Before coming to VCU, I talked to a lot of people about college and what to expect in my freshman year. The most popular piece of advice that I was given was to find my “tribe”. Of course, when people told me this, I wasn’t too worried. Making friends and talking to people was easy for me back in high school. Plus, everyone I talked to seemed to find their groups within the first year of college. However, it has been incredibly hard for me to find an actual friend.
My first semester was rough. I came from NOVA and knew only two people at VCU because we went to the same high school. They quickly found their groups and our communication became limited. I however was still searching for friends. There were many days where I was upset or angry at myself for still being alone. I joined clubs, went to school events, and try to be in public as much as possible. I tried talking to classmates, people in my dorm, even random strangers. Nothing I did seemed to work, and sometimes actually made it worse. I would see clusters of people walking or talking to each other. This would just make me feel lonelier and I started to isolate myself more in my dorm. Occasionally, I would make conversation with those sitting next to me in class, but that was it. As the semester went on, I separated myself more and more from others. I tried to only focus on school work and not what was happening outside. Weekends sucked because I was reminded that I had no one to hang out with. I was depressed and anxious all the time because I couldn’t find my “tribe”. These feelings were lessened during winter break when I was with family.
My second semester has been better. I would not say I have found my “tribe”, but I am being more social now compared to last semester. I have talked more with the people in my classes, helped classmates with assignments, and just been more open when talking to others. There are still many times when I feel sad or lonely. However, I try to force myself more to do something each day, even if I must do it by myself.
I came into college with a false expectation. I imagined having several friends before leaving for winter break. I thought that I would explore Richmond with the same group of people and have someone to talk to. I know now that it’s hard to find someone like me. I also know that I can’t be the only one struggling. I just sometimes wonder how many others are going through this.