Any time that I’ve told people that I had a tough time making friends in the past, they find it hard to believe because I’m such a social butterfly.
I will admit, I have learned how to navigate through social environments like parties and other places where I have to begun forming a new relationship; however, it hasn’t always been easy to make friends, especially not in High School. As I’m sure most people can attest, High School was a really strange time. So much changes in your life in a course of four years, and everything seems like a mountain of problems when it’s really just a grain of sand.
“Everything seems like a mountain of problems when it’s really just a grain of sand.”
In High School, I switched from public school into the catholic school board because I thought it would be a great fresh start. I was bullied a lot in elementary school, and I wanted to start over and rebuild a facade of myself that would hopefully be more likeable. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. I found myself trying to fit in with the wrong crowds and, even though I wasn’t being teased, I still wasn’t happy because I found it even harder to make friends. It wasn’t until I started to be myself that I started to find myself surrounded by friends who I could have only dreamt about or seen on 90s TV shows where a group of people sit in a New York Coffee shop day in and out.
“I found myself trying to fit in with the wrong crowds.”
As someone who does so much in various online spaces, it feels weird to look back and see the difficulties I had with making friends, especially seeing that I make new friends online nearly everyday through YouTube and other social networks. Don’t get me wrong, I did have friends during the tough times but those relationships weren’t authentic; they were built on a depiction of me that wasn’t who I am or what I stand for; and those friendships were exhausting because I felt like I had to be a certain way in order to hang out with certain people. I was living my own Hannah Montana storyline, except neither identity was a super star. One was a jerk, and the other was who I was too afraid to be.
“I felt like I had to be a certain way in order to hang out with certain people.”
However, once I started being myself – I noticed myself establishing some of the greatest friendships I’ve ever had, and I still keep in touch with a number of friends from my final year, even if we don’t see each other as often. This probably is going to sound cliché, but nothing feels better than being yourself and having people love you for who you are. This world is huge and while everyone may not want to be friends, someone always will want to be.
Chris Lawrence is a creator, writer, and future film maker currently located in Toronto. He can be found on Twitter at @ChrisLaawrence.