Originally posted on December 21st, 2016 on Her Campus UCF.
So your first semester of college has come and gone and you’re still sitting there wondering when you’re going to meet “the one?” No, not the boy of your dreams that you imagine running away into the sunset with, but your female counterpart that will take on the role of your bestie for the rest of your life. The one who will be by your side for all your crazy antics the next four years and still be there with you when you tell your kids about the good times you two had in college.
Everyone has always talked about how you meet your true friends in college, yet if youre reading this, it’s possible that somehow this moment hasn’t happened yet. It’s confusing, of course, because it seems like everyone around has hooked on to someone and began creating endless memories, and looking around, you feel like a lost puppy. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It might not always make sense. In a school with a population of over 60,000 it might seem impossible to find the one person you connect with the most. With so many people around constantly, it’s hard to branch out and talk to new people. We’ve all been in situations where we don’t know how to initiate conversations. And it’s even harder if you’re like me and the fear of embarrassing yourself outweighs your willingness to reach out to people.
The internet has fueled most of my social interactions thus far in college. All of my current friends I have met because I began talking to them online before even moving in in August. I built up virtual friendships that allowed our first interactions to seem more comfortable. It was a blessing and a curse. As I built these friendships, my online persona shined, while my real life outgoingness dissipated. After the first month of classes, I realized that I had yet to branch out from these online friendships, and it seemed too late to make new friends. Everyone already had their groups set up and no one wants to be an outsider. Although I too had a group of friends I could rely on, it seemed to be a mish-mash of people that reflected different parts of my persona and didn’t particularly interact as fluidly as a group. I had yet to make that instant connection with any one in particular, leaving me longing for more friends.
The semester came and left and I was still too shy to branch out from the safety of the group that was already established. They are amazing friends, yet I don’t feel the comfort that I expect when I see other friend groups on Instagram of Facebook. I know it’s silly to judge yourself based of of other social media posts, but its almost impossible to avoid in this day and age.
I see posts from people I hung out with once or twice and instantly regret not making more plans with them. The friend crushes evolve as I become more and more greedy in the friend department. I start second guessing how I can join activities to make friends and how I can socialize more in the organizations I’m already a part of. The gears in my brain keep turning until I finally burst from exhaustion thinking about all of this as I realize an important discovery.
It may seem like you’re all alone in this search for a best friend, as if everyone around you is locked down. But there are so many people out there who are in the same boat as you, on your campus, in your town, and across the country. The first semester at a new college brings more challenges and adjustments than you’ve probably ever experienced, but that’s no reason to lose hope. With each new semester, there are new experiences that allow you to meet people. It might seem intimidating to sign up for something alone, but showing up alone gives you an excuse to mingle and talk to new people. It might seem like your being a bother by talking to the person sitting next to you on your first day of class, but you never know if they could be your new best friend. Exchange names, numbers, snapchats, Instagram usernames, you name it. Just make sure you keep up with staying in contact. You can’t make friends if you don’t try.
Next time you see someone that you want to hang out with’s name pop up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, slide into their DM’s in the most platonic way possible and set up a lunch date or a study session. The more interactions you have with someone, the stronger your friendship grows. Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t found your person yet, i’m in the same boat as you. Just challenge yourself to be more outgoing in the upcoming semester. It’s going to be difficult for me too, but we are all in this together.