Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier news editor
When do you realize that you don’t actually fit in? I have been fighting with this my whole life, constantly feeling like an outsider with people who are supposed to be my best friends. Feeling like an outsider at a school I picked and thought it was the best fit for me. Feeling like I’m stuck in this space where I’m not who I’m meant to be because I’m trying to conform to what others around me want me to be. All because I want to fit in.
I feel like I’m on this constant moving cycle of finally fitting in only to be shoved right back out. I spend so much time wondering why I don’t fit in and why it even matters. I feel happy, so shouldn’t that be enough? If I have friends then why should I worry about finding new ones?
I guess the point of all this is: I don’t know. What I’m feeling now is uncomfortable and foreign and the more I tell myself that this is right, the more I am just lying to myself. This isn’t right.
It took me four years to realize that what I was feeling was unfortunately normal. But in this time I realized that I could fix this feeling. It started with some hard decisions but, in the end, it was worth every single goodbye and heartbreak.
I believe that sometimes we force ourselves into friendships that we think we need, think will make us happy, but instead we are left feeling alone, even in a room full of people. My fear of being alone stopped me from realizing this, and overcoming that fear was not easy. To be honest, I don’t think I have truly overcome this fear. I cling to people that constantly make me feel left out because I’m afraid of being left out, of being forgotten.
I took the first step in fixing this problem this semester. I finally accepted the truth I have been hiding from, I finally believed I was worthy of fitting in, of having friends who accepted me like I had accepted myself. I said yes one afternoon to a question about joining a volleyball game with a bunch of people I didn’t really know. I was so scared of screwing up, I barely touched the ball, and I spent most of the game awkwardly laughing at how bad I was. I left the game thinking I ruined my chances of having new friends. But guess what, the next day I was invited back.
In the week I had been friends with these strangers, I felt like I fit in more with them than I did with the people I had known for four years. To say I was astonished was an understatement.
You do not have to settle for feeling like you don’t fit in.
College is too short to just accept that the first people you meet are going to be your friends forever, because it’s okay to make new friends and realize your old ones aren’t that great for you. Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait until your senior year to realize you have been settling for not fitting in. You should not have to settle for anything.
You are worthy of fitting in, of feeling like the friends you have accept you, love you and support you. So say yes, and start a new adventure with someone new.