The Lode

We are social beings

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi, Lode Writer

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People are social beings. We need social interaction to survive in a society. No one can isolate themselves forever and live without talking to anyone and no one usually wants to do that. But there might be situations in life when one might be forced to live such a life due to certain circumstances. Consider college or graduate school for that matter. College can sometimes get really lonely. It is not necessary for all kinds of people to talk and be friends with one another. One tends to be friends with someone whom they can relate to or someone whom they can understand. There needs to be some common aspect such as a common interest in any sport or two people taking the same course. Though college can be a great place to make such friends, I believe it is also the reason why people would experience loneliness.

Think of your first day at Tech. You might have met your roommate for the first time, or met some people from the same place as you during the orientation, or some people who play the same sport. You really get to know this person, but as you progress to-wards your degree you tend to not have time for this person. It could be a different curriculum, different commitments or different deadlines for submissions. All of this forces one to have time for only those people who have a similar schedule or who take similar classes. Since you don’t have time for your old friends, you tend to forget them and you probably make new friends with whom you can spend time. Within months, as a new semester begins, you see the same thing happen all over again as your friends might have registered for different classes.

Though this system, theoretically, is the perfect way to meet new people and to make more friends, I believe it is also the cause of loneliness among some people on campus. I often find myself trying to get hold of my friends back in India as my friends here are mostly busy turning in an assignment or completing projects which I am not a part of. I also think it is quite evident looking at the people here on campus. Whenever I see some student in the library having a coffee or someone getting a snack at the MUB, most of the times, they are alone, listening to music on their phones, isolated and reserved. Though it could be a personal choice to not talk to anyone around, most of the time it is just because people are just alone.

This often leads to a great divide among students. Those who manage to make time in their busy schedules for their friends are the people who are more outgoing and who end up enjoying their college life, whereas the ones who cannot make time for their friends are often labeled as nerds or “boring people.” But the truth of the matter is that none of them are really happy and deep inside they might be just lonely, waiting to get back to their old friends back home. I also believe there is a huge divide between the undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan Tech. It might stem from the fact that graduate students are mostly international students, but it is necessary for this gap to be bridged as there are a lot of things the international students can learn from the locals and vice versa.

This might not be applicable for everyone out there, but I believe it is true for most of the people and the only way to make sure that everyone has a good time in this school is to make a pact. Make a pact to interact with the person sitting next to you at the MUB while you are getting a snack. Try to interact with the people around you when you are waiting for your coffee. Let’s all try to make sure that everyone at Tech has a nice time. Maybe next time someone is eating alone, try to indulge in a conversation with them or just try to never eat alone.

*Note: This article ran 11/29/2018

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We are social beings