So often we find ourselves engrossed in everything except one another. On the pathways, we don’t say hi, but instead duck our heads, hooded and capped, masked by sunglasses. So much passed by in a lifetime, so much overlooked. A campus of 14,942, and we resort to anonymous newsfeeds and weekend interactions. What is it about the friendships and relationships in college that makes them feel so different from the bonds formed during our years in middle and high school? Collegiate connections are all about convenience and circumstance, but mostly convenience.
But what exactly does this mean and why does it all sound so negative? And how do we fix it? And should we fix it? I have yet to find the answers that I’m looking for, but I have made one conclusion: it’s not necessarily a negative thing and it’s probably taken way too seriously. What we fail to realize is that life (that thing that comes after college) is all about convenience and circumstance, too. Life, or “the real world”, whatever you want to call it, is essentially the biggest college campus there ever was and these years that we spend at UNH are just the practice round.
To me, collegiate friendships are born out of circumstance and only grow with convenience. Your friends are who you happen to live near, or those who are in your class, major, or club. Perhaps you have an old friend from high school who came to UNH, or the occasional breakfast companion and through these people you’re able to branch out and have what some would call “acquaintances”. This is normal. It’s sort of hard to swallow, but the fact of the matter is that college is far from high school: no one grew up together, not many people even know each other, and it’s okay to eat alone.
That being said, I find the uncertainty of it all to be the most exciting aspect of being on a university campus. You don’t really know who you’ll run into on the way to Hoco, who you’ll make prolonged eye contact with, who you’ll recognize from class…And when it feels a little too big with too much room for meeting people and not enough familiarity, all you have to remember is that everyone has one thing in common: the decision to attend UNH and to be a wildcat. So look up, take out your headphones, put the hood down, and start making some convenient, circumstantial connections.