Find friends who are vastly different than yourself

By Lauren Holcomb | Reporter

As a high school student, I could not wait for college, mostly for the opportunity to meet new people. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends from home, but we all met through one shared experience, and it was all we talked about. This experience consumed all our lives, and it was difficult to find community with anyone outside of this bubble. The best part about college is being friends with everyone for completely different reasons. Every relative connection has an underlying root, like a faith perspective, a shared major or similar cultural interests, so each relationship made in college is vastly different but equally fulfilling.

Last semester was my first at Baylor, and it was shocking how many connections I had with people across campus. While I would not consider myself a part of a single friend group, I did have many friendships with individuals for a variety of reasons. However, the stress of feeling like I did not belong to any certain group did weigh down on me heavily. After finding my sense of self in a group identity and relying on that to navigate my way through high school, I was at a complete loss on where to go next for college. Looking back, I would not change a thing.

What I could not see at the time was that I was planting seeds in many different communities without even realizing I was doing so. Rather than keeping all my eggs in one basket, I was meeting people through every experience I took part in, helping me make further connections and relationships. Not relying on one group or organization to define my life allowed me to truly learn about so many new things and grow in areas I never expected to.

A lot of people say their favorite part of college is getting to pick a specialty and truly dive into learning more about a topic they care about, rather than a little bit of everything. While yes, this is a great part of the college experience, it only adds to my point. You not only get to choose your major but also get to choose what organizations to join, what religious activities to take up, what jobs to apply for and so many other daily groupings. Every ball is in your own court, and where you choose to aim is completely up to you.

The more personalization we do to our own lives, the more we can truly come into our own sense of self. The ability to find connections and community in so many different areas of college life is a privilege that is not recognized enough. We each have our own passions and interests, and connecting with people who share even our most niche love is the most fulfilling experience you can get. There are many aspects of college life that make it great, but for me, making equally valuable connections in every genre of personal interest I could have has made my college experience 10 times better.