I have been in college for almost a month, and so far my biggest problem is something I’ve done quite easily — making friends.
During Orientation, people began to cling together because, in truth, all of us were friendless. So my group of friends developed depending on with whom I ate lunch one day, who also got lost trying to return to my dorm after a party, or who was sitting next to me at one of the many assemblies. I am not complaining about my friends — they are all genuinely nice people – but I wonder: if we had gone to school from pre-K to twelfth grade, would they even give me a second glace? Would I give them?
I feel like making these friends so hastily isn’t really making any true connections. Maybe this is because I’ve never moved away, and so have known all my high school friends for years. I know them inside and out, and I am really grateful for them. Now I have plenty more people programmed into my cell phone than I did in last fall. I can call over ten girls to go eat lunch, or procrastinate by watching a movie. I can say hello to at least five friends every time I walk somewhere.
But what kind of claim is that, when I don’t know anything about them other than the generic five questions I have asked and been asked for the last few weeks. 1) What’s your name? 2) What dorm do you live in? 3) What are you interested in studying? 4) Where are you from? 5) Do you want to exchange cell phone numbers?
There is no number 6: What is it about you that would make us good friends?
The problem for me is that I do not know how to put myself out there — really let people know how I act around my old friends — without being ridiculous. I don’t think I am stifling my whole personality, but I am definitely holding back my love of cheesy Disney movies and my obsessive grammar corrections.
And so I now question as to whether my new friends are doing the same.
Are they truly this nice and smart and driven and friendly all the time? Because although they’re easygoing, they seem too normal and perfect to get along with a quirky kid like me. I almost wish there were a day where everyone could just let it out there, where I could burst into singing High School Musical 2 when someone asks, “What time is it?” Back home, that was my type of normal. As were sarcastic jokes, skipping down hallways and dancing without a care of how crazy I looked.
I know I will become more comfortable in time, but for now I feel as if I am showing the simple side of Kristine to my dozens of generically nice buddies. I am looking for a little more than that. For now, I am trying to act as normal as possible. Maybe soon I will find that my type of normal fits in just fine here.