A bit of a lengthy post on finding “your people” to make up for the fact that I’ve been M.I.A. for the past couple weeks…
We’re all in search of those people. The ones that you call with any sort of news because you know they’ll be excited, whether they were just told about your new job promotion or the fact that you got out of bed and brushed your teeth today. They’re the ones who pull out the chocolate, tissues, and all your favorite movies when you really just need a good cry session. They’re the ones who throw the best dance parties because you already know that your jamming playlist is literally identical. And they’re the ones who would totally help you hide that dead body.
These people are the peanut butter to your jelly. The Salt to your Peppa. You’re like perfect little peas in a pod.
Some are lucky and find their group early on in life. For others…well it usually takes a little bit of searching….and a lot of trial and error. But lucky for you, I’ve gathered up the wisdom of my Mom and as much knowledge that the past eighteen years have given me, so that I can make this nifty little guide for you. A Guide to Finding Your People.
The Awkward Years:
For the good first part of our lives, our friendships are determined by our geographical locations, which aren’t always up to us. Unless you were extremely independent and living in your own apartment at the ripe, young age of five, you most likely grew up in the place that your family lived.
This means you’re stuck with the same group of people for quite a while. I guess that can be fine, but if you’re like me, this means going to high school with the same people who saw your middle school stage of cargo pants and crocs and no one can seem to just let it go. Also, you don’t know when or how, but the rules have already been established. Everyone has their group and even if they’re not so clearly divided (like in every single cliché high school themed movie) the cliques are still there. Which leaves the playing ground for friend finding to be very limited.
Surviving the Awkward Years:
I’m going to start off by maybe putting a little damper on things for the moment:
You might not find “your people” in high school.
But that’s okay.
You might also meet people and just not realize that they are “your people” until years later.
That’s also okay.
Then again, you might meet people that you were certain were “your people”, but then you actually meet your true people, which just makes you realize how sucky the first people really were. (Refer to Toxic Friendships 101)
Again, this is okay.
And you’re going to survive.
I pinky promise.
But for the time being, just make do with what you have. Join clubs, talk to new people (defy those pre-existing weird clique things), speak up in class, soak in all the opportunities around you.
I’ll be honest that I’m lacking in the “your people” finding part of the high school department, because I didn’t find mine until college. But I’ll be sure to get back to you with a surviving high school guide in the future. I’ll channel my inner Ned for that one.
Now let’s fast forward to….
The College Years:
College! For once your location in this world is entirely up to you! You’re on your own with a blank slate and no one knows about the embarrassing number of crocs you owned when you were thirteen!
Also, ah! You’re on your own! With a blank slate! And you don’t know a single soul here! So many exclamation points!
But don’t fret, this is where the fun begins.
Meet your roommate: It’s kind of hard to be avoided by a roommate considering the fact that you’re sharing a very small room for a very long time, so they’re basically like a built in friend that you get to have a sleepover with every night. How great is that, right?
Get out of your dorm room: Your roommate might be the best person ever, but you need to at least meet some more people so…Open up your door, walk down the hallway, and introduce yourself to your hall mates. You never know when your future best friends could be right next door. Also, I met a surprisingly lot of great people in the bathroom. Teeth brushing buddies form a bond that can never be broken. So take a trip to the bathroom, while you’re at it.
Go to every single “lame” event: They’re only lame if you make them lame. Go to the freshman dinners and the ice cream socials and the late night organized hang outs. Remember the fact that no one there knows anyone else either. Everybody is brand new to each other. The conversation might be a lot of repeating your name over and over again, but you’re meeting people and that’s a step in the right direction.
Meet people in your major: For once you are taking classes and being constantly surrounded by people who like the same things as you! You already have so much in common and you’re finally around people who get you. It’s wonderful.
Join clubs: Again, this is a great way to meet people who like the same things that you do. And it’s a great way to reach outside of your dorm and major to more people on your campus.
How to Tell if They’re Really The Ones:
Finding your group is a lot like finding your soulmate. Only multiplied by a bit. Which is stressful, but the best thing ever once you’ve found them.
They’re the ones who accept you exactly as you are and love you for it and think you’re stinking wonderful. They’ll sit through your lengthy stories and your bad days and dance alongside you through the good ones. They don’t judge your love for Disney movies and fort building. In fact, they also love Disney movies and fort building. You’re all cut from the same cloth.
And these are the people who will have your back through everything just like you’ll have theirs. And they’re “your people”. And they’ll love you even if one day you decide to bring back the cargo pants and crocs. But hopefully they’ll love you enough to advise you away from this.