Friday, February 20

International Friendship Day

College can be a terrifying place.  Being on your own on a big, scary, unfamiliar campus can be lonely and make you feel very uncomfortable.  However, I have found something really great about college, you are never really alone.  There is always someone in the dorm room, study carol, or classroom next to you going through the exact same thing you are.  The only thing you have to do is step outside of your small world and meet these people!

When I came to college I knew very few people.  There were about 12 people who came to Purdue from my graduating class and a few more from earlier classes.  So naturally, at first I called those people up to hang out in my free time because it gets tiring having to introduce yourself to fifty new people a day.  People find comfort in having people around who come from the same background as they do, and that's ok for a while.  However, in order to become a more fulfilled and open-minded person, you need to branch out and meet all types of people.

My BGR leader told our group a great quote about trying new things,
There is no growth in your comfort zone, and no comfort in your growth zone.
I found this quote to be increasingly true as my early college days went on.  Experiencing things for the first time is scary! Think about your first day of classes, your first lunch in the dining courts, or your first exam in Elliot Hall...all potentially terrifying things.  However, once you got over the initial feelings of discomfort, you open yourself up to a world of new possibilities.

The same goes for making new friends.  College is the perfect place to find the biggest variety of people you may ever see.  Each person has something different to offer and it is really amazing to see all of these unique personalities come together in one place.  It is the time to find who you really are and be that person.  By being yourself and staying true to that, you are going to meet far more people than if you just join every club you see a flyer for or if you don't go out there and try in the first place.  

In high school, people were so concerned with what group they were associated with that they really didn't give themselves a chance to open up and let people see who they really were.  College life really has a laid-back feel that allows people to be themselves and share that with other people.  I have met such a diverse group of people from California to Connecticut and even some from far away countries.  It is really cool to see how someone who lives miles away, goes through so many of the same things as you do on a daily basis.  

If you really allow yourself to just be yourself, you will be able to find a mixture of friends who share some aspect of your life.  Whether it be my love of music, my passion for delicious food, or my enjoyment of exercise, I have found at least one person who shares one of these qualities with me, and I have made some really wonderful friendships out of it.  

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