You Thought You Knew Who Your Friends Would Be


You had it all planned out. You had met people just like you online, and they were so nice. You were so compatible. But they don’t look like their profile picture one bit and you don’t like each other’s statuses. Problem?

You had friends going in, people that you knew before they changed, and before you changed upon arriving. The issue is that you both changed, but not in the same way.

College surprised you.

Then there are those awkward encounters at the salad bar where you see someone you thought would be your best friend. They’re all like, “yeah, let’s get lunch sometime,” and you’re all like, “yeah!” but it never happens.

That’s a problem I suffer. Like people who envision married life after a first date, I am quick to form an opinion (often inaccurate about people) regarding how great of friends we could be.

I am someone who hates bothering others. Reaching out is kind of scary for me.

Since a day in college is the equivalent of a week in realtime, so much can change, so quickly. A week later means that two months may have passed, and people who hate each other are now best friends…or the opposite.

It’s still early in the year; people don’t feel the need to keep friends if they have to give effort. Like the add/drop period, this school offers so many potential friends that investing time and trying to be friends is unheard of. If you don’t feel that spark, you drop them, quickly, before the cement dries.

This is a week of throwbacks:


  1. Pingback: Introducing my new series: “Sophomore Spotlight” | Catherine Zhang
  2. karmadoc

    I was lucky (I guess) that I went on from high school to the military (drafted) and attended/started college a year after my friends graduated. Four years after high school I was more settled, more mature, more aware of the realities of life, but still had some wild oats to sew. It wasn’t until the second half of my freshman year that I settled down and found it easier not to have brought friends with me… I have always been a loner and didn’t need the drama that comes with friends.

    Now is the time to get use to your new environment; brief the fresh air of your independence and get reacquainted with Catherine Zhang the college student. Now is the time to reach out and experience new opportunities (no, not drugs or casual sex*) (P.S.) Catherine the high school student is gone, say goodbye.)

    * This is something that you will have to decide for yourself and remember that date rape happens to 1 in 5 college women… please be careful.)


    • catdiggedydog

      “Wild oats to sew”? I’ve never heard that before :-) Interesting perspective, however. I bet that would be a great story (hint hint). Yeah…I can definitely confirm that the friends I had in high school (mainly debaters) are not my predominant friend group anymore. The whole thing is bittersweet, though. I still keep in touch with the best! I plan to take who I was in high school and try to improve upon her. I don’t intend to completely abandon high school Catherine!


  3. Sabina

    I feel this so hard. This was me roughly 380 or so days ago (I found “my people” in early October) and I realize both how rough and how beautiful it is to move on so quickly from someone who doesn’t click.


      • Sabina

        Don’t have expectations yet! It’s too early. I’d say take life as it comes but learn from those instant but short-lived friendships. When the friendships are deeper it’s okay to mourn a bit.


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