two girls leaning together in pink and blue lighting.

You Are Not Alone

By Piper Blake
Web Content Contributor

I have recently reconnected with a friend who I met last semester and she has been experiencing the same struggles I have while being in college. She texted me that she has been struggling to find a consistent group of people to hang out with and I have been having the same problem. Not having those childhood friends you’ve known for years close to you while away in college is hard because you have to find new people that will hopefully except you. I was thankful for her message because she was courageous enough to reach out where I usually wait and stay silent in these situations. We ended up hanging out and going to dinner where we really were able to start to dig deep into some personal issues we have been struggling with in our first few semesters that many students could relate to.

Making Friends

The thing that surprised me most was how similar we were. We had sat next to each other in a class all semester without truly realizing how close we could have been before if we had just opened up. I think that’s one of the sad things about college is that unless you spend a consistent amount of time with people you don’t really get a chance to make connections. Hence, the struggle to make friends. It’s hard to find a few close friends in college, but you have to be able to reach out to those you think could be good in your life.

Staying Healthy

The next issue we have been experiencing is trying to stay healthy while on campus. As freshman, we are both stuck in a dorm and confined to minimal groceries and dining hall selection. When we went to go eat, we established that we were both foodies. Girls tend to want to impress each other by how healthy they are, but it was nice to find someone who like me, isn’t scared to admit she likes dessert.

She and I are also very dedicated to working out from years of competition sports. You walk on campus and see so many people you admire for the way they look and start to compare your body to theirs. We want to have the “perfect” body and it’s hard to separate what your body needs and what your mind wants. Finding someone that has goals like your own is nice because it’s reassurance that you don’t have to sacrifice your food habits just to look a certain way, and you have someone there to support you. Acceptance of yourself is the most important thing. I think this is a universal concept that many college girls struggle with.

It’s Okay to be Reserved

Not all college students like to party and stay out late. This has been a struggle for both of us when it comes to socializing. We would much rather stay in and hangout with a few friends than go out and stay out late. Our priority is school. That is what we came to college for, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun. It’s not a bad thing to be reserved or a bit antisocial. Everyone needs down time when school is taking up all of your attention. Being understanding of people’s preferences on fun is important because not everyone is the same.

I have personally been having an internal struggle of trying to balance my social life and school life. I tend to let school become my only focus and put others on the backburner which doesn’t help relationships. Even when you think you are alone there are always connections you make that are waiting to be built stronger. Just getting out there and seeing if those connections are a path worth pursuing is important.

Featured image by Piper Blake.

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