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Posted by: Justine | 2007/08/22

MY FRIENDS: MY DILEMMA

Hi,
I know this is a long letter, but please don’t be put off by it. I really need some help & advice.

I live in a university hostel far from home. I share the hostel with a few classmates who are friends of mine,that I now have become almost estranged from. We were good friends first semester. However I had a problem with one of the friends from that group: I feel she pushes me aside whenever she feels like and is nice & friendly whenever she wishes to, sometimes I feel ignored (this has been going on from beginning of the year till now). In addition she used to make nasty comments to me & to my friends about me at start of the year. Eventually when I did confront her she said “I was joking, don’t take what i say seriously”. I overlooked a lot, more so because we have mutual friends. She’s closer to my other friends. I have no problem with this except I feel dispensable & it hurts everyday. I do realize that due to us not having much in common, this could be a reason. But to me its no excuse. This semester I decided to distance myself from the whole group of friends mostly due to this reason. I felt uncomfortable to be around them, also due to the following reasons: they like to have a “balanced life” whilst I “study too much and have no social life” . I always had to try to find excuses to tell them, as to why I want to study or explain why I didn’t spend time at tea/lunch with them. When they go out they have no realization that there is life after the fun is over, and a 4 hour trip can turn into an 8 hour trip. Time is a crucial factor for me since we study a very challenging course. I have a totally different study method from them & require more study hours. They look at study as a terrible nuisance sometimes and are not as serious as I am about my work, although they do perform reasonably well academically sometimes. I felt claustrophobic, more so since I’ve always been used to being on my own most of the time, than as part of a group. This changed this year. I don’t have much in common with them and I no longer feel as part of the group. Another reason why they say I’m not close with them as they are with each other is because they share personal details about their life with each other and I don’t with them. I believe that its up to that person to decide what they want to share, if they want to with another person, and not be discriminated for that. I am untrusting of people more so because I had friends in the past who let me down. They told me I hurt them a lot by distancing myself from them and ignoring them. I only did this to avoid discussing the issues I had with them and the other friend, to avoid any conflict. I seemed to have made the situation worse. I’ve spoken with them and some hurtful things were said to me. I'm someone who follows & trusts my instincts which tells me to let them go. I have a choice as to go my own way (there are other friends) or be with them and constantly feel as if I’m on trial and being judged for the past. I will be living with these girls for next few years & if i leave them i'm sure to make enemies which i don't want. This is affecting me terribly and my work as well. What do I do? A wise friend told me once “friends come and friends go, but your education is forever”.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It sounds as though you may have started with somewhat unrealistic expectations from your hostel mates. They sound pretty typical people. One of the unrecognized functions of a hostel is that it gives you a chance to learn about other people and the difficulties of living with them. Throughout your life some people will ignore you --- and at times you will feel very grateful for that. Some will be true to you, some will deceive you, some will deceive themselves. That's life.
Why have you chosen to make this group, espeially this one woman, so significant to you ? When you do that, you give them power over you which maybe you should keep to yourself. Stick to your own good beliefs and habits --- study hard ( that's what you're there for, isn't it ? ) and in the way that best suits you. How you study is none of their business.
Sadly, some kids waste their parents and society's cash by going to college or uni simply for fun and partying. Don't worry, from the sound of their childish attitudes, this bunch are not likely to be with you in second year. The fact that they try to push you to do things their way, shows that they are basically insecure, and they feel challenged by you doing anything your own way. Let them go their own way --- you can live among them and be friendly rather than unfriendly, but you don't have to go partying with them and don't have to give up your own good study habits to follow their silly and empty ways. Have the self-confidence to be yourself, as it sounds as though it's a rather good Self to be !
And as Holl says, make a wider circle o friends or at least acquaintances, rather than feeling that you have to depend on these bozos.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Holl | 2007/08/23

Well, you seem to be giving yourself some advice already. I had similar experiences to you at varsity. All I can say is that you are there not only to learn but also to experience life. Now is the time to make loads of friends and not just to stick to one group. At varsity I managed to make plenty of lasting 'no strings' friendships. For me if there was a friend who was no good I would just back off and I knew I had other friends whom I could lean on. I also fround that having a diversity of friends was nice cos I could count on different ones for different things like one to share ideas with, one to go out to parties with etc. Study hard but remember to have some fun to as once you start working the chance for meeting so many people may become less. But ditch the bozo'a

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