opportunities to build trust among golfing buddies. When you’re relying on someone to hit a critical shot or make a crucial putt, trust becomes an essential aspect of the game. Successfully executing a team strategy or bouncing back from a tough loss together can strengthen trust and create a stronger bond between golfing friends.
Sharing Victories and Defeats
Group events and tournaments also provide opportunities to share both victories and defeats with your golfing buddies. Celebrating a win as a team can be a fantastic way to build lasting memories and strengthen your connections. Similarly, experiencing a defeat together can help you understand each other’s frustrations and provide support during challenging times.
Making Connections Beyond the Course
Participating in group events and tournaments can also help you make connections beyond the golf course. Many golfers find that their friendships with other golfers extend beyond the sport itself, leading to long-lasting bonds and shared experiences. This can be especially true in group events, where the focus is on camaraderie and shared success rather than individual performance.
Joining Local Golf Associations
Joining local golf associations or clubs can be an excellent way to participate in group events and tournaments. These organizations often host regular events and competitions, providing ample opportunities to connect with other golfers and build lasting friendships. In addition, many associations offer social events and activities, further expanding your network of golfing buddies.
Overall, participating in group events and tournaments is a valuable strategy for nurturing your golfing friendships. By collaborating, building trust, and sharing victories and defeats, you can create strong connections with other golfers that extend beyond the course.
Continuing to improve your golf skills and knowledge
As you build your golfing friendships, it’s important to continue improving your golf skills and knowledge. This not only helps you become a better golfer, but it also gives you more to talk about with your fellow golfers. Here are some tips for continuing to improve your golf skills and knowledge:
- Practice regularly: To improve your golf skills, you need to practice regularly. This means setting aside time each week to hit the driving range, work on your short game, and play rounds of golf with your friends. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
- Take lessons: If you’re struggling with a particular aspect of your game, consider taking lessons from a golf pro. They can help you identify your weaknesses and provide you with the tools you need to improve.
- Learn from other golfers: Pay attention to the way other golfers play, and take note of their techniques and strategies. You may be able to incorporate some of their methods into your own game.
- Read golf magazines and books: There are plenty of resources available to help you improve your golf skills and knowledge. Read golf magazines and books to learn about new techniques, equipment, and strategies.
- Attend golf clinics and workshops: Many golf courses and golf shops offer clinics and workshops on various aspects of the game. Attend these events to learn from experts and improve your skills.
By continuing to improve your golf skills and knowledge, you’ll become a more well-rounded golfer and a more interesting conversation partner for your golfing friends.
Overcoming Challenges and Maintaining Golfing Friendships
Dealing with disagreements and conflicts
While golfing friendships can be incredibly rewarding, they are not without their challenges. One of the most common obstacles is dealing with disagreements and conflicts that may arise. However, by understanding the causes of these conflicts and using effective communication and problem-solving strategies, you can navigate these challenges and maintain strong golfing friendships.
Common causes of disagreements and conflicts in golfing friendships
Disagreements and conflicts in golfing friendships can arise from a variety of sources, including:
- Differences in skill level or playing style
- Disagreements over rules or etiquette on the course
- Personal differences or misunderstandings
- Competitive rivalries or tensions
Effective communication and problem-solving strategies
To effectively deal with disagreements and conflicts in golfing friendships, it is important to practice effective communication and problem-solving strategies. This may include:
- Active listening: Make sure to listen carefully to the other person’s perspective and try to understand their point of view.
- Open-ended questions: Ask open-ended questions to encourage the other person to share their thoughts and feelings.
- Empathy: Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective.
- Collaborative problem-solving: Work together to find a solution that works for both parties.
- Apologizing and admitting fault: If you make a mistake or say something hurtful, apologize and take responsibility for your actions.
By using these strategies, you can effectively deal with disagreements and conflicts in golfing friendships and maintain strong, lasting connections on the course.
Navigating differences in skill levels and golfing styles
One of the primary challenges in building and maintaining golfing friendships is navigating differences in skill levels and golfing styles. While golf is often perceived as an exclusive and elitist sport, it is important to remember that golfers come from diverse backgrounds and possess various skill sets. Therefore, it is crucial to approach the game with humility and respect for others’ abilities.
Here are some tips on how to navigate differences in skill levels and golfing styles:
- Embrace the Learning Process: Golf is a sport that demands patience and perseverance. It is natural to feel frustrated when your skills do not match those of your playing partners. However, it is essential to embrace the learning process and be open to constructive feedback. By maintaining a growth mindset, you will be more likely to appreciate the skills of others and develop your own abilities.
- Respect Each Other’s Styles: Golfers have different swing styles, putting techniques, and approaches to the game. It is important to respect each other’s preferences and avoid making assumptions about what is “right” or “wrong.” Remember that golf is a game, and the most significant aspect is to have fun and enjoy the experience together.
- Play at a Pace That Suits Everyone: Differences in skill levels can also impact the pace of play. It is essential to find a balance that suits everyone in the group. Encourage your playing partners to take their time to enjoy the scenery and avoid rushing through holes. This will create a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
- Create Mixed-Skill Groupings: To foster camaraderie and inclusivity, consider creating mixed-skill groupings when playing with a larger group. This will ensure that players of different abilities can learn from one another and share their experiences. It is also an excellent opportunity to develop mentorship relationships, where more experienced players can offer guidance and support to those who are still learning.
- Celebrate Successes Together: Golf is a sport that is full of ups and downs. When you or your playing partners achieve a personal best or overcome a significant challenge, it is essential to celebrate these successes together. By sharing in each other’s victories, you will create a sense of camaraderie and strengthen your golfing friendships.
By embracing these tips, you can navigate differences in skill levels and golfing styles, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment on the golf course. Remember, golf is a sport that brings people together, and by respecting each other’s abilities and styles, you will build lasting connections that extend beyond the fairways.
Balancing personal and professional commitments with golfing activities
As much as golfing provides an opportunity to build friendships, it can also pose challenges when it comes to balancing personal and professional commitments. While it is important to maintain golfing friendships, other obligations such as work, family, and personal life can sometimes take precedence. The key to overcoming this challenge is finding a balance that works for you. Here are some tips to help you strike the right balance:
- Prioritize your commitments: Before making plans to play golf, prioritize your personal and professional commitments. Consider your schedule for the week and decide which days are best for golfing. If you have a busy week at work, it might be better to schedule your golf games for the weekend.
- Be flexible: Golfing buddies should be understanding and flexible when it comes to scheduling games. If one person has a busy week, try to reschedule the game to a more convenient time. Communication is key in this case.
- Join a golf league: Joining a golf league can help you maintain your golfing friendships while also providing a sense of structure and routine. Golf leagues often have set dates and times for games, making it easier to plan around other commitments.
- Utilize technology: With the rise of technology, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with golfing buddies even when you can’t physically play together. Use apps like WhatsApp or Facebook to communicate and plan games, even if you can’t play together in person.
- Take breaks when needed: It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. If you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, don’t feel obligated to play golf. Take a day off to recharge and prioritize your other commitments.
By following these tips, you can balance your personal and professional commitments with your love for golfing and maintain strong golfing friendships.
Maintaining open communication and staying connected
The Importance of Regular Check-Ins
One of the most effective ways to maintain open communication and stay connected with your golfing friends is by scheduling regular check-ins. This can be done through phone calls, video chats, or even text messages. These check-ins can help you stay up-to-date on each other’s lives, as well as discuss any challenges or successes you may be experiencing on the course. By regularly checking in with your golfing buddies, you can ensure that your friendships remain strong and lasting.
Participating in Group Outings and Tournaments
Another important aspect of maintaining open communication and staying connected with your golfing friends is by participating in group outings and tournaments together. These events provide opportunities for you to bond with your friends, both on and off the course. By participating in these events, you can also demonstrate your commitment to your friendships and show that you value the time you spend together.
Staying Active on Social Media
Social media can also be a useful tool for maintaining open communication and staying connected with your golfing friends. By following each other on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can easily stay up-to-date on each other’s lives and share updates, photos, and videos from your golfing adventures. Additionally, many golf courses and clubs have their own social media accounts, which can be a great way to stay informed about upcoming events and tournaments.
The Power of Golf-Related Conversations
Finally, one of the best ways to maintain open communication and stay connected with your golfing friends is by engaging in golf-related conversations. Whether you’re discussing your recent rounds, sharing tips and strategies, or simply swapping stories about your on-course experiences, these conversations can help strengthen your friendships and keep you connected even when you’re not physically on the course together.
By following these tips and strategies, you can maintain open communication and stay connected with your golfing friends, ensuring that your friendships remain strong and lasting over time.
1. What are some tips for making friends in golf?
One of the best ways to make friends in golf is to be friendly and approachable. Introduce yourself to others on the course, ask how their game is going, and offer to play a round together. Joining a golf league or participating in golf tournaments is also a great way to meet new people and make connections.
2. How can I build lasting connections in golf?
Building lasting connections in golf requires more than just playing a few rounds together. Try to get to know your golf partners on a deeper level by asking about their interests, hobbies, and careers. You can also show your commitment to the game by attending regular practices, improving your skills, and offering to help others improve.
3. What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to make friends in golf?
One common mistake is being too competitive or serious on the course. Remember that golf is a social activity and should be enjoyed with others. Another mistake is not taking the time to get to know your golf partners and not showing interest in their lives outside of golf.
4. How can I deal with rejection or not making connections in golf?
It’s normal to experience rejection or not make connections in golf, but it’s important to keep a positive attitude and not let it discourage you. Remember that building relationships takes time and effort, and not everyone will be a good fit as a golfing buddy. Keep trying, be yourself, and don’t give up.