Advice for a college kid with a poor social life?

I'm posting this on a throw-away account. I'll try to keep this short and just give a summary.

So I used to be a pretty sociable kid, especially towards the end of high school, when I was going out a lot and I was on the soccer team, had a lot of friends. I went to college on the East Coast at an Ivy, made a ton of friends, and had the time of my life for the first year. I was going out a lot, always had people over at my dorm. I was doing well in my classes. Life had never been better.

The second year, everyone rushes fraternities, because we aren't allowed freshman year, and my friend group completely splits up into smaller groups. I rushed two fraternities, went pretty far in the process, but didn't end up getting a bid. Fraternities at my school are a huge time commitment. My old friends would still be down to hang out, but they were really always busy with fraternity events that eventually we just kind of faded apart.

So basically, I spent a lot of time over my sophomore year alone, and I just focused on on school and getting an internship for the summer. Didn't really have any fun, felt like my life was just wasting away all the time. Had some pretty bad depression for awhile, was hard to get out of bed, but I was still productive and did well in my classes.

So I have my career stuff figured out, as I locked down an internship for the summer. But socially, I'm worried that my junior year is going to be the same ordeal. I'm studying abroad in the spring just to get off campus, so at least I have that to look forward to. But I just sort of hate feeling like I'm alone all the time, especially because I'm an extroverted person, but I don't really know how to fix my situation. I would rush a fraternity again, but it'd be a pretty bad look to not get a bid a second time.

Any advice?

Comments (20)

Sep 11, 2018

Don't rush a frat. Delete socially media. Focus on what brings you pleasure be it succeeding in school, giving that extra 10% to your internship, the gym or whatever it may be. Let your friends come from these activities, and they will be much more quality and lasting friendships than greek life would likely bring. Yes joining a fraternity may bring you into more social events in the short term, but long term it will steal from you more than it will likely build. Just look at the old "friends" who split when rushing came about, same thing will happen once you graduate and the fratting days are over. Put your head down and grind now, the rest will fall into place in due time.

Cultivating mass and wealth since '95

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Oct 26, 2018

Disagree completely. Think about all of the social skills you develop in a frat.

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Oct 27, 2018

.

Oct 29, 2018

This is spot on

Sep 11, 2018

Congrats on securing your internship!

Now that it's out of the way, you can focus on joining groups/activities that fit your interests (sports, arts, etc.) and are less likely to distract you from your career goals. Greek life isn't the only place to make friends in college, but I think you already know that!

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Oct 26, 2018

From my experience, "the grass is always greener" holds true. Yeah, being alone sucks. And looking into these parties where everyone seemingly gets laid every weekend seems like a lot of fun. But really, hanging out with a bunch of drunk dumbasses only to order crappy pizza later on isn't too great. You're in a pretty good spot - keep at the gym and school.

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Sep 11, 2018

If you're getting through college and have an internship you're doing better than most of the world and not wasting anything. Social life does not necessarily equal overall life.

Sep 11, 2018

Go do what you love regularly. I had a similar experience. Freshman year I had a solid friend group from HS in college. (My HS had like 5 to 10 kids go to my college each year, so I knew like 10 people from my grade 5 a year elder to me and 10 a year younger). Anyways, freshman year I had a solid group of 15 people I was familiar with from HS. Some joined frats, some stopped giving a fuck about school, xfered majors and just wanted to get blackout drunk and try to get laid every single day... you get the point. By middle of sophomore year I had about 1 or 2 friends from that group of 15 left, they liked to party but were still academically doing well so I spent a lot of time in and out of the classroom with them.

Slowly I spent less and less time with them (For personal health reasons I was taking a break from going out / drinking on weekends and you can only spend so much time with someone through class). I started spending more time in our Business lab doing some research, messing around with Python and learning some skills that had interested me for a while, played more basketball, and started getting interested into lifting.

The point is people change, interests change, hobbies change. You can't resent or feel bad about growing apart. You remember the experiences you had with your friends and move on. Guess what... I made new friends through my new interests. I became friends with some of the members of our campus investment fund through my time messing around in the business lab, I met new roommates for junior year while at the gym, almost all of which are still close friends of mine. A few years later I reunited with those aforementioned 2 highschool friends I grew apart from due to similar career trajectories.

I've rambled a lot but my point is don't go out and make it feel like a grind to make new friends. Go do ANYTHING that interests you and be open to introducing yourself and talking to people.

(FYI you'll become good friends with the other people you study abroad with. I've had plenty of people tell me they're super close to the friends they made studying abroad. You'll also become close with your fellow interns as you all get bent over by your associates for the next 2 summers).

EDIT: Oops forgot to mention... Don't join a frat if that isn't what you really want to do. I don't personally believe it is a great way to make lasting friendships. And trust me, once you're 21 (or if fakes are easier to use wherever you go to school) everyone aside from other frat members will turn away and go to the bars.

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Oct 26, 2018

I'm sorry to hear this man...It almost hurts since it almost sounds like it was me back in school. I fell into depression and drug addiction and almost wrecked my life, till one day I just realized I had to shape up. Started working out religiously, got a gf, all that good normal shit that helps struggling dudes. Had to take a 9th semester, pissed off my immigrant parents but ultimately ended up with a good consulting offer and couldn't be happier with me life right now. I'm not sure if this helps, and I don't think you will want to hear it, but shit never did get better for me in college. I went to a small liberal arts school in VA, and hated the people....just keep your head up boss, every day one fucking day at a time. It will get better, you have an offer and the real world is far more welcoming, at least in my experience.

Ty

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Oct 26, 2018

Double down on yourself. Read books- it seriously helps. Work out, be healthy. If you're going to say you do those things, do them even more. There's always a way to become more knowledgeable. Especially in finance, there's a lot of stuff to understand. Even if it's beyond modeling in excel, learn about how companies are run if you want to get into PE.

I have a good friend who made it big on YouTube and is legit (he's actually worth we'll over a million). This video of his is really good.

https://youtu.be/2YMseo5TVdk

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Oct 26, 2018

Second other people who say you should get busy with your own interests and individual self. It's always better to be someone people gravitate towards, rather than playing to others and becoming a follower. What do you want people to know you as? That's what you have to think about. And you'll be more happy because of it. The people who will most likely enter your life will either respect you for the things you love or they will share common interests and you can learn a lot and push each other to grow further. Those are the only two kinds of people you want in life.

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Oct 26, 2018

Think of it this way. When the "frat bros" graduate, you'll be making a lot more money than them.

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Oct 26, 2018

just rush again, kids do it all the time. Plus, now you're boys are in it, should make your chances way better.

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Oct 26, 2018

Rush again, but also join as many clubs as you can, get super involved and make friends through that.

Oct 27, 2018

Hit the gym religiously, lift weights and eat a clean diet. Read this and this. You're welcome.

Oct 27, 2018

Work hard to improve yourself, or you'll end up like @TNA

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Oct 27, 2018

No bro, you can't blow me. Stop sweating me so hard.

Oct 30, 2018

A 40 year old who spends his time getting alt-right news from 4chan/breitbart/thedonald and spews bullshit to kids w/o experience who think a MSF is the only thing they need to get BB IBD.

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Most Helpful
Oct 29, 2018

I assume this is Dartmouth or Cornell? If so, can definitely understand where you are coming from OP. Greek life at both of those schools is very large (I think 40%+ at Dartmouth and 33%+ at Cornell) and also very diverse. I think both have 15+ frats (probably closer to like 30+ at Cornell) and it really is very different than the animal house/SEC school frat bro mentality that some people in this thread seem to have. There are a few that are like that sure, but the vast majority are just normal, hardworking students who like to have fun too.

My advice to you is to rush again. Honestly there really isn't a stigma - there were people we gave bids to during their second time rushing that we had dinged previously and the vast majority ended up being great members and were well integrated into the group.

I would not 'put your head down and grind'. These schools offer great opportunities to meet other really smart and goal-oriented students, both through greek life or other activities. Some have eluded to the fact that the friends who joined greek life and stopped hanging out are bad friends/not ones you want to keep - disagree completely. Greek rushing really does take up a lot of time and it is very difficult during the early stages to make time for everyone when you have a group of 60+ new guys to meet plus all the social events with sororities/etc.

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Nov 1, 2018
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