Edited by Aneesha Chandra
It has been two years since my orientation week, and I can easily say that a lesson well-learned has been this: orientation week friendships rarely last.
And that is okay.
You see, orientation week is about a lot of things. It’s about exploring a new place, adjusting to a new life, and battling homesickness, while scurrying around attending different sessions and seminars. However, let me tell you: orientation week is not about finding friends who you will stick with for the next 3 to 4 years. In fact, you may not even be friends with these people the very next month.
Friendships that you form in the orientation week usually have a lot to do with convenience. You spend time with someone from your own cohort, or someone from the same city as you, and decide to stick together because let’s face it, the initial days of college are scary. It’s overwhelming. You feel like you have had to start your life all over because you don’t have any friends. In school, friendships were always there and you didn’t know how they formed in the first place. So after joining college, it is easy to be at a loss regarding how one actually makes friends. Which is why sticking to the first person you interact with is very natural. However, when you slowly get adjusted to this new life, meet new people and mostly importantly, meet your people, the friends from O-week become distant — almost part of another life.
This is not to say that these friendships aren’t meaningful. Come to think of it, these are the first people you interact properly with in college. You share laughs. You share your loneliness. You share the blur that orientation week is, and the tumultuous ride that is course registration. These are the people with whom you share the initial high of college life, and having people around who aren’t permanent is much better than having no people around, at least when you join college. Even though they are people with whom things didn’t work out, you always share a special bond with them. After all, those nights spent playing Mafia and watching thrillers meant everything at one point.
So yes, dear Freshers, this is the hard truth. You may meet someone in the very first week of college and think you’ve hit the jackpot by finding your bestie already, but hang in there. Of course, you’re a lucky one if you do manage to stay friends with this person for the rest of your college life – or life, period. However, you’re just as lucky if you don’t. Because there is something beautiful about these fleeting O-week friendships as well. Months later, you’ll pass someone in the hall you hung out at the dhaba with or stayed awake watching a movie with. You may give them a smile or you may awkwardly avoid each other, and that is okay. Things may not have worked out with them, but they were a part of your life at a very important time in your life. Remember these people because they were the ones who gave you hope that hey, maybe I will fit in here. Hold on to the moments you spend with them during O-week. One day, you will look back and realize that if these people hadn’t been around at that time, the rest of your college life wouldn’t have turned out the way it did. Revel in these friendships and don’t worry if they fall apart. College is a time of growth, and meeting new people while leaving behind old ones is just as much a part of the experience as anything else.