The Friend Challenge

Imagine if your parents told you that you were moving away from your hometown and all your friends. While getting ready to go off to college, I realized that soon I will be moving to Syracuse University, somewhere where I don’t yet have any friends. At first this made me nervous, and I didn’t think much past it besides worrying who I would hang out with when I arrive to campus. However, one day when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I noticed that I had an unseen message. When I went to check it, it was from someone I didn’t recognize. To my surprise, it was a girl who wanted to reach out and introduce herself because she is also going to Syracuse. I immediately responded and introduced myself. This meant a lot to me because it made me feel like I had already made my first friend, even if we hadn’t officially met in person.

My next thought was that it is so easy to find someone on Instagram and direct message them. So, I did just that: I started introducing myself to make more friends. While doing this, I remembered how easy it was to make friends when I was in kindergarten. All you had to do was approach a kid on the playground and ask. Well, finding someone online and texting them is just as easy. However, something most people find difficult is interacting with people outside their friend groups. In high school cafeterias this issue becomes extremely obvious. All the football players sit together, the theatre kids, and the science club kids, etc. But very rarely do kids of different interests or activities sit together.

On this note, I would encourage you to try making some new friends of your own. Don’t be afraid to take the first step and say hi to someone in the hallway at school. Additionally, if you are someone who likes to play sports, challenge yourself to try talking with someone who prefers to sing, dance, or act, because anyone can be friends. You might even be surprised to learn how similar you can be.