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The Story of How I Almost Met (then lost) My Best Friend in a Knit Sweater.

A lesson on how to make friends from a newly profound socially awkward college student.

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(If you think this story is about you, I think we should go shopping together sometime.)

In high school, I was a popular kid. That means I could do weird things and get by with it. I sang to myself. I danced through the hallways. I even played with my food during lunch and gave them different voices and accents.

I was that girl that obsessed over Harry Potter, could play chess at a novice level, and didn’t know how to apply makeup until the age of 18. With all of these fine qualities, I bet you wonder how I could have ever been labeled as “popular?”

Via fuckyeahlizlemon.tumblr.com

Well, I went to a very small school of about 200 students. I was an excellent athlete, I was in organizations, I got good grades and I had decent hygiene. So friends were always there to laugh along and say “That’s so Jocie!” no matter how obnoxious and absurd I was. I was the weird and funny friend, and I was okay with that.

Via gifsoup.com

But once I graduated community college and moved on to Saint Louis University, basketball was long gone and friends became a clean slate. I basically started all over…

…And this time all I had to build back up my status quo was a raging personality and chess board.

So at this moment in my life, my social ability is at an all-time low. If you know me at all or see me out in public, you would know that I have a sort of preppy style. Right now, I’m in this big Taylor Swift/Zooey Deschanel style kick. It’s pretty freaking cute.

Anyways, so I am sitting outside of the library at school updating my blog and minding my own business while I’m waiting for my meeting for SLU News. I want to be on TV when I grow up (I am 20 years old and I still wear converse, so no, I am not grown up.) So being involved with the campus TV station seemed like a pretty good idea.

All of a sudden, I see this girl that I literally ALWAYS see around campus and she is wearing this adorable blue knit sweater and a skirt.

(Now before I go any further let me tell you that my total number of acquaintances is lacking to a point of nearly one. So at this moment in my life I am fully locked and loaded into desperate mode.)

I wanted to talk to her in a non-creepy, hey-stranger-your-outfit-is-adorable type of way. Whatever that is. I figured since I see her all the time and she has a great style, she would make a great friend. For me, having friends is like having water. You need water to maintain stability. I need friends to maintain stability.

But, unfortunately, at this point in my life at SLU, I am so freaking dehydrated that I am completely delusional. For like the 3 seconds that she walked by, I had fantasized the two of us baking cupcakes, braiding each other’s hair, and sharing our feelings together. I had just found my best friend.

Anyways, as she was walking away, delusional Jocelyn was losing every chance she had of making a new friend. So like any normal, sane, and right-minded person, I followed her. That’s right. I packed up my Thirty-One tote, hiked up my tights, and charged…nonchalantly of course. I didn’t want to look like a complete lunatic.

I was gonna play it really cool. Kind of walk up beside her, compliment her outfit, and start small talk from there. Except just before my awkwardly long legs could speed walk right beside her, three of her friends walked up, stopped right in front of me and started talking to her. Being an avid chess player with skilled basketball footwork, I made the perfect counter move without anyone even noticing as I slid away from her approaching friends and swiftly stuck my cell phone up to my ear pretending to have a conversation about cute sloths. (Sadly that was the first thing I thought of.)

I think I had that conversation with myself for like twelve minutes, until I looked up at the group of friends and noticed…there was no girl in a knit sweater! What happened? Where could she be? Why was I so into that deep conversation with myself about mangy sloths?

My coolness and composure went to shit after that. I spun around frantically. She was walking down Grand Boulevard. I took off in a medium pace. It was going to be nearly impossible to catch her. She turned down Leclede Avenue. Immediately, I regretted my decision of wearing a dress, with a cardigan, and tights. I was starting to sweat bullets.

As I turned down Leclede, it hit me. This is something a stalker would do as he lurks on his prey. This was not a way to make a friend, this was creepy. How would I start the conversation now? “Hey, I have been following you for approximately 23 minutes now and I like your sweater. I have a newscast in 12 minutes. After I’m done you want to split a calzone with me?” What?

So I stopped.

She turned down Spring Street and disappeared off into the sunset (a sunset magically appeared despite it being 3 PM.) And I can still see the blue knit through my tears. As I turned away, I contemplated on what just happened.

Via tumblr.com

I was upset that I lost my best friend of whom I do not know or have not actually even met that day. I was really upset that she did not get to hear my compliment I was going to give her. But I was mostly upset, because this is what my life has come to, a hope of gaining a friend based on her outfit and following her around the street. As I walked away, a soundtrack in my head of sad Lana Del Rey songs began to play.

I needed more human interaction on campus.

So the moral of the story…it is ok to be awkward and do awkward things. It is sometimes ok to follow people around the street. Just make sure you continue to be yourself.

If you feel you are lacking friends on campus, join a club or an organization you feel that you will enjoy and I promise, that you will meet people who are just like you. No stalking required.

I am still that weird kid that compliments her calzone’s beauty before shoveling it down her throat. But now I sit at lunch with 5 other friends who do the same…and it is a beautiful thing.

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