Ben Borgers

The Land of Endless Socialization

March 13, 2022

College feels a bit like the land of endless socialization. A place where, if you don’t hang out with people for a day, your life feel like it’s going wrong. A place where every meal feels like it should be shared with a friend, and every piece of homework should be done surrounded by companions.

At least, that’s the way I often feel.

When I think to my pre-pandemic life (freshman, sophomore, and half of junior year of high school), there was remarkably less socialization. I went to the library after school with friends sometimes, and after I got my driver’s license we’d sometimes hang out on the weekends.

But one social event per weekend was about it. Maybe one on each day, if I was feeling popular.

Looking at the pace of things now, that’s laughable. In college, I see so many people throughout the day. The whole day is one big socialization roller coaster and I’m just trying to figure out who I’m going to see and eat with and talk with and work with next.

You see, I did a lot less socialization in high school. But I don’t think that means I was less social.

Somehow, interactions meant more. Going somewhere with someone was an occasion. And I rarely got meals with people, but when I did it was special. Now, not having someone to share a meal with feels a bit like a social failure. My tolerance for eating and working alone has fallen tremendously.

And yet, for all these social interactions in college, I often come to the end of the day not remembering the beginning of it. Like I filled my day with other people not because I wanted to see them, but because I wanted to fill a hole I felt in myself.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the people I’m surrounded with here. But as I write this tonight, I guess I’ve wandered into a bit of a melancholy mood where I don’t like the way the Land of Endless Socialization has re-shaped my social life and makes it feel inadequate.