By Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter
Before coming to Baylor, I had a very “cookie cutter” view of what college would be like. I expected to find my friends right away, and that we would spend our spare time together at a coffee shop talking about our exciting lives, just like in a sitcom. But this idea wasn’t just based on Friends, I was told time and time again that I would make so many friends and connect with so many people right away that shared my interests.
However, the reality was much different. I did meet many people in those first days of class, but I found as time went on that I didn’t “fall in” quite as quickly as everyone had said I would.
I came to Baylor alone. No one from my graduating class in high school was making the move to Waco with me. I was discouraged by this because it seemed that everyone else knew at least one person from their high school or hometown in Texas.
Some of you, freshman or otherwise, may be feeling similar –– like you aren’t fitting in or like there isn’t anyone here for you. Let me tell you what I wish I could go back and tell myself, “It won’t happen right away, sad as it is to say.” I, and I think many other students didn’t truly find friends till the end of freshman year.
A year is a long time to feel like you are treading water, but I can say for certain that the community I came back to in Waco had only grown stronger as time goes on.
Don’t be afraid of time on your own and don’t feel like you are doing something wrong because you aren’t constantly surrounded by friends. The transition from living at home to living on campus can intensify the feeling of loneliness, but take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one feeling it.
In the meantime, talk to people. Strike up a conversation with a person you sit next to in math or someone sitting alone in Penland. I have met some of my closest friends this way. As awkward as this can be, don’t underestimate those connections. Join clubs, go to bible studies or volunteer. Don’t wait to get involved. These are all great ways to meet people.
There will be lonely days, but you will wake up one morning and find that Waco has become your second home and there are people here who care about you too.