FRIENDS, But Not the Show

In one of my previous articles about being a transfer student, I mentioned the plights I faced coming to a new school as an older student. One of the hardest things for me to do is make friends. My ex-boyfriend mentioned to me that I was lot more outgoing when we first met, but now that I live in Pennsylvania again, I am much more shy. I think that is really true and I am not entirely sure what to make of it. I am halfway through the semester and I have interacted with a lot of new people. I have met people who I would love to make my friends, but I am so shy when it comes to making that first move. The first move is the scariest thing in my eyes. Whether it means talking to a guy and trying to ask them out or asking a girl to hangout for a girl’s night, I cannot do it.

I chose to use this article to reflect on the change that has happened in me and attempt to refocus as to how to overcome it. I believe that there are a lot of people in my situation and they feel the same way that I do. When I was in high school, I had friends in multiple grades and in multiple groups. I was not a popular kid, but I was known. Now that I am in college, that lifestyle has changed. I kept some of my closest high school friends, but I have yet to make those close college friends. Being able to talk to people has never been a skill I have had trouble with. I find it really easy to talk to people of all ages. One of the most critical life skills in my opinion is the ability to network and talk to new people, yet that is a skill that I am now failing at.

Many of my friends tell me to just be weird and go for it, but that isn’t something I am comfortable with. The real question now is how do I overcome the discomfort? I have no clue. A big part of me knows that I am making it to be a bigger deal than it actually is, yet I still have the fear in me about making that first move. It took a little bit of time, but I am starting to be able to make the first move. I can talk to a boy and ask them out. I can start a conversation with another person. I still am a little bit of a weenie when it comes to asking people to hangout, so my HC girls, please ask me to hang out!

I don’t think that being shy is a problem at all. Sometimes it is a little bit fun to lurk in the shadows and listen in on the world around you. I do that frequently. Being shy is not a problem unless it gets in the way of your life. I think for me it became a problem, but very slowly it is not. I am now beginning to open up and talk to lots of other different people. Making friends is different than making acquaintances with people in your class. I think that this is one thing that will just take some time on its own. There is not much advice that I can give to you about how to make more friends because it happens differently for each individual person. What I can say is that if you feel like you are a shy person too and are slowly making friends, then I can assure you that I am right there with you.

As the semester comes to a slow end, I think about the people I chat with in class or waiting in the hall. Have we become friends? Are we acquaintances? Are they just the person I am sitting next to this semester? All of these questions go through my head now. Perhaps I will have classes with them the following semester and a friendship will truly develop. Perhaps not. The cycle of friendships is never ending. We meet people, we know people, and people leave. It’s a cycle I have not yet mastered in adulthood. I cherish the friendships and relationships that I have already developed. I love getting to know the details of a person’s life and genuinely getting to know them. I see people for the way that they are. It’s a skill that I hold hidden a lot of the time. It comes off as overbearing or too energetic at times, but it holds value to me, nonetheless. Maybe I don’t have the most friends on the earth, but that is perfectly okay with me. I cherish every person who I can call my friend.

HCXO,

Cecilia

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