At the end of last year, I wrote about transitioning from high school to college friends. I have certainly made plenty of wonderful new friends at Transylvania, but I don’t think it’s as easy as my last post may have made it sound.
For me, it didn’t happen right away. It’s important to remind yourself that even though it’s scary to start over in a new community, you’ve done it before. Every time you entered a new class or joined a new club, you were in a new environment, being given an opportunity to branch out and make new friends. So if you don’t find a new BFF by the end of August Term, don’t worry. Give yourself — and those new friends — time to adjust first.
So yes, it took time, but then all of a sudden, I felt like I was surrounded by friends I hadn’t been consciously trying to make. I had never felt like one of those people that had so many friends, I never had to worry about walking to lunch alone and finding somewhere to sit. But somehow, that’s exactly how I feel here. I walk downstairs to the cafeteria whenever I feel hungry, and I don’t always have to have a set plan to meet up with a friend there (though my friend Macaulay and I do that all the time!). I know that at whatever time I show up, I will see someone that I know well enough to sit by.
And that is such a relieving, yet exciting, feeling. That’s one less thing to be anxious about. And college is hard enough — worrying about when, or where, or with whom, you eat shouldn’t have to be on your list of stressors.
Transylvania has certainly made me braver. I would have never thought I’d know that many people that well, or that I’d feel confident enough to go to lunch without a small set group of friends to sit with. But maybe some of you are reading this and thinking, Emily. Making friends is not that hard. I’ve always had plenty of people to sit by at lunch. If so, good! You can invite the people like me who are too intimidated to invite new people themselves!
Thank goodness my first Transy friend Skyler is much more social than I am — he introduced me to all his other friends, and before long, I had all kinds of cool new college friends! (Here’s us way back in 2011 at the Orientation Olympics)
Plus, I know my degree will continue to support me after I graduate. When I go to graduate school next year, I’ll be brave enough to start a conversation with someone new in class, and I’ll be more confident on my first day of work. Learning these kinds of lessons, gaining these skills, isn’t why you go to college. But at Transy, you’re going to leave feeling much more prepared for every aspect of your new grown-up life.