Basically, I’m an introverted black girl in my second year of college, and I’m still finding it extremely difficult to make friends..my first year of college I tried staying really optimistic and going to all of the organization meetings I could, but I feel like I didn’t make a connection with the people I met, my social anxiety got in the way, and I was a commuter as well. I didn’t let myself become sad over this though and I really tried to make friends where I could..This year I’m living on campus but I’m still having the same issues and it’s even harder now with covid.. I’m really trying not to beat myself up over not being able to make a solid friend or even just an acquaintance but it’s just kinda discouraging because I know various people that are quite introverted just like me, like my boyfriend or roommate for example, but they’re still able to meet and maintain contact with a lot of people without having to join so many orgs and it just seems like people flock to them. I’m trying to stay positive because I wanna attract the right people and I know I should work on qualities of myself like being more approachable and reaching out first but it’s hard ( I’ve only experienced rejection from people a few times but it doesn’t feel good :/) and that’s why I’m in therapy and overall lately I’ve kinda felt like a loser for barely knowing anyone at my college.. I hope this wasn’t too long lol but some tips on how to get through this would be nice 🥺
This message really warmed my heart. As I read your entry, I saw a piece of me and my journey with friendships though you.
If you had asked anyone, they would have described me as an extrovert during my freshman year of college. Always trying to get to know people, inviting them to eat with me, but I think all of the energy I spent trying to do that made me appreciate being an introvert. Not to mention that I also have a GAD at an all-time high in my freshman year.
First of all, organizations can be a great way to meet people, but it sounds like it stopped there for you and me. I met a lot of people, but they weren’t my friends. That can be super frustrating as well in college. People will tell you to join organizations like that will solve everything, and it gets to be super annoying. I also spent m freshman year in therapy because of friendships (or the lack thereof lol).
It’s easy to feel like everyone is attracting the positive energy and people you want when looking for that. As soon as you stop stressing over it, that’s when they will come. And if they never do? You have to get to a place where you are your friend. You know you’re bomb, and eventually, the right people will attract you and if not, it’s most likely your environment. Remember, that most everyone already has their established friend group! And if they don’t? You’re on a campus with most likely thousands of people..you aren’t going to meet everyone. It took me flying to another continent and studying abroad to realize that I wasn’t the issue. You said, “I should work on qualities of myself.” And self-work is great, but you don’t need to work on things like being more approachable because everyone’s definition of approachable is different. I have literally watched the most closed-off people attract the world to them, so that was enough proof for me.
Oh, and expectations will kill you and your spirit. Join the organizations you want to join without expectations. Without the expectation that you will meet people you can call friends, you will love the experience and bring you out of your shell. Just do it because you want to do it and do the work within whatever you do FOR YOU. Forget about everything else; it will come naturally. The rejections you have faced so far can make you not want to reach out to anyone ever again (trust me, I know), but once again, those were a few people out of the thousands on your campus.
College is a weird place for some of us. I’m personally at a point where I just don’t care about making friends anymore. My priorities and interests also don’t align with the common college student/ people my age, so I have made peace with that. Try looking beyond your campus too and going to events on IG, Eventbrite (yes, alone if you have to because remember you are your own best friend, and you enjoy your company). The times where I wasn’t even trying were the times where I made the best connections.
Some of us just aren’t as lucky as others. I also find it hard to actively maintain contact with people, even if I genuinely like them. I guess I say all of that to say that my struggle with friendships, has lead to this incredible self-bond. I learn how to be more and more comfortable with myself every day and that's a blessing.
Hope that helps.