A Glimpse Into A Freshman's Life

I walk into class and try to search for a familiar face—I know only two faces on campus, but one of them belongs to the cleaning lady on my floor, so that does not work out very well. I sigh and sit next to a girl who is one of the very few not already conversing with others. It is a bad idea—she seems more interested in her phone than in socializing with people. I envy her. From behind me, I hear laughter so genuine I am taken aback. I never thought to joke around with strangers like they were old friends was possible, and was something that people did. I declare myself incapable of it because surely it is a talent only the most skilled people in the world possess. I pass the next few minutes waiting for the professor to arrive, scrolling through Instagram and trying to pretend like I lead a happy, social life. But my happiness about the professor's entry is short-lived because, in a few minutes, it is my turn to introduce myself to a class of 100 people, half of whom have been blessed with resting bitch faces. Timidly saying my name and where I come from, I hurriedly sit down and accept my fate—I would not be making friends, at least not in this class.

After an hour and a half of trying to avoid eye contact with the professor lest he asks me a question, I sling my bag over my shoulder and leave the classroom. The corridors are filled with gossip and laughter and it makes me miserable because just a few months back, similar looking corridors had echoed my own mirth-filled voice. But thinking about the school I had spent 16 years of my life in only makes me want to crawl into bed, one that I am not even comfortable in. So I try to forget my own thoughts and make my way to the mess. Lunch is being served and after convincing myself that the food would taste much better than it looked, I sit down to eat, all alone. Looking around, I notice that all those who sat alone had at least the sensibility to bring along their earphones. They seem content in their own presence and I am sure my face betrays my desperation for friends. I turn back to my plate and try to eat as fast as possible so that I can go back to my room and escape facing the harsh reality of my own loneliness. When I am away from people it is easier to pretend to be okay because there is nothing telling me that I am not.

I am half-way through my lunch when a girl appears in front of me, looking as unsure of herself as I surely did. When her eyes land on me I give her a small smile, desperately hoping that I don’t scare her off. To my relief, she sits down opposite me and introduces herself. We start talking and as we bond over our mutual liking for Marvel and dislike for college, I start to feel lighter. I smirk inwardly when I realize that I am no longer a part of the ‘lonely club’. Looking around, I feel pity for those who are eating alone. It is so easy to make friends, why don’t they try?!

 

The next day, I am having breakfast alone. I had forgotten to take my ‘friend’s’ number, and she is lost amongst the crowd of thousands. Morose, I turn to the grilled-cheese sandwich on my tray and focus on finding the cheese to divert my attention from everything else.

How did people make friends, again?

 

Edited by Yashasvi Arunkumar (UG 2020)

Visual content curated by the HC Ashoka Visual Content Team