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Why You're Bad at Making Friends: A Step-By-Step Assessment

College is hard. And I’m not talking about book hard (even though the B- on my PSET would beg to differ). It’s hard because its the first time in my life I had to make friends based on my personality. The vast majority of my friends back home were acquired in the warm womb of my kindergarten classroom, where sitting next to someone on the first day could lead to a lifelong friendship. And lead it did. Thirteen years later those three girls were my closest friends. But we all have to be born into the real world eventually. College isn’t safe, or familiar. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and friends are the best shields you can get. I’m just trying to make sure you’re suitably armed.  The truth hurts, but you’ll thank me later.

 

You spend too much time in your room

 pig cookie

If this is a familiar scene in your room, try to leave it more often

And you can’t expect any decent human being to want to go in there with you. I mean your conversation may be riveting and all, but I can’t get over the smell of sweaty socks, microwave popcorn, and that rotten pear that you got from Commons five days ago because it was going to be your healthy after gym snack. We all know you weren’t going to the gym. Why did the pear have to suffer.

 

Your taste in music is too niche

not from here

No, and I haven't heard of that band, either

Basically you are the only person on campus that has ever heard of [insert your favorite band here]. This fact gives you a sense of entitlement, but makes no sense because how are they even a band if only ten people like them. Their name no doubt is a singular adjective, like mauve or wet (I’m not even kidding about this one).  Also it’s ambiguous whether they’re a single person or a whole group.  When asked (and even when not asked) you describe their vibe as “earthy” and “chill,” two words that mean basically nothing. Music taste is already a sensitive subject. Just a PSA: No good conversation has ever started with the sentence, “I bet you haven’t heard of…”

 

You know too many people

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How you currently approach other people, followed by how you should start. Please

If it takes you over twenty minutes to walk from Old Campus to Commons because everyone and their mother stops and says hi to you, then best believe I will never walk anywhere with you again. Keep the, “OMG I haven’t seen you in, like, forever! How have you been”s to a minimum. Having a thousand acquaintances isn’t impressive.  We all know you aren’t going to, “totally grab lunch” with anyone anytime soon. Keep walking.

 

You joined too many extracurriculars

 

Yeah okay let's not get ahead of ourselves, but it's a start.

If you execute this philosophy by signing up for every-damn-thing, check yo'self

This isn’t high school. The only reason doing a bunch of stuff in back then made you more popular was because you saw those same people at class, in the halls and at lunch. In college, if you join a bazillion activities, you half-ass a bazillion activities. When you leave early or come late to everything you become that person. No one likes that person.

 

You eat dinner at 5 o’clock

 rupaul slap

The only appropriate reaction when someone asks to get dinner at 5

On my first week I quickly found out that no one eats dinner at 5. Yes, I know the dining hall opens at 5. I do understand that you hate the lines and the crowds, we all do. But sometimes we must make sacrifices for the greater good. The greater good in this instance being your social life. How will you ever run into that cute person from section if you treat the dining hall like the early bird special at Denny’s? No one willingly eats dinner at 5. Neither should you. Enough said.

 

You dress too nicely

 woody looking good

You don't gotta roll up into class every morning like..

Today, I wore a hoodie and jeans. Yesterday, I wore a hoodie and jeans. Two days ago, I wore a hoodie and jeans. You get the picture. I don’t try. People that have the will to try, especially on a regular basis, are just downright scary. Its not a crime to throw in a well-put-together outfit here and there, but if you look like you just rolled out of a J-Crew catalogue every day at your 9:25 class, you will only gain wistful stares as you walk across campus. Wistful stares don’t eat with you at lunch.

 

You’re dating your high school boyfriend/girlfriend and you tell everyone about it

 proposal

Unless this happened, pipe down

There are 7.whatever billion people in the world but you only want one. That’s fair. Its adorable that they send you flowers and good morning/good night texts. In theory, we’re all happy for you. But don’t bring it up. Ever. Maybe tell that one dude at Toad’s trying to “get to know you a little better tonight” but no one else. Why? Because on top of our stress of trying to make friends, people are trying to navigate making “friends” (insert eyebrow wiggle). That’s a whole different article for another time. Moral: it’s cute, but in intense moderation.

 

You’re being paranoid

 internally screaming

We've made eye contact at least twice! Does that mean nothing to you??

We sat together in class yesterday, why didn’t she sit next to me today? Why didn’t he save me a seat at dinner? We walked past each other twice now and he hasn’t acknowledged my existence! Does sitting near me at section mean nothing to him?!

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Apparently not

If any of these thoughts have ever crossed your mind, you’re being paranoid. Chill out. If I’m any indication of the average college student, I know that I’m on autopilot pretty much until dinner. If I ignore you, it's probably by accident. Same goes for most other people. Don’t read too much into it. And if they are purposefully ignoring you, whatever. They don’t deserve to be the first friend you made after reading this article. Save that title for someone special.

 

 

Alyssa Patterson
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