It’s currently freshmen orientation weekend at my university, and I can’t help but look back and think about how fast a year really goes. I remember being that freshman last year, and every detail about the four-day orientation as if it was my own this year.
But don’t be mistaken – I’m not getting nostalgic. In fact, I stayed on campus Thursday and Friday to move most of my things into my new apartment but left this morning to retrieve more things from home before returning. And I’m glad I did, because even as a second-year student, the campus is infused with too much energy for me to handle in between all the overly enthusiastic students reps, the long-awaited hug-scream greetings between girlfriends, and overall frenzy of it all. Hey now – I’m not being Negative Nancy, but it doesn’t take long for my battery to be completely drained by a lot of concentrated commotion. And I always, always have to get away to recharge. Consider this recharging time.
I remember being overwhelmed when it was my orientation by a) my new living situation, b) the jam-packed orientation schedule, and most of all c) how quickly everyone seemed to adapt to it all. Not just the whole moving-in process, but it wasn’t long before I saw pretty much all the freshmen already forming close-knit friendship circles, laughing at their hilarious inside jokes, and making plans for the upcoming year. The words of Ron Burgundy resounded through my mind – “Well that escalated quickly.”
Of course, that was any moons ago and things are way different and have changed in much better ways than I could have imagined since then =) So much so that I was having the classic “Can you believe how time flies?” conversation with one of my good friends earlier this week, in which all the above was mentioned. The funny thing about most of these blogs is that they are most often birthed from interesting conversations I have with people.
And in it, he brought up an excellent point. The people we hung out with early on in our college careers – you know, the ones who you thought would be your buddy for life – most likely have drifted off into their own life, and all those preconceived notions of best buddy-ship with them long gone. This may not be true for you, but I feel like it holds at least some truth for most of us. Whether this person was a friend from home, a living area cohabitant, coworker, or classmate, and whether they were from college, work, or a pen pal, you cannot deny that all these ideas we planted into our own minds of what we expected our lives to be were completely flipped upside-down. And if that hasn’t been the case for you, fear not, your turn will come.
But in the Façadebook frenzy (as I like to call it), which can occur at any point in your life (college or not), we’ve all been guilty of putting up a façade in our attempts to prove to the rest of the world that our lives are more awesome than they actually are, and that they are more within our control than they are. Example 1: considering the first person who shares your love for a sports team, band, hobby, etc. your new close friend, having lunch with them one time, Instagram-ing the occasion, and slapping on the label of “friends 4 lyfe” on this person after just a few days. Example 2: Taking a screenshot of your term paper, and uploading it with the caption “Econ paper…I luv college lyfe!” even if you’re feeling anything but love. All your Facebook friends or Instagram followers will probably assume that your “lyfe” is super awesome, which is also probably the impression you want to give. Aside from the occasional straight-from-an-angsty-teenage-girl’s-diary Facebook statuses, what posts aren’t trying to prove ourselves to some degree to the rest of the virtual world? No one brags about how sucky some aspect of their life is. We like to prove that we are cut out for this strange and crazy life that we’ve been given.
I’ve done it, you’ve done it. But there’s a difference between updating everyone about the great, successful encounters that you’ve had and putting up a false front about how happy you are. Most times you can’t tell the difference. I’m not telling anyone to stop doing it, because we all do it, maybe on a subconscious level. I don’t even really know. Perhaps that’s one of the underlying reasons why I blog…
But the great part of it is that even when you think everyone’s doing fantabulously except for you, it’s quite likely that a series of Façadebooks are making you feel this way – there’s nothing actually wrong with you, so there’s the good news.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be intimidated by how the majority of your friends (virtual or otherwise) feel in comparison to your own feelings. How each person feels is relative. Some of what you perceive are facades – you just can’t tell which ones are. I value honesty yes, but don’t feel that you have to wear your true heart on your status. Do however, be honest with yourself.