Recently I found myself absolutely friendless. I looked around me and evaluated every relationship I have with everyone and came to the conclusion that I no longer have any true friends. You may be thinking I am an old woman who left friendship behind for a family and a 9 to 5 job, but my situation is the complete opposite. I am 19 years old and am a full-time college student with a part-time job. Most people who relate to me in these three categories would spend their free time at a party or with friends doing whatever it is social people do.
If you are like me and find yourself friendless at a young age, you’ll know what that moment of truth feels like. The second I came to terms with my friendlessness, it was like the earth quaked and a boulder twice the size of me rose out of the ground blocking my path. When I think about my current friendlessness, that boulder is still there, staring me down. I have never been one for a staring contest, so I’ve decided to create my own path around this towering issue.
I am a very antisocial person and I always have been. When I was in first grade, my teacher wrote a note to my parents saying I needed to be more sociable. You know you’re doing something wrong when you actually get in trouble for not wanting to talk to people. What can I say? People were scary back then and they’re scary now. My mom still tells me frequently that I should make more friends and stop living this “all work no play” lifestyle. What she doesn’t know is that this is how I cope with being unable to find friends.
During my senior year of high school, I worked two jobs and took some college classes at my local campus. It pains me how easy it is to type that sentence because my life felt like I was running on a treadmill at maximum speed even when I was sleeping. I worked so much I had dreams about it. But by working hard, I was able to make up for not having a social life. I didn’t have time to make plans with people except every once in a blue moon when I had the whole day off. Because I worked so much, I didn’t even want to get out of bed on my days off.
You may be thinking this is impossible for you to do for all kinds of reasons, which is why I have a backup plan. I don’t work two jobs anymore and I’m not in high school so I have a lot more free time. Once I started getting that free time, the boulder came back and towered even higher than before. I spent days on end trying to occupy myself by playing video games and watching reruns of my favorite shows. By now, I’ve logged 200 hours in Skyrim and seen every season of Supernatural at least 3 times. Then, one day, I had my eye-opening moment.
Everyone has a dream. You may want to be a doctor or an artist or a traveler. I have always wanted to be a writer that travels the world. I decided I wasn’t going to log another several hundred hours in Skyrim but instead use that time to achieve the dream I always had. When I was young, I wrote tons of poetry. With my new free time, I wrote newer and better poems and edited the old ones to be just as good. I also started working on short stories, both fiction and nonfiction, and I even created this blog. I want to start freelance writing soon and I have already begun researching websites that specialize in finding jobs for freelancers. Once this becomes my main source of income, I plan to start traveling and find opportunities in new cities.
All of this started with Google. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, hating everyone that had friends, I did research on being a writer and how to make money doing it. I read countless articles and even went to the library recently to get some books on how to write. I picked up “How To Write Articles That Sell,” a book by L. Perry Wilbur and Jon Samsel that is very detailed and extremely helpful. In just a few months of being friendless and bored, I have learned more about writing and traveling than I ever would have learned from school or friends.
My point is this: find something you love and stick to it. I can’t express how many times people told me I wouldn’t make money writing or that it is unrealistic. I kept saying that if it was that hard then I would just work harder. I didn’t care what anybody said about my passions because they made me happy and reduced my need for friendship. Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me.
Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me. If you have nothing else to lose, give your passions a go. Since I decided to pursue my dreams, I have made a few friends that share some interests with me. My tip for making friends quickly is to just casually insert yourself into their conversation. I made my first friend in college by eavesdropping on her conversation with another girl in our class and voicing my opinion on what they were talking about. This only works if the conversation is happening right next to you and if you talk to them casually. Don’t make it seem like you’re trying to talk to them. Act like you just happened to hear them and wanted to throw your two cents in. This may not work every time and some people might look at you funny, but if they do, they aren’t the kind of people you should be friends with. People generally adapt to their surroundings and if you start talking to them, they’ll talk to you instinctively. If that doesn’t work for you, you should start giving your passions some thought.