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I want to say that I have a lot of friends. And I do! There are a number of people I consider friends. But I was just thinking recently about how a majority of my friends are just mutuals or high school friends. People who were introduced to me on a whim. The sad reality is, I think I’m terrible at making friends. 

I would say that I’m pretty shy. It takes a lot for me to reach out to a stranger because I just overthink so much. Do they think I’m weird? What should I say? Do they even vibe with me right now? Are they just forcing a conversation out of kindness? A lot of these questions run through my head when I meet someone for the first time. And that’s just the easy part for me! 

The hard part is continuing to reach out to them. I want to respect people’s boundaries but that just ends up in me being too scared to talk to them again. And I do want to get to know them more, but I just don’t want to be a source of annoyance or unwanted conversation. Or maybe they just don’t remember me and I want to save myself the embarrassment of re-introducing myself. There’s kind of this awkward tension between me and the other person, where neither of us wants to spark a conversation again, which leads us to become strangers once again. 

I can think of so many of these encounters off the top of my head right now. Sometimes I see them in passing and it’s just an awkward little reminder of the time when we tried to be friends. The sad part is, I don’t even think they remember me as much as I remember them. So that’s a little explanation of why I think I suck at making friends on my own. 

But it also makes me grateful for the friends I currently have!

So while I might be this awkward non-confrontational being in my classes, it feels nice knowing that there are people who appreciate me as much as I appreciate them. It makes me sad just thinking about a future where we just don’t see each other anymore. But that’s a thought for another day! 

For now, here’s to the many more awkward encounters and friendships to come. 

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Karen Lam

UC Berkeley '25

Hello! I'm a second-year studying data science, but in my free time I enjoy crocheting and binge-watching television shows. If you're reading this I hope you're having a great day!
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