College freshman here. Friend from high school has, for lack of a better word, ruined my college social life. Looking for outside opinions on the situation in general. I'd truly appreciate any insight, advice, anecdotes, etc. Thank you!
posted by metacognition to human relations (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hello, all. I’m a college freshman and I would like to optimize my college social life after some crappy experiences. Background info: I have found a major that engages and excites me, have been in a quasi-LDR for the past few years with an amazing guy, have engaged in interesting extracurricular activities, and feel otherwise fulfilled! I didn’t have an ideal first semester: I was in a major totally unfit for my needs and strengths, so I felt confused and stressed out, struggled in my classes, and had little time to explore outside interests (or so I felt.)
For my early high school years, I had a wonderful friendship circle – it was a varied group and we had fun doing anything with each other. We began growing apart in later years and many of our older friends had graduated, which sucked. I tried to rekindle these relationships, but they just weren’t meant to be. I understood that, as sad as it was, it was a natural process. By my senior year, I felt pretty alone and unable to relate to my peers. So I began hanging out with my “best friend,” a member of the old group, and we grew really close.
Said best friend attends the same university as I do and we live close to each other. For the first month, I wanted to distance myself from her because I felt like she was holding me back – she didn’t want to do the activities that I did nor meet as many people – and because I wanted to break away from the friendship. This was why I had chosen not to live with her. She has irritated me on several occasions (e.g. disrespecting my boyfriend, making fun of my family, not supporting an important decision of mine), but I kept her around because in high school, I felt like I didn’t have any options and her, I guess, bullying was snarky and subtle, so I thought maybe I was just overreacting (though others noticed her behavior). She had her better qualities but overall, I hoped to find a new group in college that had as much fun as I did in my early high school years. I thought college would be the prime time for this.
So at the start of the semester my best friend and I did not spend time with each other. She later told me she missed me and I figured we’d both had made friends at that point so we could come together and have a great, diverse group. I learned that she hadn’t met anyone outside of her roommates, so she hung out with my friends often. My friends were very welcoming to her and all was well… until she never wanted to invite them to hang out. So, mid-semester, I felt very stressed and isolated by my work, so I’d hang out with my best friend, typically in her room because she lives so close by. Our other friends would text me, but whenever I asked my friend if it was ok to invite them over (because we were in her room), she would decline because they “annoyed” and “drained” her.
Ok. I was tired of abandoning my other friends and I found my best friend to be very condescending, boring, and rude… I’d felt this way about her in high school, but seeing her so often exacerbated these feelings. One night, she acted patronizingly to me in front of our friends and I decided that I’d had enough. I thought the mature thing to do (given our level of friendship) would be to confront her and just make her aware of how I was feeling – nothing serious, from my perspective. Well, I did just that and felt proud, but she was totally offended. We “worked it out” a few days later, but I kept my distance over our month-long winter break. Our “fight” was a bit of a blessing in disguise because I had a great break, only seeing her twice for events that involved mutual friends and that she initiated. Now, back at school, we rarely talk.
I prefer this minimal contact because she just didn’t treat me like a friend should and I didn’t have fun with her. The problem lies in the fact that she has now resorted to hanging out with all of my other friends – the ones who “drained” her before – and she does exactly what she did to me, which is hang out alone with them without inviting anyone else (i.e. me). I have hung out with her and other friends a couple of times and it was almost sickening to see her treating my friend the way she treated me, despite the fact that they weren’t good enough for her when she had me.
I was supposed to live with a fun group of girls next year, but I applied to be a Resident Assistant. Housing applications are due before I find out if I got the position, so my friends were hesitant about putting me down because they didn’t want a random person to live with them if I got the position, though they would have put me down if they couldn’t find another person. So my housing replacement? My best friend. (Back when my best friend was looking for housing options, I’d suggested that she lived with these girls because they were so nice and needed an extra person. Her response: “They’re a little… too much for me. They annoy me. I don’t know if I can be around them if you’re not there to mediate.” She wanted to live alone in an apartment, but couldn’t afford it. So now she’s living with them.) I know that I have no right to be upset by this, but now I feel like it’s set up so that even next year, I will have to see her all the time when I visit my friends.
In a sense, I feel like I’m competing with my “best friend” for what used to be my group of friends, though I know it would be totally immature to tell my friends the truth because they don’t really understand what she and I “fought” in the first place. I feel that I just have to make new friends so I don’t have to spend so much/any time with her. As mentioned earlier, she’s the only person, besides my boyfriend, whom I remained very close to since high school. I have quite a few acquaintances and I tried to regenerate some of these old friendships over break, but we just had too little in common.
I realized how pathetic I felt when I thought about marriage: I have no one in my life whom I’d want in my bridal party.
For the record, I am extremely close with my family and have an awesome, fulfilling relationship with my boyfriend. However, my family and boyfriend certainly can’t be everything to me, especially now that I’m away from home… I find it very easy to make acquaintances: I am a friendly, outgoing, confident, and fun person and people seem to like me. However, come the weekend, if I am not visiting my boyfriend, I have few people to call. In high school, I thought, “Oh, college will be better.” Well, now I don’t want to think, “Oh, the ‘real world’ will be better.” I don’t want to wish for a new environment – I just want to live in the one I’m in and have functional, fun friendships.
So if you read that, I thank you very much.
I am doing my best to remedy this by joining clubs and being proactive about hanging out with people. I just feel so awkward about all of this… I’m not sure whom to turn to anymore because everyone significant in my life has heard this story. I am here for opinions, advice, anecdotes… anything really.