You’re on the northern-by-pass with your mom in the driver’s seat and a mountain of your most “necessary” belongings hanging on for dear life behind you in the trunk/backseat of the car you were driven to school in for the all thirteen years of academia you have just finished completing. Having memorized your room number and hostel months before, you’re not that worried about getting around or what to expect, but you’re still nervous. You’re going alone for the first time. There’s no family to come home to at night to tell that it did not go perfectly.
You’re lonely, and you haven’t even gotten there yet.
People like to talk about campus like it’s a social bundle pack that you can buy at a mobile money vendor. They like to make it sound like you get your hostel, your lecture room, and a new friend clique all at once as you walk down for orientation. Unfortunately, it’s not always like that. Though you can love those at your hostel, they might not be those who you run into when you want to watch your favorite movie at Acacia or go to shop with second hand clothes at Kaja in downtown. You might not walk in to find a freshly organized group of people who have been waiting for you to complete them.
How do you find your people? Well, unfortunately, it takes a bit of putting yourself out there. It’s not like high school, where by lunch time of your first day you have to have a group to chill with or else tell your mom of how kids at your school are the worst ever and you need to change schools. At campus, loneliness can be a lot more silent. In order to avoid this, get involved where you’re passionate. Go play that sport that you loved growing up. Find a study buddy in your course. Discover a new hobby or talent if possible. If you follow what makes you happy, usually people who make you happy are there, too.
If you’re nearing the end of your first year; you realize that you still don’t have a group of people that you can really call your own. That’s still alright. I, for example, did not meet my best friends until my 2nd year second semester. I didn’t stop there. I joined publications and got a new job as a writer at Hive Digital Limited. At each of these places I found more and more people who felt like they were meant to be in my life. It became increasingly difficult to recall a time in which I felt lonely because I found people that understood me better than even the “best friends” i had in high school.
If you don’t have your group yet, relax. They’re just hiding from you and you have to find them. There is always hope. Since you’re attending a campus of 35,000+ students, there’s a hot chance that someone here is about to brighten your whole world. Happiness exists at campus and it exists with the people around you. Now that you’ve ditched the hierarchical types of friend groups that existed during your high school, you can really focus on what matters: People who make you happy and people that will most probably help build your career, future and life all together.