By Sarah E Culmone, Opinion Writer
Stepping onto campus as an official Seton Hall student was all I could think about the entire summer. Understandably, when my alarm went off on August 24, 2017, adulthood and independence were screaming in my face. It was finally my time to go out into the world and meet the type of people who I never even knew existed. Everyone told me that the friends I would make in college would last a lifetime, and I was ready to meet them.
Seton Hall wasted no time giving us helpless freshmen plenty of opportunities to make friends. There was a carnival, BBQ, and even a movie night. Knowing myself, I planned on making loads of new friends who would stand by me for four long years. I figured we would bond over our shared love for classical music, old time movies, and Zac Efron.
Unfortunately, those expectations were shattered within the first day. Most of the time, people could care less about my celebrity crush. I found myself aggressively trying to force my positive traits and personality on complete strangers who just came out for the free cotton candy, movie, or cheeseburgers. I felt hopeless considering I turned away possible friends at events tailored to draw them in.
Feeling like a weird outcast, I moped my way into the cafe at the end of my first week of college. It was not going nearly as glamorous as I imagined, and I still hadn’t made one friend other than those in my dorm. As I was attempting to cook a stir fry and tossing in random ingredients that seemed somewhat acceptable, a boy walked over to my area with a burrito wrap the size of my head on his plate. What put a smile on my face was the fact that he had one lone piece of shriveled chicken in the middle. It was the definition of a pathetic burrito. It turns out, he was as lost as me and we bonded over our shared confusion on how to make actual food. The next day I passed by my helpless chef friend who saw me and screamed “Hey Burrito Girl!”
In the next few days, I made more friends through awkward and random encounters. My first week of college did end up handing me the beginning of some beautiful friendships. While the chances are slim of who I now refer to as “Burrito Boy” being my friend forever, it got me started. As it turns out, many of my new friends experienced the same failure as me in trying to make friends. As freshmen, we find ourselves desperately trying to let our bright personalities shine through. The problem lies when everyone is doing the same thing. We lose sight of listening by focusing on our own talking. Forced social situations are no longer the solution to making friends. If anything, we must trust in our own ability that whatever quality you find best in yourself will come out when the time is right. At the end of the day, we don’t want to be friends with the people who like classical music, but with the ones who are willing to laugh at a sad burrito.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 12th print edition.
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