Lonely in a Crowd

Most of us, while in high school, expected college life to be all about bunking lectures with friends in the large and noisy canteen, fests and cultural events all through the year with a suspicious lack of ‘actual’ studies. A lot of this could be true depending on how you put yourself out there for people to perceive and what choices you make.

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But it isn’t all rosy once you get a hang of the reality. School provides you with a secure environment where you have an assigned seat in the classroom, a set of friends who have been with you since childhood, teachers who have seen you grow from a clumsy, awkward kid to the confident young adult you are now. You have a fixed routine, your parents to check on you, constant companions and teachers to guide you.

All this is lost when you move to a new city, in a hostel, with others like you, trying to manage life single-handedly, with new faces and only your instincts to help you pick a ‘friend’. Because for the first time in your life, you have a choice. And this new found, abrupt sense of freedom scares you.

Anxious about being left out, eager to ‘fit in’ you select people to ‘befriend’ based on your convenience. Your room mate, class mates, neighbours – all become part of the your ‘not-so-perfect-yet’ college life. What you don’t realise at that moment is how temporary this is. That all your ‘friends’ could end up so far away from you that you may never even talk!

It was the poet John Donne who wrote ‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

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While a lot more people fear being alone than those who care to admit, one needs to understand that there’s nothing to be ashamed of wanting to be around people you love all the time! Well, not literally ‘all the time’, but I’m hoping you get it. Rushing into choosing the wrong people could inflict pain and change you into someone who fears attachment itself! And trust me when I say it, that is not who you’d want to become. Ever.

You learn mostly through first hand experiences more than from anybody gabbling about life lessons or giving you advice, so I’ll take it easy on that front. But remember this; unless you feel completely comfortable in your own company, you can’t be a refuge for someone else.

On a lighter note, don’t let anything stop you from making your own choices, even if you know you’ll screw up *wink wink* 🙂

Sukriti Tiwari

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