Freshmen year can be brutal. Coming to campus is hard enough with all the readings and homework immediately assigned, but for a lot of students, social life brings even more anxiety. As each game day weekend approaches, you may start to worry about who you will go with. You may ask yourself questions like, “Is it weird to crash the girls' down the floor tailgate again?”.
More often than not, freshmen will become friends with their direct roommate off the bat. Some may have known their roommate prior to coming to school, or started to get to know one another over text after room assignments were distributed. The lucky pairs will also hit it off with the other students on the floor or in the building. Most initial friend groups will be a combination of different roommates or students from the same dorm floor. Close quarters and convenience form the best bonds, am I right?
Not all students have the same college dream story. At this time, just two weeks into the school year, some students will already be fighting with their direct roommate, or feel isolated. It is perfectly normal to not fit in right away. This being said, it is still a brutal transition. Especially when it appears as if the entire campus already knows each other.
Sometimes, even with immense effort, it is difficult to make friends. The first few weeks are fueled by the desire to fit in, but not everyone will. Group chats are forming and leaving people out. Cliques are establishing who they want to remain friends with; who has the highest social capital, the most money, the fanciest clothes, etc. Exclusion will become more and more popular as schedules are finalized and friendships are solidified.
Who you decide to spend your time with now does not need to be who you spend your time with during your senior year. Though there are some friend groups that will stay the same over the entire 4 years of Boston College. These people unfortunately may not get the opportunity to expand their social circles.
In my opinion, safety is every freshman's worst enemy. Being friends with the kids on your floor just because they live there—not because you genuinely like them—will not serve you in the long run. Not branching out and keeping to yourself is safe because you eliminate the possibility of being rejected. Surrounding yourself with people of the same hometown, or high school is safe because you already have social connections. Confiding in people of the same economic status is safe because they have similar lifestyle expectations.
In order to truly feel at home at Boston College it is important to connect with others who sincerely interest you. They may be completely unlike yourself, or comfortably similar. In order to do this, you need to take risks, step outside your comfort zone, join clubs and challenge yourself to talk to strangers.
Finding your social niche takes time. Students struggle to understand themselves at such a young age and may not be ready to integrate themselves into communities that appeal to their true interests. Making friends for the purpose of going out with them will grow very tiresome as personalities clash and there is no real substance other than cheap vodka and beer holding the relationship together. All students develop at different paces.
True friendships may not be formed until sophomore year. The housing process will strain all group dynamics and often reveal who is a true friend and who is a fake friend. Students have more freedom in their schedules during their second year, allowing them to connect with likeminded people during a more personally significant class.
So, for all freshmen (or sophomores, or juniors, or seniors) out there who are struggling or failing to navigate the social scene at Boston College, do not give up hope. Stay true to who you are and embrace change. Sometimes rejection will bring the best surprises. Good things come to those who wait.