It all started September 3rd of 2016. Orientation day. I had arrived at a small, rural liberal arts college in Minnesota with a 3,000 undergraduate enrollment. I was scared out of my mind to start college and to leave my perfect, cozy cocoon of a home in Illinois. I was scared to leave my mom, who had practically been my best friend throughout my whole life, and I was scared I was not going to make any friends. I remember sitting in the car with my mom and bawling saying, “what if I don’t make any friends?”
The possibility of being alone and being forced to be responsible in a matter of seconds–basically when your parents drive away–was all too much. Of course, you get to go back for breaks and visit with your family, but that is all it is, visiting. You can never call your room at home, home again. And every time you go back to your house, it is a constant reminder of how you don’t belong there anymore. And if you do not find a home at college away from your old home, where do you belong?
The first few weeks of college were fine. I was homesick, but I also had hope that I would be able to find friends, eventually. And I knew I would eventually be able to see my mom and family again soon. I got along with my roommate and we became good friends, and we went to every meal together. And before I knew it, it was October, and I still had not made a single friend, and neither had my roommate. Friday and Saturday nights consisted of both of us laying in bed and watching Netflix. She would always skype her boyfriend, for hours on end. Which I was fine with, but after a while I started feeling lonely because I didn’t really have anyone to talk to there. But it was only October, and I still had hope.
Flash forward to today, February 25th, and I still have not made a single friend, except for my roommate. I’ve had some people I would small talk with in class, but I would find it extremely difficult to take it a step further. And eventually there was a guy along the way, but it turns out he was just extremely desperate and a football player–let me tell you, not a good combination.
It’s turning into another Saturday night where I have nothing to do. Over the past months, I have questioned my self-worth, my ability to be a friend, my social awkwardness, and basically everything about myself. I am transferring to a different school next year, and I am even more scared, but I am going into it having a little knowledge. And if anything, this year has been a huge learning experience for me. Even though I still get depressed and lonely, and I feel like I will never have friends, I have learned to be okay with being by myself, and I have learned what it takes to make myself happy, without anyone else having to, and that is the greatest thing to have learned. So thank you to this college for that.
p.s. If you have had any similar experiences, feel lost or alone, and want to reach out, message me, or share with everyone in the comments. I would love to hear all of your experiences because I feel alone in this too.