I saw this tweet a while ago and it has been pressing on my mind:

This struck a major chord with me. We all know that one person who has an opinion about anything and everything and will make sure everyone hears it. I’m not that person. I’m the kind of person that in certain conversations, actually in a lot of conversations, I’m not adding anything or saying anything. However, if you find the right topic, I will not shut up.

Unfortunately, while I’ve been at school, I’ve felt limited on how much and how passionately I can talk about things I love. The few times I’ve started talking about it, I feel the judgment around me. One time someone looked at me like I had four heads.

I feel bottled and trapped. Like I’m going to explode.Trust me I’ve already heard the “well maybe you should find more people with your interests.” It’s not that easy. Some things I love to do our audition based, I’d have to get in and even then, I’m not guaranteed that it’s an environment where everyone’s friends.

Part of me can’t wait to go home because I get to talk about things as much as I want and I don’t feel like a bother or shamed for talking a lot. My friends are happy to see me passionate about something, new or old.

On the new note, since I’ve been at Rutgers, I’ve joined the Seeing Eye Puppy Raisers Club. This club gets puppies at the age of 7 weeks and each raiser has them for a little over a year teaching them basic obedience and exposing them as much as possible.

After their time with the club, they go on for further training to become a guide dog for a blind person. There isn’t one thing I don’t love about this club. It took a few weeks but I started making friends in this club. To me, this club is so much more than just meeting for 2 hours on Wednesday nights.

It forces me to face many of my anxieties and yet is so therapeutic. It has forced me to come out of my shell in the best way possible and I can honestly say is my favorite part of school. I love it and my friends know it. It’s something that gives value because it’s for a great cause. They should be happy I’ve found a place, right?

Yet a conversation with a friend left me in frustration. I was trying to find people to do work with and all of my friends seemed to be busy. One friend made a comment about “maybe one of your girls from Seeing Eye.” Now maybe they didn’t mean anything by it. But to me, I interpreted it as a passive-aggressive dig. I saw it as a comment about how it’s the only thing I talk about and the fact that I’m making friends there is a crime or something.

At the point that I started writing this article, I could count my friends from the club on one hand — I didn't have people I could just call up. However, that, fortunately enough, has changed. I’m there for the dogs but the friendships I’m gaining along the way is the best bonus prize I could’ve gained.

I don't know about you but there's something really special about seeing someone talk about something they love. Something else lights up that usually isn't there. If your friends aren’t happy about you finding a passion, drop them hard and drop them fast. Not to sound harsh or anything. Friends shouldn’t limit you to what you can talk about and they CERTAINLY should not make you feel so bad about doing and talking about something you love to the point where you stop doing it. No one should ever be “conditioned” into how or what they talk about. It’s just not humane nor fair.