Dear Sue: “Concerned Cassie”
I had a solid group of friends last year, but we had a falling out and now I’m basically friendless. My roommate is never around, so I don’t even have her as a friend. I’ve joined a few clubs, but I still find myself painfully shy, and the people I meet there never become anything past acquaintances. And since no one ever approaches me, I’m not meeting anyone new. How do I get over my shyness and make friends?
I am sorry that you are having a tough time this semester. I myself went through a transition where I lost some friends and had to find who my true friends were and where my new friends were hiding. However, you are never friendless. Someone out there considers you a friend and maybe it’s up to you to not use the label acquaintances.
As for falling out with your old friends, let’s start with the first issue. Think to yourself what was the problem that caused the falling out with your previous friends? Is it something that you can forgive and forget and try to make up with them? If you are still hung up on this and can’t stop focusing on who you friends WERE versus who your new friends will be, you may truly never be able to make new ones.
As far as your roommate is concerned, some people don’t get along with their roommates, and that is okay, but it sounds like it just might be a time issue. Try connecting with them when you do see each other, maybe try to coordinate going to Lunch or Dinner together at least twice a week. This will open you up to 1) becoming closer to your roommate, and 2) potentially meeting your roommates group of friends who will probably just take you right in as one of their own.
As far as shyness goes, the best advice I can give is to slowly try and open up to people. Your shyness might stem from not believing people will like you and you become self-conscious. Most people your age have the same thought process. Don’t be afraid to find a group of new people eating in commons and ask to sit with them. Try giving your clubs more time too. In general, clubs on campus are full of returning members so it is a little harder to break into that group, but they are normally accepting and will start saying hey to you around campus. This brings me to another point, try saying hey to these “acquaintances” of yours. Try finding people you know at Commons and sit down with them. Fill Lunches and Dinners with people you see in class, people in clubs, etc. and your friend list will surely start to grow. You never know, with just a little more effortful a beautiful friendship may spring forth.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting,
Sue Z. Maroon