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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

Ever since I got to Bradley, I’ve had one specific goal: Make as many friends and connections as possible. When I was younger, I didn’t really have many friends. I was bullied for a good portion of elementary and middle school. So, I naturally didn’t have many friends, and I never felt comfortable in my own skin. That was until I met one particular person, and they changed my life. She’s my best friend. I knew what it was like to connect with someone and what it was like to trust someone outside of my own family. Through her, I learned more things about myself than I did before.

Since befriending her, I’ve learned more and more through my interactions with other people. I learned that I am indeed more introverted than extroverted. Additionally, it takes me a long time to get comfortable around new people and build trust with others. It also takes me time to actually be myself to the fullest, without any hesitation. For the longest time, I had trouble naturally talking to kids my age without thinking about every single thing I was saying. I had trouble making eye contact with most people outside my family and would stutter sometimes. It took me so long to learn these basic skills. As a person who hasn’t really had a group of friends or anything like that — besides my best friend — there’s a few things I wish I would’ve known sooner.

As a reminder, these are based off my personal experience and may or may not be beneficial to everyone.

To start off, I used to be in a friend group where I never truly felt like myself. Don’t get me wrong, those friends were nice people, but I always felt like I was putting up an act in order to be liked by them. I had known them for so long that being myself wasn’t an option anymore. However, with my best friend, I actually started being myself instead of acting as someone else. Simply put, I was a lot happier. Especially coming to college with a clean slate, I’m determined on being myself now. Most people are probably familiar with the typical “cliques” in high school movies; however, even though most of these movies show school in a more extreme way, it is true that there is a group for everybody. Finding those people may be a bit of a challenge, but it’s important to continue doing things you like. Trying new things that you think you may like or that you’re not sure about, may be a good idea to meet new people, too. It’s easier to make friends with those who like doing the same things as you. Although, even in the case that you don’t, you may get along in other ways.

There will always be new opportunities to meet new people. I know it may seem like making new friends has to happen as quick as possible because I thought so, too. Especially as the school year starts to move along, it may seem as if everyone has already found their “someone” or group, leaving those who don’t have any friends behind. Though, as someone who has talked to new groups of people these past few weeks at Bradley, I’ve learned that most of the time that’s not the case. Most people are willing to include others into their little “group.” If they’re aren’t, they’re probably not the best type of friends, anyway. Not only is making new friends important, but making good friends is, too.

Now, take a deep breath. If you’re not like me, this article may have helped calmed you. However, if you are like me, even mentioning a topic like this is very anxiety-producing — that’s okay. The idea of time always passing by and running out would always make me anxious, and it still does now. I hate missing opportunities and a lot of the time I’d feel like I was missing out on making new friends. However, there’s so much more time and so many more opportunities to make new friends. So, basically, try not to worry about it too much and enjoy life. Some friends will come and some will go, and that’s perfectly okay.

Layla Alexander

Bradley U '27

Hi, my name’s Layla and I’m a freshman at Bradley University. I like to write about many things like movies, science-based stuff, and more. If you’re interested in things like that, you should read an article of mine 😁 One random fact about me is that I love flan 🍮 💖💖💖