Over a particularly long weekend, the only people I came into physical contact in were the servers and cashiers at the dining hall. My roommate went home, so I had the entire room to myself.
This also meant that the silence echoed louder than ever before.
Yes, blasting Kanye and texting my friends helped, but those cannot substitute the presence of another living, breathing being.
I knew upon moving to a new city that I would start from square one, I was bright-eyed with hope and optimism with a hint of weariness, but ultimately I knew. I would have to restart the entire process of building friendships.
See, when you have grown comfortable in one place for too long, you eventually get a little more jaded than usual. Laziness settles in as you know what sort of friendships work and what doesn’t.
I don’t believe in orientation friendships, the kind where you are both eager and somewhat desperate to meet people. You cling onto each other hoping that this is it, you have found the person you can hit up to buy room supplies with. That one person you could rely on to say yes when you decide to eat in the dining hall, dreading the idea of feeling alone in a room full of people.
What I do believe in is the concept of fostering friendships, the kind that takes a longer period of time and a little more effort.
Classmates you trade answers with that eventually bloom into a friendship deeply woven by a bond for the love of Drake. The unexpected friendships built by bumping into the same person in the same places, because of common interests or sheer luck.
Let’s face it, being alone is not a trait all of us are comfortable with.
We all crave some form of human connection one way or another. It could range from a simple gesture such as a smile from a stranger to a hug from a close friend you haven’t seen in a long time.
Being alone can be difficult, especially when you are in a new place.
Entering college can be daunting as well, because unlike high school, you aren’t obligated to be around the same group of people for more than 5 hours at a time 5 times a week.
This is a whole new realm that people can be unfamiliar with.
Being in college away from home can only add on to the feeling of loneliness. I do know that being alone does not necessary equate to loneliness, but it does play with your head when the lines blur.
With that said, I do want to point out that there are perks to being alone.
You no longer have to coordinate with anyone else’s time. Everything you do is on your own terms. You have the utmost freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. You have the freedom to be a homebody without worrying about bailing on friends.
Come on, admit it, we all need one of those days where you just bum around, watching movies to your heart’s content.
You need time to recharge after all.
So, take this time to rejuvenate yourself from the constant motion of life. This is the time that “treat yo’self” is even more applicable than usual.
Whip out those face masks you have been storing for a rainy day. Take the time you have now to put a dent into your to-be-read pile. Even better, sit your ass down and binge-watch that TV series everyone has been talking but you never got around to watch. Spend the free time you have by focusing on yourself and learning a new thing or two about yourself that you never noticed until now.
This is in line with the idea of mindfulness.
Lastly, remember that friendships will happen naturally. Give yourself time and keep an open mind.
You can even set little goals every day, such as talking to at least one new person a day or taking the initiative to follow up on a plan to go out.
It might feel impossible now, but we all started out somewhere. This too shall pass.