• Victoria Chwa

Reflection: Solitude

Four weeks into university – I think I’ve got the hang of it. I made a few good friends (which I’m really thankful for because I was worried about the aftereffects of choosing to miss the orientation). I also really love my classes; it feels like I’m finally learning what I want to learn.

But, in the words of Sylvia Plath, “I was supposed to be having the time of my life.”

The days leading up to my first day of university, I was caught in a bundle of contradictions because (I would assume) Communication and Psychology majors aren’t supposed to be this reserved. It’s a lot more difficult now to make friends because you don’t see the same faces every day, and you don’t have to stand behind the same person every morning at assembly. What that means is if you wanted (or felt like you needed) any kind of a social life, you had to approach the person sitting next to you, start a conversation about something random and pray it goes somewhere.

I keep thinking about the past 12 years I spent in school, jumping from one grade to another and from one confidant to another. I remember making friends, sticking to the same clique and being sure that they will last my lifetime.

Over the years, I’ve learnt and grown accustomed to the uncertainty surrounding relationships. Realise this – there are only two ways any relationship can go. It will either last forever, or end sometime somehow. You will either marry your boyfriend or breakup with him. You will either be friends with her forever, or end the friendship someday. We like to believe there is a middle stage where we can remain the same but how often is it true in reality? We don’t always put in enough effort to maintain things the way they are (even though we like to convince ourselves that we do). It might be because we all inherently care more about how certain things affect us rather than how it affects the other person. Perhaps that is why, in the journey we walk with someone, we will almost always come to a crossroad where we’d have to make a decision, that is:

You go your way and I go mine, or we can carve out our own path together. But carving is hard work, and things don’t always go as planned.

I’m not sure if my ramblings are making sense, but if you think about it, maybe you’ll also realise how every friendship, every relationship and every acquaintance we make is a risk. And with all risks, you either make it or break it.

I hate being around big groups of people, particularly those who don the same style and whose thought frequencies match each other’s. I think we consider them “the in-crowd kids”. I might be envious of how close they are because I don’t think I’ve felt 100% comfortable with everyone I’m around. I have never been a part of groups like that and I don’t bother to. Oddly enough, it seems these groups have lasted longer than any group I’ve belonged to. I think it’s because each member of their clique bothers to tie every other member together; I’ve never put in that much effort before.

Or maybe i have and just got tired.

I guess the real questions are – which decision is the right decision? Who’s to say every relationship should be saved from what could be inevitable extinction? If you were to say that only the ones you care about are worth saving, then how do you know which ones you care about? Do you save them only because everyone expects you to? Is there a criteria to relationships worth saving?

Perhaps I’d know the answers if I tried saving all my relationships.

Originally Published: 26 Feb 2017

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