Making new friends is hard, especially when you’re first starting out in college only knowing maybe two people total. High school (although it wasn’t my favorite) was easy, in the sense that I knew I had at least one person I could go to everyday. I got so used to only talking to the same people that I had known since middle school, that when I got to Southern Miss I realized that I had literally forgotten how to make friends (Thanks a lot, high school, for preparing me for college).
Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet people that are interested in the same things as you are. Personally, I decided to go through formal sorority recruitment to meet some people that I would connect and feel comfortable with. In my head, all of that ended when I dropped because quite honestly, I just got super stressed out. I received a snap bid and signed, but still there was a feeling of isolation during that first new member meeting. I still felt alone because I didn’t get to start bonding with all of those girl on bid day like the rest of my pledge class. In my head I was wondering, “Does anyone even want me to be their friend?”
Putting myself out there is like trying to give a cat a bath. I freak out and slip around because I don’t want to get my feet wet and panic because I think I will fall. (Turns out cats actually don’t like water just because it makes their bodies lose heat, but you get what I’m trying to say). I knew that even though it would be scary, I had to dive in head first and I couldn’t be afraid to fall.
I started by simply accepting invitations to go places with people. For instance, I was making the hike back to Century Park North from Sorority Row, and a few of my sorority sisters hopped out of a car and invited me to go to the Power House with them for dinner. My initial reaction was to politely decline and just eat something in my room, but I impulsively accepted and had no regrets of doing so. Those girls will never know how much that meant to me. Another time, a friend that I had just met asked me to go with her to Popeyes. Reluctance struck me again, but I accepted and had a great time – and a chocolate donut after we went to Krispy Kreme too.
I had to tell myself over and over that almost every other freshman is going through the same thing, so I have not really been alone in this experience at any point. Everyone is trying to make friends with as many people as they can. People want to be your friend; you just have to accept invitations and sometimes, invite people to go somewhere with you. You can’t always expect someone to make things happen for you. Put yourself out there!