Midd-blog readers, lost prospective students looking for information about Quidditch and individuals who regularly google my name, welcome to my new advice column/series “Dear Cody.” Every week (or whenever I’m bored slash don’t want to do my reading for intro to contemporary lit. theory) I’ll be taking posts from Midd Confessional and imposing my advice on the anonymous OP (confesh slang for original poster).
Let’s start off this column by saying that you are ridiculously not alone. Based on the comments on your post, it seems like there are many, many people on this campus who think that they are good-looking and raucously fun, while also hopelessly lonely. Although this might mean that perhaps you aren’t as unique as you thought you were, I think that this serves to illustrate the importance of something that a lot of people on this campus tend to push to the way-side when things at our lovely little college get particularly stressful: the importance of friendship.
Midd kids are, generally speaking, a gregarious and friendly people, but we suck at establishing and maintaining healthy, consistent relationships with our friends. How many times have we all put homework or club meetings or weekend sexcapades or marathons of Downton Abbey ahead of our friendships? And how many more times have we called these same neglected friends at two in the morning in crisis mode begging them to come over and act as venting-vessels for our unbelievably earth-shattering sadness? If you’re like me, you are guilty of this.
And since we fail to maintain consistent contact with our support systems here on campus, it’s no surprise that we all might feel a little manic and lonely sometimes. OP, I think you could turn your secret hate for yourself and others into something positive by following some of these steps at maintaining old friendships and creating new ones:
- Designate one night every weekend as a night for friends: On this night, you don’t spend the entire evening texting that girl or guy you met at the bunker last weekend. You don’t get incredibly intoxicated and pass out and you most certainly do not think about your homework. You watch a movie, organize a themed pregame, collage, jam out or just fill each other in on the week. Start treating your friendships like the support systems they deserve to be and you’ll be surprised at how little contempt you feel for this place.
- Putting friends first: Try shaking up your priorities: are you the kind of friend who often thinks about your problems first and then stops to think about your friends? Maybe you should try shifting your priorities to put the concerns of your friends before your own for a week. This’ll give you perspective and allow your friends to know that they can always count on you. Send a text, a letter through inner campus mail or maybe just an email to let someone know that you’re thinking about him or her.
- Join a new organization: If you’re tired or have outgrown some of your old friends, and are wondering how to mobilize yourself in new social circles, join a new organization. If you want to meet new febs, join SNG. If you’re interested in breaking into the Booth Room scene, start slamming poetry with Midd Slam. The opportunities are endless for meeting new people on this campus—break out of your comfort zone a little bit and maybe you’ll find a new BFFAEAEAEAE. Or something like that.
I think the key here for you OP (and all of us here at Middlebury) is finding fulfillment through supporting others. I can think of nothing better for this place than creating a community in which all of its members are not only there for one another, but find joy in providing one another with friendship.
With Love and Admiration,