You will probably feel more lonely than you ever have before. You might hate it at first, but eventually, you won’t even realize you’re lonely—it becomes a reality, until one day, you’re 21 in Farber at midnight staring at pictures of your 18-year-old self going to frat parties, orientation events and doing everything a first-year in college does. You’ll probably think the friends you make that first month of school will be your best friends for the next four years and on. For the majority of people, this is probably not going to happen.
I was lucky.
The friends I made that September are still my home here. This is what I had hoped would happen that September, and it came true, but what I didn’t know was just how much our friendships and dynamics would change and evolve in these years.
There’s something so disheartening about sitting in the same spot of the library you used to sit at with these people laughing all night. Now you’re here alone, annoyed at the first-years doing what you used to do. That feeling of possibility and naiveté—that doesn’t come back. It turns into nostalgia and evolves into adulthood.
Weekends where you wake up at 12, hungover in a dorm room, and meet your friends for stale pancakes and bad coffee at Sherman turn into forcing yourself to make some eggs in your kitchen because your friends either have work, e-board meetings, are at their boyfriend’s or are too lazy to walk the five minutes to come to your apartment.
You get busy.
Sometimes you get too busy to eat, to see those friends that live five or 10 minutes away. Eventually, these people that you spent every waking second with because you couldn’t bear to be alone with your 18-year-old self who had extreme FOMO—these people become the people you have to have small talk with because you don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives anymore.
You get busy and distance follows.
You know what else follows? Comfort in yourself and being by yourself and learning to be lonely. That very same feeling you were so scared of three years ago—it becomes something so familiar that it’s your new reality. And you eventually learn that it’s not a bad thing. So instead of sitting in Farber laughing into the night with people you met a week ago, you find yourself sitting in Farber, realizing that you’re surrounded by people who are alone. So you sit there alone together, acknowledging each other’s presence and realizing how far you’ve come.