JOURNAL: Finding Your People

Everyone has their own definition of what a friend is. For some, it’s someone you tell things only you and that person would understand. For others, it’s someone you can vibe with for hours or someone that may be the shoulder you can cry on.

I’m not really a people person. I never really cared about having friends. I was completely fine with being alone; I like time to myself. 

Over the years, I grew to meet a lot of people, but friends? Not until I got into high school and met a lot of people. Some of us went to football games, went to the mall, went to get bubble tea, played video games and more. It was fun, but they never stuck.

But you know who did? My friend Je’Nai, who I’ve known since junior high.

The only class we had together was orchestra, she was a violinist and I was a cellist. We’ve been friends ever since. We ended up continuing orchestra in high school and became lifting buddies. We especially connected more after we graduated high school. 

We started talking and hanging out more because we kept in touch.

Having Je’Nai as a friend is great. I never thought having friends was this much fun or how much they influence me as a person and my life, especially now that I am in college. And it’s not just friends that are important, but a social life outside of books and pencils.

As college students, our main focus is supposed to be our studies and pursuing our passions.

But the great thing is that it’s not all about that. We have the freedom to hang out with our friends, go to parties, go to games and get involved with groups on campus. We will only get to be young and do crazy stuff for so long. 

We need to surround ourselves with good people, people we consider great influences, people that build each other up and have fun. Even if it’s just one person.

But with this freedom, we must understand how much of an influence the people we surround ourselves with make in both our personal and college lives. If we’re not surrounded by the right people, it could impact us in ways that hurt ourselves and others. 

Drinking or being out late on a Tuesday night when you have class at 9 a.m., that’s going to affect your mental and physical health if you’re not being careful. Now with that, one must understand how important it is to maintain our social lives.

There is no perfect method to maintain and balance your social life and your studies. Each person must find their own way that works for them but here are a few ideas you can try:

1. Schedule your time, and strike the balance between studies and sociality.

2. Choose the right living environment. Where you live can impact how you not only maintain your social life but balance it with academics. What kind of atmosphere can you feel from one dorm versus another? Consider who might live there and your needs/wants.

3. Coordinate free time with your friends. This bounces off of scheduling your time, so as you meet new people and find your group, figure out what works best for everyone and schedule some free time together.

As college students, having a social life outside the classroom is very important for one’s own well-being and those around us. Being able to maintain and balance it with academics is even better. You’re getting the best of both worlds.

This story was written by Trinity Burgess. She can be reached at [email protected]