Dear First Year...

To the first year who feels like they will never find their “college friends”…

 

I was once in your shoes. I get it, more than you realize. Keep in mind, that every single person surrounding you in the dining hall and your walks to class and at the gym probably has felt just like you do right now at some point. I walked onto Butler last year, a lonely little first year with big dreams and expectations that college was just like the movies (despite everyone telling me this was NOT THE CASE). If you are like me, you received quite the shock when I left my door open and no groups of girls came running in, asking me to dinner with them and to scope out the cute people on campus.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

Not having friends the moment I walked on the campus was for some reason quite the shock to me. I’d always thought “hey, you’ll get to college and meet your gal pals that will be the godmother to your children and your bridesmaids at your wedding in the first few hours!” Despite my knowledge that this was entirely unrealistic, (let’s face it, I’m 6 feet 3 inches tall, I’m sliiiiiightly intimidating to most people) I was still super upset to not find my best friends within 24 hours.

 

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE!!

 

Welcome week then started, and I first met with my FYS group to go over our common read and campus rules. That’s when I met my welcome week buddy. You know, that one person who you are attached to at the hip for about a week and then you never really talk to again? I’ve always had severe social anxiety, so that was a blessing in disguise. However, that friendship didn’t last. Once classes started, I was left alone for months to do my own thing without friends or anyone to hang around, no rooms to hang out and laugh the night away in, and no parties to go to.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

 

However, looking back on this time now as a sophomore, I wouldn’t have changed those first two months or so for anything else. Having those first months to myself on campus allowed me to get a good start on my academics since they are so important to me. It also gave me time to learn the ropes of campus and college life, and developed me into the woman I am today. Now as a sophomore, I have 3 of the best girlfriends I could ever ask for, so many new memories and experiences under my belt, and have learned to balance friends, parties, extracurriculars, and academics all on one plate, just because I had those first months to reflect and really be myself.

 

Dear first year (or any year),

I know what you’re going through. I know exactly how you are feeling, and how lonely this time in your life can be. I promise you, once you begin to truly feel comfortable with yourself and embrace the situation you are in, it will all work out and you’ll find just who you are meant to be with. You’ll find the godmothers to your children, you’ll find your bridesmaids, you’ll find those girls who will hold your hair when you’ve had too much to drink and who will also hold your hand when you feel you can’t do it all anymore.

 

You are not alone. I promise.

 

~L