I wasn't the most popular kid throughout high school but I always had a solid group of friends. Although this group of friends would always change I did always at least have a few friends. Having friends in high school felt like a matter of life or death. Nobody, including me, wanted to be that kid who sat all the way at the end of the lunch table by their self because they had zero friends. It didn't matter to me whether or not I had things in common with the people I was choosing to keep in my circle of friends. It didn't matter to me if they were positively contributing to my life. My main concerns were thugs like "How would she look standing next to me in a picture while we're pretending have the times of our lives at some cliche social event?" or "What will other people think of me when they see me with her?" As a result of this narrow minded thinking I ended up befriending some very toxic people who took me down some dark paths. I completely lost my sense of self helplessly trying to please everyone around me and fit in. This way of thinking helped me to realize that if you go throughout life being so uncomfortable in your own skin to the point where you don't even know who you are then you will never be happy. Why should it be your job to make everyone else happy when you're still trying to figure out how to do that for yourself?
My college experience has been much different so far. I've learned to be okay with being alone. I've learned to actually prefer being alone to developing mindless relationships with people who do not positively contribute to my life in some way. It is okay to be selective when choosing the company that you keep. The fact that there are still a lot of people I go to school with who have not figured this out yet makes it sometimes difficult to maintain my own self. When I start to question or doubt or feel insecure that I don't have twenty friends or fifty likes on an Instagram picture I rely on the few close friends that I do have and they reassure me to know that I am on the right path.