When deciding where I wanted to go to college, I knew that I wanted to go away. I also knew that I wanted a new beginning and a fresh start — not because I had a bad high school experience or because I had a reputation, I was not proud of at home, but because I wanted to experience new things. I wanted to go to a foreign environment, where I could learn to appreciate different lifestyles and learn about different cultures. Looking back, I never would have guessed that I would wind up in Kentucky, 11 hours away from home without knowing a single person.
As my first day on campus came around, it was very evident to myself that I had no friends. I was officially alone. The bellowing questions that I received from others while at home quickly resurfaced in my mind. These questions never bothered me, but now they were the only thing I could think of. "Aren't you afraid you won't have anyone to eat with?" "How are you going to make friends?" "Who are you going to go out with?"
Fortunately, within a couple of minutes after meeting the girls on my floor, I realized that we all had the same issues circling around in our minds. They, just like me, were having the first day jitters. Knowing that if I didn't put myself out there to make friends, I would not have any, I quickly asked if they were hungry and wanted to get dinner. This was my first step in re-learning how to make friends and now it has allowed me to do so every day.
Going into my junior year of college, I can confidently say that choosing to go to a school where I knew not a single person was the best decision of my life.
It allowed me to make friends that I actually wanted to be around. I have come to realize the reason I wanted to get away so bad. When in high school, you are subconsciously choosing friends without knowing them. You walk into the classroom doors at a pivotal 13-years-old, where all you want to do is fit in. You most likely have met or heard of most of the people at school and have made decisions about them. You know who you want to be friends with, but you ultimately also know who you are friends with. In college, you become friends with who you want to be friends with.
When you walk into a classroom or a lecture hall, you get to choose who you want to sit next to and who to associate yourself with. You choose your reputation and how you want to be portrayed. At this point, everything in the past was merely a learning experience that is allowing you to make these decisions. It's allowing you to surround yourself with others who have the same goals and aspirations as you. College friends are the people you don't have to be different around. You don't have meaningless conversations with them, but rather intellectual ones. They truly get to learn and understand you. They stand with your best interest in mind and work to help you develop, learn, and prosper. My college friends are my best friends because they are just like me, and even though I have only known them for a short two years, compared to my 20, I can genuinely say they will be my friends until the day I die.