In college, I lucked out with friends. Before September’s end, I had collected a plethora of acquaintances I could bestow the “friend” title upon. Perhaps it was because we were all in the same mindset- new to college and eager to meet people we could share ourselves with. However, I’ve talked to some other folks and it seems that my Freshman dorm while typical in it’s everybody getting acquainted was rare in that everyone became friends and stayed friends. 6 out of the 7 people I shared a house with Junior and Senior year I lived with Freshman year. The one extra person who shared the house, I lived with Sophmore year.
All of these fine individuals will be at my wedding. They’re people who within the span of a few years became my substitute family, entering into my live without abandon… people I would do anything for. We would go out and get each other food and meds when someone was sick; help each other catch rabid bats (I kid you not); prepare and share breakfast sandwiches, beans & rice, and noodles; rub each others backs and console each other when we were puking or crying in the night; and oh how the list goes on. Our Junior/Senior house even had a name, “The Oreo House” because it was brown on the top and bottom and white in the middle. All of us also reallllllllyyyy liked Oreos. I guess at this point, I have such high expectations of what friendship should be that I find it difficult making friends.
I always had this problem though. The friendship I found so quickly in college was a rarity for me, unless you count age-3-Camila’s time in laundromats. During those days, I sidled up to anyone under three feet to make my friend for the hours it took to wash, dry, and fold our family’s clothes before proceeding to collect their number so we could play at a later date. Other then those instances I’ve never been one to easily make friends. It takes me months, if not years, to cultivate a friendship that I believe in wholeheartedly. On the upside, the friends I make are ones that will last forever. On the downside, I can go a long time without making any real friends and sometimes, like now, I just give up. For instance, during my past year in Connecticut, I haven’t made any real friends because in moving to New Haven last June I knew I wouldn’t be in the state much longer so I chose not to try as hard to meet people and hang out.
It’s just more difficult now finding myself in new places where people already have their niches. Maybe that’s why it was tough for me when I was younger too, because I was always switching schools. By the time I was 18 I had attended 8 different schools. My siblings were some of my closest friends during those years because they were stable, I knew where to find them, and in commuting back and forth from NM to CO they were my constants. Of course I made some phenomenal pals in those years, friends I still have, but they took awhile to make.
Now, I know I need to make a conscious effort when I get to Portland to seek friends out, to put myself out there and say yes when I’m invited to hang out or attend some sort of event. I need to do it for my own sanity because though I love all the friends I already have, I’m realizing it’s also nice to have comrades in the place I am, something I don’t currently have. I feel like this dilemma though is something that goes along with the QLC. I know many of my friends also have a similar problem and wonder where to even begin making friends. So where do I start? Where shall I seek out these potential friends for life?
How have you made friends as an adult?
When/how did you meet your closest friends?