I’ve wanted to write this post for some time now, but I think while I was still in undergrad I was kind of nervous about how it would be received by my classmates. Which is ironic because I could give a flying f*ck what people think of me and my opinions and all, but still. My school has (yikes, had, has? IDK) a small student body, like very small (high school small) so word travels relatively quickly.
I went into college under the impression that the friends I made would be the one’s standing beside me at my wedding, the friends I would have forever. I had always thought college would have been like what you saw in the movies, because my naive pre-college mind didn’t think for a second life was different than the movies, it’s embarrassing really. What the movies don’t show you is the growing pains you go through in your four years of college, particularly speaking, the growing pains that occur when it comes to friends.
Upon meeting my freshman year roommates, I was convinced that my roommates would be my girls forever. We were a close knit group freshman year and we never went anywhere without one another, not parties, not the gym, not the cafeteria, nowhere. This might seem crazy, but we were all trying to navigate the new waters that were college, so we leaned on one another for everything. Until we found our solid ground, we needed the support of each other to feel that stability we craved so badly.
As freshman and sophomore year came and went, we separated and grew apart for various reasons. This blog isn’t about how friendships fall apart, that happens all the time. It’s how life works, but it hurts all the same. After this friendship broke up, I proceeded to move through undergrad floating around never really finding that same connection I had with my freshman roommates. My boyfriend and his friends became my people, but they were a year ahead of me, so when they graduated I was stuck in this blindspot of friendship, knowing I had friends but that my “people” were out of college moving on with their lives.
I was never the type of person who ditched her friend group when I met a guy and we started dating. I always kept that connection with my friends, because I’ve always been so friend oriented. When I find my people, they’re stuck with me for life. So when my people graduated a year ahead of me, I couldn’t help but worry about what my last year of college had in store for me.
It took me a while to come to terms with everything, losing the constant comfort of always having my boyfriend and his friends around, I went through the first few months of my first fall semester without them feeling like I didn’t have any friends. Obviously this was far from true, but when those core few aren’t as easily accessible, you’re forced under the illusion that you’ve lost them.
During Thanksgiving break, I realized that I was, in fact, not friendless, I was far from it. I have an amazing group of friends from back home, plus my wonderful friends who I met in college, even though they were no longer students alongside me, they still were my friends and distance wasn’t going to change that.
This sort of realization is what got me through times when I felt left out because I wasn’t jumping at the chance to go out with other seniors in my class. I’m not saying I disliked these people or that I was better than them, they just weren’t my people. I had found those significant few that I enjoyed spending time with, that got me. I could be 100% myself with those people and I always had the most fun when I was with them. To me it wasn’t worth it for me to mold myself to fit into the expectations of my kind-of friends that I had in my senior class. It wasn’t worth my time because I already knew I had the people I needed in life, I just had to have the confidence to accept that and not feel the need to change myself for others who weren’t those people.
This isn’t about being superior to others or anything like that, but rather just acknowledging that I’ve found my core group who like me for me. I’m far from that naive and anxious young girl I was my freshman year and I’ve come to realize I don’t have to please everyone. As long as I’m happy with myself and the people around me, then I know I’m doing something right. I went from thinking I found my people to losing them and then finding something even better. If this hasn’t happened for you yet, don’t worry it will and when it does, you’ll know it.