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Growing up, I was always the girl with a lot of friends. I went to a giant high school and I tried to meet new people all the time. I am a very social person.
Coming to college was a whole different ball game. My college is the same size as my high school, so I figured I'd make friends just the same, right? WRONG.
I struggled to find friends my first year. I had a few loose connections my first year, but I still found myself eating lunch and dinner alone almost every night.
I thought things would be different. I saw all my older friends killing it on their social media so I just assumed college would be a better version of high school for me. I was very wrong.
I was in trouble.
I'd always been the person with a ton of friends. I would've told you that I had six or seven best friends in high school. Before college, I never did anything alone. I ate every meal with a group, we did home work together, and we went out every weekend. Now, I was spending almost all my time alone.
I had a roommate, but we weren't close. We didn't fight, but we didn't do anything together either. I went in blind and we were just too different.
I found myself on the phone with my parents four or five times a day. I'm a very talkative person and I didn't have anyone to talk too.
As the year went on things didn't get any better. Weeks started turning into months and no change. My birthday rolled around, and I didn't get a single "Happy Birthday" from anyone at school. I was devastated.
I found myself growing more and more anxious about having no one. I found myself very depressed. I was crying almost every day, so I decided enough was enough!
After spending hours a week crying in my car I decided I couldn't live like this anymore. Feeling sorry for myself and crying about it to my parents wasn't going to fix it. I just needed to make an adjustment.
I started spending time with myself.
I started doing things I had always wanted to do, but never had the time. I started reading poetry. I started working out and lifting weights. I joined a club even though I didn't know anyone there.
I made small changes that were slowly making a difference in my life.
Other people can only influence you, all change starts and ends with personal motivation.
One day, after a particularly bad day I called my dad and told him I was lonely and he said something that I carry with me to this day:
"You are never really alone when you have love in your life."
I do have love in my life. I might not have everything I want, but I have everything I need.
I have learned how to be alone with myself. Being alone isn't a punishment, it's an opportunity.
We are our own worst critics. I used to think having no friends made me a loser, but now I have embraced being a loner. Once I stopped trying so hard to make people like me I have found a few great friends.
Being yourself is your best asset. There is literally no one else like you.
We all have our own problems, but don't let other people determine the path of your life.
Next time you get dinner, sit alone. Do something different. Being different isn't a bad thing. Trust yourself because everything will work out in the end.