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College Diary #8: A Balance Between Friends and…other Friends

24 Oct

It’s been a remarkably light week for me here at American University. Last weekend, I was back in New York City for three days to visit my sister, but more importantly my friends. I missed New York so much! Once I got off the bus, I went straight to shopping in 34th Street then went down to Chinatown (missed that too!) to get a haircut and went back up to Times Square for dinner with friends. That was all in one day! The next day, I went shopping again and then more friendly dinners and chats. Sigh, I love New York.

Still, now that I’m in Washington DC, I’ve gotten used to not seeing my friends on a daily basis like I did in high school(though that doesn’t necessarily make not seeing my friends in New York particularly less painful). I’ve also managed to make some friends along the way!

However, with new friends come new responsibilities. Apart from the school work, which by the way, I’ve done a bad job of keeping up with recently given my recent streak of missing homework and forgetting about quizzes, I have a social life to keep up with! It’s a strange thing to have friends that do not belong in the same circle. I got too used to my high school where everyone can feel comfortable hanging out with anyone since there was only 86 of us and everyone shared some sort of commonality. Here, I have different friends for different kinds of interests. Yet, how can one hang out with everyone without neglecting the other friends you’re not hanging out with?

My next-door-neighbor recently asked me a question that got me thinking about this. She asked: “How can you balance your friends from other friends?” I was struck by how silly the question sounded to me and how speechless I was. I didn’t have an answer to the question. How can you balance it out? We then ruminated on possibly making a schedule to hang out with each other. It’s not that our friends don’t get along with our other friends; it’s more likely that they’re not close enough to want to hang out together. And that’s fine. You don’t really need to be friends with people in the same circle. It’s pretty awesome branching out into various friend groups because you’re always talking about different things, potentially finding out more than you’d hope for and it’s just more fun that way.

I, for example, started out with a small group of friends: my two roommates and two other girls I met on the first day. We pretty much stayed that way for a while until school started and we just branched out. Although we don’t hang out nearly as frequent as we did that first week, we still find time to hang out together from time to time. It’s sad sometimes because I feel guilty about not spending time with the first friends I had at school but I try to make an effort to do so.

I guess that’s the thing. It may be easy to make friends sometimes but keeping in touch with them is hard. When I left in New York, I didn’t cry or get sad because I wasn’t going to see my friends or New York. I was more sad and afraid that my friends would forget me. It’s really my fear that I might one day lose touch with my best friends that we become total strangers when we see each other again. Thus, I promised myself that I’ll always make attempts to see them as often as possible. From there, I think it just settles into a natural rhythm. Being friends with someone doesn’t mean you have to see them all the time. But it wouldn’t hurt to make an effort to hang out once in a while.

–Clarence

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