December 9, 2013

Staying True

I know I usually stick to pretty light subjects for my blog, like Barbour coats and monograms, but it was important to me to have this said.
Tomorrow afternoon I will leave Syracuse for the next nine months.
This has definitely been my hardest semester to date.
I thought I was done finding out who my real friends were in life but I guess I am still trying to figure that out. It sucks that it never really gets easier when you find out people you thought had your back don’t. And even though I should be used to it right now, finding out that people aren’t who you think they are hurts just as bad. The good part about this semester is that it really made me appreciate the few people I do have that will stand by me no matter what.
Syracuse is a big party school and for someone who doesn’t really enjoy big crowds, or drinking, it can be really hard to find people that want to do the same things that you want to do—or more importantly, friends who care enough about you to make a compromise with you.
It’s especially hard when people just can’t understand that I don’t like the same things they like. Unlike most students at Syracuse, I don’t get a sense of relief from drinking until I black out, or being around a ton of people all the time. I don’t feel good having surface-scratchingly shallow conversations be my only form of communication. It’s hard when they can’t sympathize with being painfully homesick or wanting to talk about deeper things than fraternities and sororities and what happened at the bar last night. It’s hard when they don’t know where you’re coming from and don’t care enough to try and learn. It’s hard being considered “lame” for not drinking, not going out, and for staying true to my long distance relationship. It’s hard going out and then constantly being questioned for not drinking. It’s just hard.  
I know this school wasn’t the right choice for me, and even though that isn’t going to change I do try to make the best of it. The one thing I never complain about at Syracuse is Newhouse and the amazing education I am getting there. The other are the few friends who are true. Being away from Boston and Wellesley these past two and a half years at school made solidified for me how much I truly love home. I don’t think I ever would have truly appreciated where I come from until I left and lived somewhere else.
I think this semester taught me that even though sticking to my values and beliefs can cost friends, they’re not the real ones anyway. I am proud of myself for not compromising who I am and what I feel is right in order to fit in.
This semester taught me that being alone isn’t always bad and that I can be strong when I need to be and ask for help when I can’t. I took on a job at school and keeping busy by working hard made the time go by way faster. Going out to dinner alone isn’t quite as awkward as you think it might be and you never have to fight anyone off for a treadmill at the gym at 8pm on a Saturday night.
That being said, at times it has been incredibly difficult and unbelievably lonely. It’s made me appreciate the littlest things, like a stranger being polite at Starbucks, or a teacher making small talk in a meeting, or even something I used to hate, like working in a group project, like never before. More than anything, I crave being around family and close friends who understand the power of a Waban walk and the value of deep conversation.
I am so grateful for the true friends I do have both at home and at school and I am so happy that I get to spend my senior year reunited with them. I think that London will be the perfect (and much needed hiatus) from Syracuse and it will bring the refreshing perspective that I need.