First-Week Friends

Those people who kept you afloat those first few weeks, but didn’t last.

Here’s to all of our first-year friends.

Here’s a shout out to all those people who surrounded my first couple weeks on-campus, and who I now rarely see. For those of us who’ve been on campus for at least year, it may seem hard to remember a time when our group of friends or closest companion wasn’t in our lives. It can be hard to look at freshman and remember the panic of getting to your first class and showing up thirty minutes early or not buying the books from the bookstore for the first day.

I remember when I got to campus I was absolutely terrified of one thing: not finding any friends. As the only person from my high-school to attend NDSU, I truly felt so much more alone than any of my fellow classmates. It felt like the opportunity to meet people would have passed, and so I grasped for someone, anyone, to spend time with me. I see the same desperation from many freshman as they form quick and tight bonds with others. 

The truth is that today, I rarely see any of those people I once felt so close to that first week. Occasionally I’ll see that friend who went to a Welcome Week event with me or that girl who sat next to me in the dining center during my first meal. Some of them were even in classes with me. However, now those people I once thought might be my college friends are just people I give a quick smile to on my way to class.

Here’s a shout out to all those people who surrounded my first couple weeks on-campus, and who I now rarely see.

These people were so important to me, as they’re important to all freshman. Most new students here are fresh out of high school, where they made friends of convenience to survive twelve years of schooling together. The dynamics in college are different. People can choose who to add to their lives and who they may be better off without. People can go and find kindred spirits who show them what it means to feel truly yourself around another person. So those friends who kept you from driving straight home that first week may not end up staying in your life throughout college, but they certainly are the reason you’re still here.

So here’s to those first-week friends. Here’s to all those people who showed us that it’s okay to choose who you give your time to. Here’s to the awkward ice-breakers and exchanging dozens of Snapchat usernames. And here’s to hoping that even if we couldn’t be friends that those they’re friends with now make them really happy.

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