Starting in middle school, I was obsessed with making friends with everyone. When I say everyone, I mean I wanted to know every single person that walked the halls. This personal goal carried on to high school as well, where I over committed in my involvement by doing Student Leadership, basketball, Modern Christian Leadership, soccer, marching band, Black Student Association, cheerleading, forensics debate and public speech, lacrosse, musical theater, and a few other clubs. Not only did I love staying busy and growing as a person, I enjoyed befriending those around me. But now that I'm in college, I am confronting a feeling that has been the very undertone of my social life: loneliness.
The million-dollar question is: how can I be surrounded by so many people, yet feel so painfully alone?
Many people think it's a no-brainer that I'm extroverted. Mainly because I bounce off of people, I carry a lot of energy, I love speaking in front of big crowds, etc. but little do they know that these are the very things that drain me as well. I'm an ambivert  and I need to recharge by being in solitude. However, when I'm alone for too long, that's when I need to branch out to other humans to be refilled. But what happens when there are no people around me to do this? Here's my problem.
Somehow, there is a false perception that I don't need community because I'm so "out there". They say, "Oh my gosh, Jubes! You literally know everyone," or "Wow, everyone loves you. How do you have so many friends?" I wish they saw what I felt. I wish they felt what I saw. The truth is, what they say is pretty much the opposite of what is actually occurring. Honestly, I feel like I don't have many friends at all. However, the very few that I do have, I cherish their lives and I hold them near and dear to my heart.
One thing that I have been discovering lately is that I never had a concrete definition of what a “friend” is. What classifies as friendship? It's definitely not someone who just says "hi" when they pass you by. But because I used to think that every person who did this was a friend, it hurt even more when I was left in the dust. You know that feeling. When you're clicking on people's Stories or scrolling Instagram, and you find out that the people who you thought were your "friends" hung out without you. Everyone else is with people while you are just in your room...free without plans! Maybe they forgot about you? Or maybe they just aren't good friends. At this moment, the lies from annoying Satan start rushing in once again: "Nobody likes me", "I'm just not good enough", "What's wrong with me?". Sitting on these unanswered questions just suck the life out of you. When in fact, the truth is, you hold intrinsic value. What I mean is, others do not define your worth as a human being. You matter all by yourself. You stand independently important.
It took me years and years to believe this. I actually still am learning to embrace this.
I'm someone who has never felt like she belonged in a group. No matter what sports team I play on, or what club I join, I still feel that loneliness gnashing away at my flesh. I look to my left and I look to my right, everyone seems to have a place. Everyone else seems to belong. And then there's me. The worst part about it is that everyone assumes that I'm okay. But I'm not. I want to feel loved, accepted, and important -- as do you.
Lastly, you are not alone. This year, I have been more open about how I feel and I have spoken to a countless number of people who feel the same way, even people in Greek Life. So let me get this straight. If I'm not alone in feeling lonely and neither are other people, then that means we're not truly alone! Honestly, we become
 - Merriam-Webster Dictionary: a person having characteristics of both extrovert and introvert
 - NIV Holy Bible: Proverbs 18:24