I’m not really an advice type of person, but my back-end stats, tell me that someone found this blog because she (I assume given the school) had googled “making friends at Barnard.” I hope it was someone who is in the position I was in five years ago. Five years ago, right around this time, I was struggling to write my senior column for the Columbia Daily Spectator. I had no idea how to write about the importance of the moments I had experienced, the lessons I had learned, and the friends I had made at the paper, at Barnard, and at Columbia University. I am sure I googled all sorts of things in an attempt to find inspiration.
But, I am a realist, so I figure the woman who googled “making friends at Barnard” is looking for tips or is a prospective student wondering how hard it is to make friends at college. To those women, I say: join a club. Any club or activity that you think might interest you. Try out a few and stick with only the ones that make you feel happy and whose mission you believe in. Dive into it, even if if means letting your grades drop a bit. You will find camaraderie in the commitment. Join for the activity, stick it out for the experiences, and eventually, you’ll stay for the friends.
When my senior column was finally written and was published, a friend who was not on the paper came up to me and said “I read your column; it made me jealous. I wish I had found a place like that.” I was taken aback because this is a kid I generally considered popular and outgoing with no shortage of community. In college–perhaps especially in New York City–commitment can look like obsession and can feel like sleep deprivation, but in the end it manifests itself as a community of friends.