Campus Life


“and i’m not sure why, but i will see you soon” - beabadoobee, “see you soon”

i love people!

even if we are complete strangers, i fall in love with every single person i meet. there’s something intrinsic to people that makes me want to know everything about them. upon seeing them laugh, smile, or talk, my heart beats and says “you know this joy — why not hold on to it a bit longer?”

however, holding onto that joy is hard when making friends is so difficult

meeting people is the easy part — see someone often enough, and eventually the two of you wave whilst passing by each other in the infinite. still, talking to them is an ordeal in and of itself, and don’t get me started with the struggle that comes with maintaining contact, getting to know people well, and becoming their confidant.

i was insanely lucky to make friends the way i did. a lot of my attempts to get closer to people were somewhat sketchy gambles, but they worked out in the best ways possible.

and so, here are six of those gambles:

  1. i chose to have random roommates during the housing lottery process.

  2. i started off a conversation with “hi i think you’re cool and i have no idea how to start this conversation so please pretend like i’m saying something of substance.”

  3. i chose the gender neutral cabin during my fpop simply because it was gender neutral.

  4. i sat next to some kid on the first day of 9.01, who, upon meeting me, opened instagram, pointed to my profile picture, and went “is this you?” (it was in fact me)

  5. i joined esp, and later, the tech.

  6. i didn’t quit my urop even though it ended up being pure data analysis (i find it boring.)

although some of them led to stronger connections than others, they all mean a lot to me, for these reasons:

  1. i went random when picking roommates because i wanted to meet new people, but i was still a little worried i wouldn’t mesh with them well. however, meeting my two roommates dissipated my fears. from the start, we’ve always looked out for one another. we bond over the smallest joys and comfort one another through the largest problems, and i don’t think the random matching could’ve given me any better roommates.

  2. when i introduced myself, i was in a mindset where i was terrified that i wouldn’t be able to find community. in a fit of desperation, i took a chance and blabbered it all out to someone i just met. somehow, they thought my introduction was pretty funny and became friends with me.

  3. one of my goals for this semester was to get more comfortable with myself academically, socially, and personally. therefore, during my fpop, i used my first bout of freedom to explore my gender identity by surrounding myself with other queer people, and it lead to great things! besides bonding with other queer people, i had some crucial conversations about my identity — and others’ too — and became more aware of what was beyond me. i find it so amazing that despite the amount of pain weaved into people’s lives, they’ve managed to find joy out of it.

  4. the fact that i occupied enough space in their mind to be a parasocial presence was intriguing to me so i decided to see where it went. although i wasn’t very close to this person at all (to the point where we don’t talk at all anymore), our acquaintanceship comforted me a lot. they sat in the same seat every day, would always talk to me during the breaks, and showed me their hobbies and such. it was the typical classmate relationship, but it was nice having that consistency, especially when i was still figuring out how to navigate life.

  5. i’ll say it over and over again, but esp is one of the most open, welcoming spaces i’ve ever been in, and a lot of the people i talk to daily are espeople (hehe). i’ve had fun interactions with people in the tech, from arguing with people about my ambiguous use of “team” in my previous article to eating banh mi with other members.

  6. at my first meeting with my urop supervisors, i learned that i would have a lab partner — another freshman, no less. they were incredibly intimidating to me at first (i’m scared of knowledgeable and intelligent people, which is this entire institution), but as we got to know each other, i learned that we were like one another (read: insane) and i’ve met so many people because of them.

as you might be able to tell, i read into things a lot, and i think this stems from the fact that i latch onto people. my therapist described it as “meshing,” which is the idea that through loving people, we become entangled into one another and become the best parts of the people we love most. each knot represents an aspect of vulnerability and security, and it’s easy to get caught in the whole piece when there are so many aspects of a relationship. trust, hastiness, devotion, dependence, isolation — there are many reasons why a knot is created, and it’s important to examine each relationship and familiarize ourselves with the reasons why it’s still together.

i believe that to love someone is to know them - and inversely, to be known is to be loved — and i think i’ve gotten to know many people. i know about their fears, successes, and desires, and they know about mine too. i understand them at their core and they understand me at my core — truly, that’s all i can ask for.