We are becoming more encompassed within our own world and own little bubble. We have become better at isolating ourselves. I wish I had realized this earlier on and that I’d had the guts to branch out more socially. But it is senior year, and I am glad that I finally realized it sooner rather than later. There is still time to get to know people, to have interesting conversations, to “hang out.” There is certainly still time to work on the things we wish to improve on throughout our lives.
This past week I found myself reflecting a lot about my years at Brandeis. I guess it’s that time of senior year to start doing so, before the exams come pouring in. While I have tried to go about my four years at Brandeis without any regrets, I inevitably have some, and I’m sure many others do as well.
One of my regrets comes from the phrase that we all may know too well: “Let’s hang out sometime.” The number of times classmates of mine and I have exchanged that phrase is too many. And in all honesty, we both know that “sometime” will never happen. As a senior, it has crossed my mind that this is the last year we will all be under the same roof. It has also occurred to me that, after college, it might not get any easier to meet new people, to diversify the conversations that we will have.
For The Hoot, I often find myself writing advice-like articles for underclassmen, and these are suggestions that I genuinely want the next class of people to know so that they will not make the same mistakes that I did—or at least, if they do, they will know they are not alone and will have options for overcoming them. That said, a lot of my advice has been academically concerned, even though a huge part of college is about developing who we are socially.
My advice to those who are reading this is to try to make that hangout happen, whether it is just a quick lunch or dinner, a coffee at Einstein’s or a conversation from one class to another. Throughout the years I given myself excuses for why I did not reach out. As someone who often initiates and gives others the advice to do so, I did not initiate as much as I would have liked to for pure social things.
That said, the few times I have reached out, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was grateful for those conversations, friendships and insights. As we get older, we may realize that we will never have the perfect friend or friend group. We may realize that the friends we clung to early on may drift away from us or that we may drift away from them. That said, take the opportunities you may have to learn about other people.
Your schedule will not get any easier as you move up at Brandeis. Even if you are a fellow senior reading this, realize that it is not too late to take the time to have a decent conversation with a fellow classmate. Go into these conversations not with the idea that you are looking for a lifelong friend, but rather that you are open and ready to get to know someone new, see how they view the world and share your perspectives. As the social creatures that we are, a conversation like this can be very refreshing.