Emma Gualtieri ‘23
A sophomore in college. Living in the midst of a pandemic. Struggling to find her “place” at Assumption University. Something I never would have imagined saying as a high school senior applying to college. I was excited for the endless opportunities to put myself out there and meet as many people as possible. But that was quickly put to a halt. Covid-19 hit March of 2020 and to say the least, I took for granted all of the opportunities I had to meet as many people as possible. Stuck in front of a computer screen forced to communicate via snapchat and Instagram … awkward. I was longing for face to face communication and opportunities to make new friends.
Nobody said making lifelong friendships would be easy and nobody said keeping them would be easy. Being forced to go outside of one’s comfort zone to meet new people is something no one wants to do. Especially being in college and living through the internet for a whole year. Yes, there are people in classes and clubs that you will meet but being on zoom for the school year was not how anyone expected to be communicating. This led to Instagram dm’s and zoom chatting for phone numbers just to feel like I had “friends”.
Freshman year, having met people who I thought would be my forever friends was the wrong mindset. It left me with a closed mind and thinking I wouldn’t need to make any more friends. But, I was so, so wrong. I wish that someone, anyone, would have warned me about making friendships in college to prevent what I did from happening. I wish I knew that friends wouldn’t just land in your lap. Most of our friends in high school were people we grew up with and knew for years in advance. At a young age it was, “wow, blues your favorite color? I like blue too! Let’s be best friends.” Over time the requirements became much more specific. Now we were forming friendships by forced interactions.
So here I am, to give you the one piece of advice that I will keep with me forever.
Send that DM, ask those girls or guys to hangout, be friendly, say hi to everyone you see and don’t think that every friend you make will be a forever friend. I know making friends in a pandemic seems impossible but trust me you never know who is going through the same thing you are. Say hi to that friend next to you in your class. Spend less time on your phone and more time in the here and now. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there even in uncomfortable situations, because I promise it will be worth it. Just always know, you are not alone.
Valley Girl does not own any photos used in this article.