Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"F" is for friends who do stuff together!

Let's look back for a second my earlier post in which my mother told me I wouldn't make any friends at college.

(Slight exaggeration).

Here's a slightly different angle on that story: The reason I was so upset was, of course, because I feared that she was right. I feared four years of Friday nights with nowhere to be, too much sleep, and a lot of weight loss because the gym is open when social avenues are not. I feared being plopped down alone in the middle of a strange place, and eventually leaving alone from it and not caring at all. I feared not hugging anyone but my family at graduation.

All of these fears are totally legitimate for anyone going to college close or far away--they're just a little more accentuated for those of us who know we won't have our high school friends close by to fall back on.

(Although let me clarify, by no means did I lose sleep about them during senior year. I wasn't too worried.)

Here's the deal: chances are overwhelmingly good that you will make friends in college. Personally, I lucked out--I literally walked around the corner one day during orientation, and there they were! A group of people who had just met, liked each other, and liked me. You might be lucky enough to get such a pre-formed family of friends, and if so then you will spend the year growing even closer to some of them as you explore the things you actually have in common that make you all work as a group.

Or, you might have to work a little harder to find them. I have friends now that I had to "develop," if you will (don't picture backhoes). Relationships take time and that's fine, but don't be terrified to ask someone to have lunch with you. Food is a good excuse to talk and bond and soon you'll be taking roadtrips and stealing laundry together.

How do you meet them, you might ask? Here's the answer you will hear a million times: get involved. Really. Find an organization that does what you love, and go to it, especially if it meets consistently. This gives you scheduled time to hang out with people who have the same interests as you, and gets you past some awkward small talk about what you might have in common. If a group that seems to do, in name, all the things you ever hoped and dreamed, but doesn't actually meet that often or have a setup open to conversation, then by all means still go to it. But go to other things as well. If it doesn't meet that often you have no excuse for time :)

Finally, don't stress about friendship. It may not be something you can check off on your college to-do list by the end of August, but it's not a checklist anyway. It's shenanigans and food and coffee and late nights in the dorms watching bad movies. And it will happen for you if you look for it.

1 comment:

  1. But, Jen... You're YOU! You're like a walking friend-magnet!