Quality Over Quantity

College is the place where you will make lifelong friends! All my best friends are from college! You will meet so many people and make so many friends in college!

This is what I heard repeatedly over and over again from relatives, friends, teachers, and even strangers the summer before I arrived at Babson College. So, after being bombarded with the information that college was going to radically impact my friendships for the rest of my life, I came into Babson with the expectation that I was going to quickly make many new lifelong friendships.

I was the only person from my high school to come to Babson, which was a little nerve-racking. In high school, I had a tight group of friends that I've known since elementary and middle school, so it was intimidating to leave that familiarity behind. Everyone in my friend group was going to different colleges and universities and although we promised each other that we would try to stay in contact, I was a little doubtful. However, I was hopeful because I was assured that I will make many new lifelong friends in college, right?

Orientation week flew by, and while I did meet many new people from many different places, (New York, Houston, China, Indonesia, India, California, etc), I found it hard it make real friendship connections. Everyone was polite, but conversations just felt like small talk. I felt so alone, I didn’t feel like I had any friends, and I felt like I had no one to talk to. After the first day of classes, I remember walking back to my dorm with a pit in my stomach. The people in my classes already seemed to know each other, and friend groups were already formed. I felt left out. I actually Facetimed my boyfriend sobbing to him about how I felt so alone and out of place at Babson. I didn’t feel like I belonged to the Babson community.

Luckily, I had a really supportive roommate. I was randomly assigned a roommate and even though we had never met before, we got along right away. I could tell her about problems I was having and she would always listen and tell me that I could persevere through my problems. She always cheered me on. She was my first college friend, and we went everywhere together. Soon, we started hanging out with the boy down the hall. He saw that I was struggling in my QTM class, and so he would stop by my dorm to help me with my homework. The three of us started meeting up to get dinner together every night since. One night, he got locked out of his dorm, so we let him sleep over. He has now become our third roommate, and we continue to get dinner together every night when possible.

I met two other girls through classes I shared with them. They were very friendly when I first met them, and they even invited me on multiple occasions to have breakfast and lunch with them. My friendship with them started forming when I began to go to their dorm to help them with homework. I have always loved helping other people, and I firmly believe that you should always lend a helping hand when you can.  Some time ago, I had a really rough week where I would wake up each morning dreading the long day to come. I didn’t want to get out of bed but I still made it to class with these two girls. They noticed that I wasn’t being my usual cheery self, so later in the day, they both sent me a personal text message asking about how I was doing. Later at night when I was alone in my dorm, they both came up and gave me a hug handing me a whole bag of candy and sticky notes of encouragement.

What I learned is that I don’t need to have a lot of friends. I just need to find a few friends that really matter and genuinely care about me. I came into Babson thinking that I was going to find friends right away, but finding good friends take time, and good friends are worth waiting for.