Update: Since I writing this, I found Lauv’s “Modern Loneliness“, which sums up my feelings pretty well.

During my gap year, I had no idea how to make new friends. I had a hard time adjusting because friends who used to live down the street were now spread across the country. We were separated by distance and conflicting work schedules. What used to be “see you tomorrow” was now “see you next year”. We had to put in much more effort than before and after a while, you saw who was willing to continue that effort and who wasn’t.

One of the most exciting things about starting school again was the idea of making new friends. I’d be surrounded by classmates for the majority of my day like it had been in high school and being medical students gave us some common ground right?

A month before orientation, I moved into an apartment with a roommate who was also starting the program. We were pretty similar and I secretly hoped we’d be super close friends who spent hours lying on the ground talking about everything under the stars on a Friday night. *Cue HSM’s “Start of Something New”*

A few months into med school, reality was different from what I had hoped for. It was like the small hometown high school where we all saw each other everyday, but that came as a package deal with the judgement, gossip, and drama. There were many classmates I hadn’t met yet, but the unwillingness to see beyond the circle of friend groups made it difficult to branch out. After a couple more months, our class of 130 was too small for me, and it was suffocating.

Do these people consider me as close as I do them? Do they care what I have to say? Can I trust them? Do they like me? Do they think I’m stupid? Am I too bitchy? Too friendly? Too much? Would they tell me if I was or would they only talk about it behind my back? Would I be secretly excluded from group projects and study break food runs? Are they including me out of pity? It feels like everyone has someone, except for me.

I’ve yearned for complete acceptance for so long. My niche humor no one ever really gets, my mood swings, my inability to couple good intentions with the right tone, my random bouts of sadness, my incoherent ramblings that are very clearly connected in my mind, my occasional existential crises, and my need for consistent affirmation. But how can I expect others to fully accept me as I am when I can’t reciprocate? I’ve been treating others the exact same way I’m worried they might be treating me.

Quarantine has given me time to slow down to analyze my actions and hold myself accountable. But every time I feel as though I’m making progress detangling myself from the web of past traumas and toxic traits, I’ve regressed elsewhere and will never get out of here.

If I’ve treated you in a way that hurt you, please know that I’m so sorry. Let’s talk about it and make amends if that’s what you need to heal. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for attending my SAD talk I’m writing the night before a major exam instead of studying.

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