...because It IS hard

The summer after high school was when it really hit me.

Like everything, I chose my university, not for it's academic record, but because at some time in my senior year I realised all of my friends would be going away to uni and I'd be damned if I was going to be left behind. My entire group of friends, about fifteen people, had only been talking about one university, the best in my state, so I applied there. Then, one after the other, something happened to make them choose local universities instead. Some didn't get the grades to cut it, some didn't want  the expense of living in a capital city on top of uni, but most simply balked at moving nearly 2000ks away from home.

My friend, Jensen, informed me that it was just him and me now.

And he'd be living at one of the expensive boys' colleges, so we didn't even really have that.

And there it was: I was going to have to actually make friends.

It was something I'd never consciously done before. I had friends from before I could remember, and then they'd made friends for me. 

Jensen was even more horrible than I was at that age, but sharing the same caustic humour, we had always been respectful enough of each other to get along.  But he told me he had it all planned out. See, he was going to sucker his way into a good group by pretending to be nice, then when they were completely charmed, he'd allow his true (cruel) colours to shine. He told me that was probably my only chance of not being a total social outcast, too.

Because my decision to go to uni was a last minute deal, I had trouble getting into a college and by the time I'd gotten into one, I'd already missed O week.

"All the good friends will already be taken," Kirsty told me on MSN, already settled into her college, only 100ks from our parents, and surrounded by most of our high school group. "You might as well just pretend to kill yourself, so your mother will let you transfer." 

But I was determined.

Well, half determined. I could at least give it a shot before I prepared the rat poison and ipecac. 

So I spent every night in the games' room, impressing no one with my lack of pool skills, smiling sweetly and giggling at absolutely every comment. No matter how obnoxious my current "mark" was, I would listen attentively, ask follow up questions, and make my oh my god appropriately humouring or sympathetic. It almost worked. I found a group to cling on to with my desperate come-ons.

But my cover of nice-girl slipped too often and they all ended up half-hating me within a month.

And for weeks after I hid out in my room, bitter and homesick. 

I gave up trying to be nice. I complained loudly and often about the food, whinged about my early morning classes, and put on my snobby act whenever someone suggested they liked mocha more than flat whites. 

Late one night, I was in one of the less used lounges when two girls came in with a romantic comedy. They asked if they could put their movie in next and invited me to watch it with them. 

I scrunched my nose and told them that was the most atrocious film ever made and I hate how they kill the heroine off in the end.

"What?!" one of them gasped. 

Then I smiled meanly, and told them a few more made-up details of the movie I'd never watched, teasing them for as long as I could.

A year and a half later, the three of us moved in together :)

And that's the first time I can remember making friends. I wasn't actually trying. But I did make them. And I did keep them. And I didn't even have to pretend anything. 

There's not some mythical class of socially awkward people that are just naturally repugnant to society. It's just that making friends IS hard. It's hard for everyone. You have to put yourself out there, all open and vulnerable for social annihilation, and then 90% of people are going to think you're a lame douchebag, if they even bother to think of you at all.

Most of it's just luck.

You gotta stumble over someone who likes you the way you are, and then you gotta fumble around until they decide to stay.  


kikis2 kikis2
22-25, F
1 Response May 18, 2012

I also have a lot of trouble making new friends in college, even after 2 years. But this sounds like really nice and hopeful story, I really enjoyed reading it!