From Andrea Lirio
Before going to college, I worried about a lot of things – how to decorate my room, how to balance work and life, how to make new friends, etc. Believe it or not, you’re not alone in these worries. That’s the great thing about your first year of college: everyone is new; everyone is in the same boat as you.
Making Friends at Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr offers great ways to meet new people – from orientation activities, customs group events, formal counseling groups, and interest group meals. Even if you don’t partake in any of the activities above, there are always friendly faces in your dorm hall looking to grab a meal or take a seat and talk for a while in the common room.
I made my closest friends on campus thus far from orientation week. We just started talking with the super basic, “My name is Andrea. What’s your name?” introduction. We didn’t have to try hard and impress each other. We didn’t have to pretend to be someone else. We just started talking openly about our interests; and every day, we continued to share more about ourselves. When you’re open and honest, you can create the best friendships.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about eating alone. It’s true. In college, you’ll find yourself in the dining hall without a friend to chat with while you eat. Don’t feel like you’re the only person going through it. I’ve eaten alone in the dining hall a fair number of times and have seen many others in the same boat. It’s true … eating alone sucks sometimes. “What if everyone in the dining hall thinks I have no friends? What if I really don’t have any friends? How do I eat without looking awkward? Would looking at my device make it less awkward?”
Answering the questions above, sometimes you don’t have time to find someone to eat with when you have back to back classes. Sometimes it’s hard to line up schedules with your friends. Sometimes your friends have already eaten and have other things to attend to. There are so many reasons why you may find yourself sitting alone in the dining hall. But honestly, there’s no shame in that. At Bryn Mawr, you can make the most of your experience sitting alone. You can introduce yourself to someone new or simply relax in having some you time. When I sit alone in the dining hall, I always bump into someone new or someone in my class. While we may not be the best of friends, it’s a great opportunity to get to know someone else and pop out of my bubble.
All in all, making friends in college can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. If you’re willing to be open and honest about yourself, you’ll find people interested in learning more about you. Being in a small, close-knit community has its perks too. The community at Bryn Mawr is unlike any college I’ve visited before; everyone is so interested in learning more about your life and helping you be your best self. So next time you make your list of worries and concerns, cross making friends off the list because you’ve got it in the bag by just being yourself.