Every one of us has experienced it — the period of time in college when you think to yourself, “I have no friends.” And while, yes, it sucks for a minute, it may not be the worst thing in the world.
Making friends was never an issue for me in high school. I had a lot of friends. In fact, I met three of my closest friends in life during my high school years. Most weekends I was booked solid, but, more importantly, I almost always had plans to keep me busy.
All of that changed when I came to Auburn. I was not a part of a sorority, I didn’t join any clubs, and I didn’t go to fraternity parties. My only friends were my roommates and a few people who I had known from high school.
My roommates joined sororities and eventually made friends of their own. I was happy for them, but as I sat in my dorm bed alone for the first three weekends of college, I realized that for the first time in my life I had no one. Sure, I had family and friends in Birmingham, but in that moment I was alone.
I ended up joining a group of mutual friends that year and enjoyed my second semester of freshman year a lot more than the first, but soon enough my time for loneliness had returned. My group went their separate ways, and I was once again left lying in bed for hours upon hours each weekend with nothing to do. I spent my time crying, feeling sorry for myself and wondering why no one wanted to be my friend.
Luckily my parents reminded me that friends come and go, and just like with the last friend group, I would soon find another.
Taking that advice, I picked myself up out of the bed and went to a Halloween party I had been invited to. I didn’t want to go because I was tired and thought I had been invited out of pity, but I went hoping it might help me get back out there in the real world.
That party was the first time I met one of my soon-to-be best friends, and through him I ended up meeting the rest of the amazing people who currently make up my friend group. That one decision to attend a Halloween party with my co-workers resulted in me meeting the people who will stand by my side when I say “I do.”
Being alone is terrible. Unfortunately, it is a part of life and an emotion we feel naturally as humans, but sometimes it can lead to the most amazing friendships and relationships.
I can’t stress it enough to those of you who feel like you’re alone: You aren’t. You may feel that way right now, but there are people out there who feel the exact same way and could use a friend just as much as you.
The best way to find those people is to get out there.
Join a club. Hang out with a peer from class or a friend from your hometown that could introduce you to new people. Talk to that kid who sits next to you in comp. Also, don’t decline invitations to hang out with people, and be yourself.
Being alone is fine, and some people prefer it every now and then, but your future best friends could literally be all together at a party down the road, and you might never know.
My time alone taught me that I am in control of my life, and if I really wanted a friend group, it was as easy as saying, “Yeah, I’ll see you there.”
Anne Dawson is the social media editor at The Plainsman.