I remember that feeling quite well. Feeling like you have "friends" and people to hang out with and go to parties with, but you don't have real friends. You don't have anyone around you to really talk to about your problems and how you're feeling. You feel like everyone else around you is developing the best of friendships and meeting their future bridesmaids, and you're not. It's all too familiar.
You begin to wonder why you haven't yet made your close friends, and it makes you question if you actually fit in. The worst part is, you don't recognize that everybody else is feeling the same way. Everybody else is eager and looking to make new friends. But people forget this, and they think that everybody has already found their friends, which prevents them from reaching out to try to build new connections.
I certainly felt like this the entire first semester of my freshman year. To me, it seemed like all of the girls on my floor, my suite, and all around me were already the best of friends, and they didn't need to build new friendships, so I felt intimidated and afraid to reach out to them. On numerous occasions, I remember being sad that I didn't have "best friends," people to just casually hang out and talk with. In reality, no one else really did either. I also had set my expectations too high.
I came to college hoping to make my lifelong best friend in the first month when in reality, a friendship like that takes time to build. I didn't think about that, and I assumed that all of the friendships I saw through posts on social media were already at that "lifelong friend" stage.
It took me some time to realize that I was in the same boat as most girls. I recently attended a speaker event for my sorority, and during it, we had to pair up with a girl in a different organization and talk to them about our feelings of belonging. The speaker had told us that it would be much easier to talk to a stranger about this because they don't know you, they won't judge you, and what you tell them won't be relevant in two hours.
I told this girl about my feelings of loneliness and not belonging during my freshman year. To my surprise, she revealed to me that she remembers feeling the exact same way. By this point, I had already spoken to more girls in my sorority and my friends who had said they felt the same way, but I was still a bit surprised. It made me feel better knowing that I was one of more than just a few girls who had also felt like this.
The first part to not feeling alone during freshman year is being able to realize and acknowledge that other people are going through the exact same thing, regardless of the fun pictures they post with their "best friends" on social media. The second part is being patient and knowing that you will make friends. I had heard that sophomore year is the time when you really make your lifelong friends, and I have found that to be true. The time I spent feeling upset and lonely during my freshman year was not worth it, because I ended up making the most amazing group of friends I could've ever asked for.
So, to all of those freshman girls who feeling alone and doubt their belonging, don't. You are most definitely not alone. If you want to make more friends, just do it. Everyone is looking to make more friends. Don't worry; you will find your place. It just takes time.