making friends at college

dear heather,
I just graduated high school and had the worst year I think I could have. I am a quiet girl and have been shy since seventh grade. Before that, I was a loud and pretty popular girl. Well, now I’m not so popular. I don’t have any good friends–everyone I know is just an acquaintance.

I think this has something to do with me. I am not up on teen lingo and such. I never have good comebacks or comments. I don’t enjoy the popular TV shows, I don’t get any teen magazines, I don’t drink or smoke, and I don’t know the “cool stuff.” This gets quite annoying when you are trying to have a conversation with someone and you sound stupid.

What can I do to get some new friends when I head off to college?

I’m sorry to hear that your high school experiences weren’t pleasant–especially your senior year. The good thing is that change is right around the corner.

Going to college can be great because it usually allows people to start fresh. No one knows each other in the beginning, and people are usually pretty friendly since they are all trying to meet each other and find common ground. You don’t say if you will be living on campus or commuting from home, but either way, you’ll probably meet a lot of new people quickly. Just be yourself and open to meeting them.

Talk about your own interests and what you like to do. Eventually, you will probably find that there are people who enjoy the same things. Those are the people with whom you are more likely to bond and form closer relationships. Don’t worry about sounding stupid when people are discussing the latest popular thing; it’s more genuine if you are confident with the things you do care about.

You may also want to think about why you were more popular in the seventh grade. Were you louder because you felt more confident, or did you share more common interests with the people around you? Would you want to be that way again, or do you like being more quiet and shy? Either way can work–it’s all about what makes you more comfortable.

take care,
heather


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