Ah yes. Second semester of my first year in college. With all the missed days because of snow storms (shout out to Snowstorm Juno) and icy pathways, professors loading up the work because of these missed days, and extracurriculars, it’s kind of hard to catch my breath sometimes.
Fortunately, even with the work load being 3x as much as last semester, I actually enjoy my classes more.
Now, if you think this is another “HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE YAY” blog post, I hate to disappoint you, but it’s not. In fact, if anything, this is more of a “What I haven’t learned from my first semester in college”. Or, even more accurately, “What I haven’t learned in my 14 years of Catholic school nor in my first semester in a non-religious (although most likely Jewish influenced) private university”.
Allow me to explain.
Before I came back to Long Island, NY for the second semester, my mother issued this challenge to me: “I want you to find one friend. One friend, that’s it. One friend whom you’ll hang out with and go everywhere with, even into the city. I mean, it’s fine if you don’t find that person this semester, but it’d be nice.”
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? I thought so too.
But then I got back to campus and realized how hard it will be. Hofstra University is the largest private university on Long Island. The bulk of the student body, most likely, is freshmen.
And then, I also noticed one thing about not only Hofstra freshmen but pretty much everyone that’s my age, thanks to facebook.
I noticed that:
- Everyone’s pretty much buddy buddy with everyone else just in the course of one semester and
- Almost everyone belongs to a really large group of friends. Like, I’m not talking two or three people. I’m talking about at least ten.
And that’s absolutely terrifying to me.
You see, from the advent of my academic career onwards, I never belonged to a “large” friend group. Heck, I never belonged to any group until I got to high school. I wasn’t exactly the kid everyone hated (although I got some pretty rude comments directed at me in elementary and middle school. There’s a reason I went to a high school almost nobody else bar one was going to), but if you’re looking to find me in photos of groups of friends, good luck with that because those don’t exist.
To put it simply, large friend groups are scary. They terrify me. “Why?” you ask. Because the larger the friend group, the more likely I’ll be ignored. And due to my quiet, contemplative nature, it’s just more obvious in a larger friend group. And then, who’s to say the more talkative people won’t just get up and leave the quiet one because “oh she doesn’t talk much she’s boring”?
Additionally, I can’t even begin to count how many times people have called me their best friend, but then abandoned me for “more social” people. Now, I will admit, some of that is my fault. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that one thing. Maybe I should have gone to that gathering. Maybe I should apologize to them. Maybe I should have talked with them more. Maybe this, maybe that.
Maybe I should take the initiative for once.
But then I see how happy they are with their “new best friend” and their “new friend group”, and having been taught to not “bring so much attention” to myself, I back off. Because if there’s one thing my generation absolutely hates, it’s “attention whores”, people who constantly pine for attention because they feel horrible about themselves. I wouldn’t go so far to say I’m one of those, but I get pretty freakin’ lonely sometimes, and it’s unbearable. Especially since I have a facebook and am constantly bombarded “BFFs since we were two xoxoxo :)”, “happy birthday, so-and-so, love youuuuuuu” (like shoot, I didn’t get a message like that for my birthday. except for my mom. Thanks, Mom.) and “so-and-so is now friends with so-and-so” almost every freaking day.
Now, I could deactivate my facebook, but I already did that once or twice throughout high school because I was so pissed at various “friends”, and my mom questioned my decision each time, so for her sake as well as the rest of my family’s, I stay on. Besides, now that I’m in college and my family is in so many parts of the US now, I have to keep up with them that way.
I could “unfriend” some of the people that make me uncomfortable with their hella large friend group pictures, but I’m far too lazy to do that actually. (Besides, some from my middle school and high school graduating classes have already taken the initiative lol)
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: If you want to be my friend, I’m cool with that. If you want to be my friend and involve me with your group of friends, I’m cool with that. If you want to be good friends with me, if you want to be my best friend, if you want me to be your friend for life, I’m cool with that too. But if you know for certain your other friends don’t take too kindly to introverts like me (trust me, there are ways you can find this out), don’t involve me with them. I’ve spent far too long being the ignored girl because interests and personalities weren’t compatible.
And while we’re at it, for the love of God, please communicate with me if you’re going to be my friend. I’m not saying have in-depth conversations with me every day because ain’t nobody got time for that. But if you feel I’ve done you wrong or anything of that sort, tell me. Don’t just flat out ignore me and expect me to completely understand what I did wrong. And occasionally, I might ask (almost too many times lol) if you still consider me your friend because I’ve lost touch with so many good ones over the years over stupid stuff. And I try to fix that, but by that time, it’s already too late. Ignoring me might fix things on your end, but it makes things worse on mine, even if I try to say, “Well, it’s for the best.”
I know I’m asking a lot, but I know I’m worth it. And I know you’re worth it too. And I will act like it. I promise.
“Find that one friend you can constantly hang out with in college,” my mom said. It’s gonna be hard, but I’m confident that by the end of this academic year, I’ll meet her expectation.