This is a repost of my Odyssey article, which you can see here! (Please look because I get paid based on views, lol)
Something I learned: People are not who they seem to be- especially when you are a scared, little freshman.
This year I got pushed around and trampled all over by people who I thought were my friends. My biggest mistake was trusting people who I barely knew just because I was in a new environment and wanted to fit in.
At the beginning of the year the girls on my floor hosted “girls’ nights” and we all gathered around and did what girls do best- gossiped. We all gossiped about ourselves, because we had nothing to say about the people we didn’t know yet. Gossiping about yourself is so much worse than gossiping about other people. Girls Night turned into “never have I ever” and “tell me your life story”. The next day it was, “She’s a slut,” and, “Wow, I hate her,” and the cliques were formed; all because of things that we confessed to people whojust wanted gossip.
I got caught up in fake, dramatic people’s trouble all year and let it run my life instead of focusing on what I was really in college for- academics.
Something I learned: You do not have to settle for people you don’t want to be friends with just to have someone to hang out with.
How to Spot These People in Conversations (and what to say back)
1. They straight off the bat ask your opinion about people.
You know- “Heyyyy… So what do you think about Shelia? She’s kind of mean, huh?”
Say, “I don’t know her that well, so I don’t have an opinion on her.” If you say anything even remotelynegative, they will tell people.
2. They talk about people who you thought were their friends.
“You will not believe what -enter “best friend”‘s name- did last night.”
Most likely that best friend didn’t want anybody to know. So, what you say is, “I don’t think that is any of my business, and ‘m sure she wouldn’t want other people to know either.”
3. They’re always “here for you”- but only when you’re upset.
*Pats your back* “Oh, honey, it’s okay, I’m here for you.” *Posts dirt on Twitter to start more drama*.
Do not give them the details, and kindly tell them that you will be okay and just need some alone time.
4. They randomly get mad at you and make a big deal out of it.
For example, you think everything is fine and dandy until they randomly block you on everything and say passive aggressive things about you. This one happened to me a lot this year.
With this one you have options based on what you seem fit. What I usually do is talk to them directly about it so there is no telephone game style confusion. Plus, by asking other people what her problem is, drama spreads more.
5. Also, I have noticed that these types of people in college do not really care about academics, and are more focused on their friend group.
How to Protect Yourself in These Situations:
1. Do not talk about your personal life to people who are really still strangers (less than 3-4 months of friendship)
2. Make it seem like you’re always doing fine; don’t talk about the problems you’re having.
3. Try to distance yourself socially and mentally from people you do not know or like (Side note: by all means, be social, but not with people who display the character traits listed above)
4. Do not feed into drama. This means: don’t respond to salty Twitter posts, turn the other cheek, don’t talk about anyone in any way, and focus on yourself.
My boyfriend says something sad (but true) about me and the people I befriend; I have a “2 month rule”. After 2 months I get rid of my new friends or we have a big fight and end up hating each other. Honestly, it’s true. My problem is that I trust these random people and hope that their heart is as good as mine- which rarely happens. In the rare circumstance that I find one of these people, we are friends for longer than 2 months. My best friends and I have been friends all freshman year, because we did not immediately trust one another and talk about each other behind our backs. Find people that you truly get along with and like, and make them your friends. I wish I had been friendless for a few months rather than having 8 different close friends in a few months.
Take home message: Do not divulge your personal life into people you just met. Wait until you have been friends with them at least for more than two months. You don’t need to make your life harder with unnecessary drama.