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When you scroll through your Facebook and Instagram feeds, you’re bound to see pictures of your peers having a lot of fun together, whether they’re out at a party or socializing in someone’s dorm. People tell you college is the best four years of your life, but when you see those pictures and you’re not in them, you wonder why you aren’t out there with friends having the time of your life. Trust me, I’ve been in that position PLENTY of times.

The honest truth about college is that it is not worry-free or easy. Making friends is indeed very hard. Social media reinforces the myth that the happiest people are the most popular ones. But in reality, all people are built differently, so we all find our best friends differently. Some people find them at the beginning of their college careers; some find them through classes or extracurricular activities. You may not find your best friends immediately, and that’s okay. You may not click very well with the first group of people you meet and hang out with, and that’s okay, too. You will find them, but maybe not right away.

Personally, I don’t make friends easily just from participating in clubs, even though everyone tells me to find people with “common interests.” My advice for anyone struggling to find friendships is to do extracurricular activities to discover your passions rather than make friends. I’ve found my best friends when I wasn’t trying to. For example, during my freshman year, I started talking to someone who lived only a couple rooms away from me and I never thought we would become friends. Today, she’s one of my best friends in the world. Keep your mind open because you may find your closest friends when you least expect to.

Your college experience is what you make it. Be yourself, focus on your self-growth and great friends will find you.

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