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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

I had no friends in high school. I also had no personality and no fun. I hated it.

Let me revise my first statement. I did have one or two friends but in a very loose and forced sense. We didn’t truly get one another, and while I’m grateful for their friendship, it very much felt like we remained friends as a survival technique in the cold, cutting high school environment. Consequently, I spent a lot of time alone in my room and a lot of Friday nights on my couch watching movies with my parents.

I was miserable from the age of 14-18. I would go entire school days without talking to anyone, completely silenced by my overwhelming social anxiety. Out of fear, I would label myself as an introverted loner, retreating into the back of a classroom to avoid everyone. I would go to my weekly therapy session and beg my therapist to tell me what was wrong with me — Why couldn’t I have a simple conversation? Why do I have no friends?

Having a very similar high school experience, my therapist would reassure me that I was trying my best and suggest that the people and the environment I was currently surrounded by simply were not a good fit. “You’ll find your people in college,” she would assert. In response, I would apprehensively sigh and nod, knowing there was no way this could be true. There must be something wrong with me.

Unsurprisingly, the transition to college was an extremely daunting undertaking. I was stuck in the narrative that I am a shy and awkward introvert who was destined to remain a loner, but as it turns out, I am not incapable of friendship. I’m actually really good at it. I’m fiercely loyal, attentive, caring and fun — I’m a worthy friend. I am absolutely not saying that having friends cured my social anxiety, but I am saying that my beautiful and amazing friends helped me overcome my limiting beliefs about myself. 

I no longer hyperventilate before walking into a room full of people or find myself mute in a group conversation, or at least it occurs at a much lower frequency. My friends have shown me that my voice matters and that I matter. They are my biggest supporters and most loyal confidants. The second anything remotely interesting happens they will hear about it, and the most wonderful thing is that they want to hear about it. I am honored to hear about an issue for weeks (if not months) on end.

Who would have thought that the formerly mute girl would be such a talker? It’s funny to me how long I convinced myself that I liked shutting myself in my dark room for days on end watching the entirety of “Law and Order: SVU” for the third time. I can literally feel the energy being drained from me when I’m alone. I come back from hanging out with my friends or any event where I engage in a good conversation and I feel like I am on top of the world. It’s really no wonder why I was so depressed in high school — I’m not an introvert! I crave to be social with my people.

Perhaps the most healing and eye-opening statement I have seen was in a TikTok by the user @wyeoyi. I screenshotted, reposted and shared the video as soon as I saw it. I truly feel like this quote changed my brain chemistry: “I know I’m not hard to love because my friends never made it seem too hard.” 

I am such a lucky girl to love and be loved by my friends. As a group, they are the most caring, intelligent and witty girls I have ever met. They will stand up for their friends under any circumstances and can somehow sense when your energy is the slightest bit off. They have quite literally picked me up at my lowest and taken care of me.

When I was home for winter break, we kept in constant contact, sending daily vlogs and checking in on one another. One night, when I was watching “Saltburn” with my sisters, they confronted me about a new habit I had developed. In a very sisterly manner, they told me that they found my new joyfully sporadic laughter to be annoying. A few weeks later, my mom told me in a similar vein that she had never heard me laugh so much, remarking that it was a rarity just a few months ago. “I’m so happy you found your people.” 

The intricacies of female friendship — the knowing looks, the faithful support, the laughter — are a spectacular experience. I am so privileged to experience these special moments with my best friends. I truly cannot express how much they mean to me, but I hope they know that they have changed me for the better.

Meghan Lex is a freshman at St. Bonaventure University from New Jersey. She is a new member at Her Campus SBU, but plans to write pieces surrounding mental health, entertainment, and campus life! She currently studies communications. Technically, she's a "Undeclared Communications" major at the moment because it gives her the opportunity to explore all of the different aspects of the field! As a freshman, she is extremely excited to try new things, and sign up for different clubs and experiences on campus. Evidently, she is a part of the women's cross country and track team, SBU@SPCA, Freshman Leadership Program, and the Student Athletes Wellness Club.