This blog is starting to become way too meta and heavily oriented towards one topic, so perhaps in a few days I’m due for another weirdo, rant piece on my qualms with “pop science” or something…
On the other hand, this is my blog. Piss off. (No wait! Don’t leave! I didn’t mean it!)
Anyway, back to the topic the title of this piece suggests. As you probably already know quite well, my adjustment to college is going terribly. Everything I feared for the past few months before coming here is slowly starting to come true. I’ve started stress eating which is also not helpful when your dining hall provides 99% of its food in the form of some type of carb, which you spent the weeks leading up to college avoiding in order to lose weight. I spent almost the entirety of Saturday night and Sunday in my room working on homework, not attending social events and parties, because (and here’s the kicker) I have no friends to actually go with me. RIP. Everywhere I look, people have their cliques, their squads, and their fams (Side-note: I feel so outdated using those terms here. I feel like a geezer watching all the youngins). I still go to meals by myself and while I’m trying to ignore my perennial sense of loneliness, I often lose myself in deep introspection, complete with my new, poser-intellectual, wide-rimmed glasses. During today’s reflection, I kept thinking about how I’m sitting in the back by myself, while I would inevitably have to walk past several tables of people I’d already introduced myself to, but don’t make any effort to wave or say hi to me because I’m closed off like I’m surrounded by some concrete wall with spikes on top and secret lasers surrounding it. These thoughts are becoming far too common, but today I realized something:
Me, at dinner, by myself, in deep thought while eating macaroni and cheese (colorized, 2017)
I spend a lot of time trying to reason out why I haven’t made any substantial friends. I try to come up with some overarching theory that would explain why I can’t talk to people normally or why people don’t want to sit down and hang with me at any given hour of the night. Once I realized this, I instantly blamed my BIO 61 professor, Steven Block (btw, after extensively googling him, he is super cool and accomplished, check him out), who basically gave us some videos and papers that explained how math was basically everywhere and could explain everything. Now, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a mathematical explanation to my social deprivation, but I was looking for a scientific one essentially. I treated the initial phase like a scientific process. I figured that once I introduce myself to someone, the natural steps would fall into place and BOOM! — there you go, I’d have lifelong friends. Turns out, there is no scientific process to finding friends, and there is no way to diagnose anything I’m doing wrong as some sort of theoretical “problem” that can be easily fixed. There is no simple prescription to solve this problem that only requires one small fix to make everything normal.
But maybe that’s what I want. Maybe I’ve been trying to figure out what this theoretical problem is so that I can convince myself that the problem is external to my own personality. I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that I am the sole, inherent cause for my own social problems, but even worse, I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that I have no idea how to end it. The endless mind games I play with myself in order to figure out how to just make one person seem genuinely interested in me has led to an even more seemingly endless vortex of self-pity and misery. I’m becoming the cause of my own terrible adjustment, and my life is slowly reverting back to high school, except even worse because I can’t even spend time with friends to pretend like my life is okay.
College is real life, my friends. And it’s showing me in the worst way possible.