The Hunt for New Friends in College

Millar_Library_(Portland_State_University)

It begins again. A new quarter means new prey. I’m a terrible hunter, constantly stalking and aiming, but never getting close enough to fire. It gets worse. The times I do fire, I miss, or make only a wounding shot, one that only lasts the quarter. And then I’m off to hunt again, always on the lookout for new friends.

Okay, so maybe hunting is a bad analogy. I try to make friends. Or at least, I try to try. As the years go on, I realize more and more just how introverted I am. I’m the type of introvert that is shy and reclusive until you talk to me. Introduce me. Say, “Hi,”. Ask me about anything, and I’ll go off like an alarm. I’m very chatty and sociable, once you get me to start. I’m a good listener too! It’s just people who never talk to me and have no idea. I even know how to make you happy in a conversation. How to get you to talk about what you love most, while making me look like the best person friend ever.

I’m great once you get me started, but I’m not very good at self-starting. I have to force myself to sit next to people, to say, “Hi,” to take the risk. I have made friends in the past at college, don’t get me wrong, but they never seem to last past that class. I have the same issues outside of the campus but, due to the sheer amount of people (and things we might have in common), I have made a special goal to make friends at college. Lasting friends. The kind of friends you have and enjoy, if only for the length of your college career (it IS a job). Even better, would be to find friends that last beyond that. The kind that last when you move away. But i’m keeping my goal more realistic for now.

Any tips for me? I also work two jobs (so clubs aren’t much of an option, though maybe?). Does anyone else have this problem? How do you start friendships? And coming later: comparing the search for friends and the search for lovers, and how to keep them separate.

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