I Had No Friends When I First Came To College, And That's Ok

I Had No Friends When I First Came To College, And That's Ok

My first experience at Temple was one of doubt and insecurity, but then I learned.

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Here I am. Freshman in college, standing in the middle of a seemingly huge urban campus. Looking around, I see groups of people walking together, eating, hanging out on the grass. And I am alone.

I moved into a Temple residence hall less than a week ago, so this whole thing is still completely new to me. I barely knew anyone when I got here, not even my roommate. We had casual conversations online during the weeks leading up to move-in, but I didn't really "know" her. I didn't really know anyone.

My first full day on campus entailed Convocation, where we met with our specific colleges, ending with the whole freshman class gathered in the Liacouras Center for a ceremony of sorts. Given that my roommate and I are in different colleges, I was completely alone all day.

As I stood on the turf in the STAR Complex, I felt utterly isolated. Once again, small groups formed around me, everyone excitedly chattering as we waited to parade over to the larger meeting. I could not help but feel down, as I could not find even a single person who was also alone.

This followed up with eating lunch alone. I am a person who cannot approach people easily and, although I try, I rarely just walk up to someone and start a conversation. Because of this, I've just had a small group of friends my whole life. Now, being in a new place and not knowing anyone, I felt hopeless. I trekked back to my room and ruminated in my self-doubt and insecurity.

Later that night, coming back up from the dining hall, a group of girls who live on my floor were all in the elevator. When we realized we all lived together, we started talking and ended up standing in the hallway for almost an hour. While we spoke, the other girls brought up that they spent most of the day alone or only with their roommate. At that moment, I had a revelation.

I'm a freshman in a college with 25,000+ students. Its a completely new environment. Of course, I'm not going to know anyone at first! It was my first day and I was already getting down on myself for being a loner.

I had unrealistic expectations for myself and for others that led to inevitable disappointment. When another girl said, "I want classes to start, I have no friends!" I thought, "Wow, I'm not alone."

I don't know why it was so surprising to me, that these people also did not have any friends yet. It's pretty obvious that it takes a while to make friends and get accustomed to a new environment. I just had a vision of myself making friends so easily after I left my small high school, but that's just not the case, especially with me.

The other girls and I ended up bonding over the fact that we didn't have friends and just like that, we all had some friends! Even though Temple is a huge school, it's nice to have some familiar faces around while walking to class or going for a meal in the dining hall.

I've only been in college courses for two days, but I already learned an important lesson in patience. It's essential that you don't let your expectations affect how you experience something. Its also just as important to take things as they come and not let your mind tell you your hopeless if it doesn't work out right away.

I am now feeling confident as I walk the streets of Temple, knowing that there are friendly girls on my floor and there are definitely tons of people I have yet to meet and connect with!

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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5 Questions You Shouldn't Ask An Art Major

You definitely should never ask or say these five questions unless you want to trigger an art major.

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Listen, being an art major isn't all fun and games. We work for long hours on our projects. We get paint all over our clothes. We accidentally cut ourselves with our x-acto knives. We run out of paper to print the night before a big project.

We get critiqued in front of all your peers by your professors. Well maybe those things don't happen to all of us but they sure have happened to me. Non-art majors swear being an art major is the easiest thing in the entire world but they just don't understand what it is really like.

1. "All you do is art and crafts, how hard can it be?"

If it was all just art and crafts, do you think I would complain about the harsh critiques I get from my professors and the late nights on my laptop finishing my final portfolio. Being an art major isn't making the stuff that you pin on your art and crafts board on Pinterest. I'm not saying that isn't art but that's not the type of stuff we create. We create art that makes us think, makes a statement, shows emotion, etc.

2. "What are you going to do with that?"

This question triggers every college student so why do you think it's going to be different for an art major. You hate it every holiday season when your family members ask you that same question about your degree so stop asking us. We are obviously going to become an artist in our field that we specialize in just like you will in your career and degree field.

3. "Will you do it for free?"

As a photographer, many of my friends ask me to do photoshoots for them, their organization that they participate in, and other stuff. Almost every single time, they never ask me if I want them to pay nor do I expect them to ask me at this point.

It would be nice if they thought about the time I take out of my day to take the photos and edit the photos. Of course I will always do it for them cause I love my friends to death but the thought would mean a lot.

4. "You know you aren't going to have any money, right?"

Well yes I obviously know I'm not going to be making 100K a year for selling my art. If I wanted to make big money, I would doing some boring job in a small cubicle doing accounting or something like that. I'm doing this career path that I don't care how much money I make because I love it and have a real passion for.

5. "Why aren't you dressed more like an art major?"

First of all, what does an art major even dress like? I guess people expect us to all dress like that cool and alternative trendy hipster. Some of us dress really cute. Some of us dress really weird.

Some of us of dress in sweats. We dress just like every other college student. Sometimes I even wish I could dress like a cool and alternative trendy hipster but we don't have to dress like that just to be an art major.

Despite all the stereotypes given to art majors, I really do love being an art major. I love the long hours of taking, developing, and editing photos. It is one of the best decision I have ever made and wouldn't trade it for the world. Can we please stop with these questions though? They really get annoying after a while when everyone asks us the same things. So next time you start to question an art major, just don't ask.

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