Monday, June 16, 2008

Pick Your Friends

Life outside of school is very different. There are bills to pay -- including loans that were once deferred. Logistics to determine. Vacations to plan. You have to take care of your property. You always have to provide your own meals. Luckily for me I would rather eat cooked crickets than go back to cafeteria food. You also have to plan stuff to do because you're not always studying. Another major difference between college/highschool and "real life" is the making of friends.

In college we were all alone and knew no one. We were always looking for friends. Plus, we were always around one another. We would go hang out at midnight or start a movie at 2am and it was just fine. School is a whole different world from where I am now. Now I have to make the effort to get to know people. I have to make a conscious effort. When I am around new friends I have to tell myself, "Esther, you need to ask them questions and listen." Not that I am a bad listener. I am just used to friendships that flow along like a river. Outside of school friendships are more like climbing a mountain.

For other people this might not be so difficult. But I didn't learn to make friends until I was in highschool and then it was a crash course. I was homeschooled. Yeah, I got "socialized" some. But the whole bit about exerting myself to befriend other kids never really came up. Studies were always the most important thing. Frankly, studies are somewhat useless if you can't deal with people on a regular basis. Just my opinion. I recently realized that I have never taken matters into my own hands to seek and pursue a friendship since my freshman year of college. And that was the only time I ever did that. I kept all those friends -- which is great. However, I only got to know people other than those few close friends on a superficial level.

Yeah, I had a few people who were proactive in their friendships toward me outside of school when I was younger. Without going into detail let's just say those friendships did not always end well. At this point in time I prefer to be the initiator. Why? Because I know what I am looking for. Because I have good judgment of people. I trust myself more than I trust others. My friends don't have to be just like me. They do have to be people who give back into a friendship in a positive way. At my age, it's really strange to be having to put myself through a whole new education. But that's how it goes. I never learned to make friends in an environment where people other than myself already had all the friends they needed. Now I have a lot to learn. Lucky for me I am a very fast learner.


Anonymous said...

I think we can always keep learning. Friends are important. We learn to discern more with age.

Arellanova said...

Quantity and Quality is very different. My little life lesson!! as it were. As much as you sometimes want people to befriend you, you want to be befriended by the right people as well. As rediculous as this sounds, shop your friends qualities and be very aware of their faults - not to scorn them, but lets say if you know someone is always late, and never going to change, don't hang your heartstrings on the fact that they will arrive early to the one important event. If you really want them to be there early you may have to drag that particular person there yourself caveman style.

but you really are sometimes hard on yourself, dearheart Esther. For when I found you close to my heart, it wasn't because you listened your way there. Rather, I beleive it was because you had always been there, supporting firmly the values that I had sometimes waivered on....and in that I find a better friend that all the latte chat sessions can provide.

Tracy said...

My dad used to say that if you can find one good friend in a lifetime then you're doing pretty well.

Congrats on the house btw, and thank you for answering the question I was afraid to ask you about you and the rising waters.

tully said...

From the experience of my first year in college, I would attest that if a college friendship is going along like a river, it's likely because you're not holding others accountable. I don't know whether that's right or wrong, but consider the motive: you're around these people all the time. Friendliness evolves to maintain peace, and friendship is sometimes indistinguishable from friendliness.

You're in a position where you can easily separate "friendly-ship" from friendship, because you can keep friends close and friendlies far away. The former element just takes more effort on your part- just be thankful that you don't have to get along with a whole group of people containing both types, as I found myself doing this year.

Esther said...

Tracy: I think your dad has a good point. Finding good friends in my area has become my latest mission. I get tired of spending my evenings responding to comments on my blog. Also, I thought you in specific might worry about me with all the flooding. You're just that kind of person. So I figured I had better let people know I'm okay.

Arellanova: Thanks. You are always very encouraging.

Tully: I do remember that aspect of going to a small, private college. Ah, the rumor mongering. And those annoying people whom everyone disliked. They were difficult to avoid sometimes. I know, that's not what you mean exactly. Thanks for your encouraging words. I will keep that in mind as I continue making friends close by.

Xana Ender said...

Yeah, I've found a hard time making friends here...but it could be because I am so different than the people at work and DEFINATELY different than the people at NCCC