Compilation of thoughts from Thanksgiving break:
You can't force out posts. I had insomnia after one of my Thanksgiving dinners and was trying to make the most out of the sleepless night. Writing about the rat race in college, overworking yourself, ambition, the scramble for jobs and internships, the frustration, the envy, I came to a halt after realizing all of it were just remnants of the mentality I had held around third/fourth week of the quarter. There's a disparity in mental state between then and now and it's hard trying to recall what I had been facing during recruiting season, let alone trying to put it into words. But I'm in the zone now for a different topic so I'll proceed.
As we progress in college we meet more and more people and for good reason. By meeting new people we get exposed to a whole variety of backgrounds from whom we can expand personally, professionally, culturally. This is integral to college as a means of finding more about yourself and the world; it lets you not only discover but define the person you are. Yet it seems like in a school as large as mine there's an over-saturation to the number of people I can meet, the number of acquaintances I can make. Of course networking is critical in this kind of environment but it just seems wrong that all a person may mean to another is a possibility for a referral or a contact for a company. Then again maybe an optimistic outlook may not be suited for the reality of society today.
Still in college it just feels like part of "making the most out of your experience" comes with it the responsibility of branching out and making a ton of new connections. I've met new individuals outside of school, people in organizations, people through friends but a significant portion of them gradually become strangers I've been obligated to greet as I pass them for a brief second in what would otherwise be completely separate trajectories in the day. It's not intentional shunning but the limited nature of time and all of our tasks on a day-to-day basis just make it so, so that we just don't have the capacity for truly knowing more than a select number of individuals with whom we stay constantly updated with. Given the short time-span of college, we want to make the most out of the four years that we have in an environment home to such a high number of interesting and ambitious people but it just isn't possible given the constraints of our mental capacity and memory.
Despite this I've put in effort myself, and seen others try, to meet as many people we can, maybe some just for the network (pretty shitty reason but then again, tried and true that's how the system works to move up the corporate ladder) or to form deeper meaningful bonds with a more diversified range of individuals. That's what I had been doing when I realized I had started to become disconnected to some of the friends I had had from back home. It's undeniable physical separation over an extended period of time causes people to grow more apart for each of us is running our own lives and going through our own tasks and problems whatever they may be. Even with effort put in some conversations just start to transition into a perpetual catching-up without anyone to blame, and never continue beyond a: "How was your quarter/semester?" or "It's been a while; how have you been?"
There's a common saying that states that "Ages 16-22 is when you meet a lot of temporary people," and it just seems as though it's seeming more accurate every passing day. You can try to make a ton of new friends but with quantity at least in my current view, there's a lost of quality, as depth is achieved through time, and time is either allocated as huge chunks to a select few or small chunks to a vast majority. Sure it's a delicate balancing act and with practice comes expertise but then comes the problem of replacement. New individuals replace old ones chronically when in a pool of a great number of people and it's just the nature of life that you'll fade gradually from the minds and lives of people you grow distant to and the same will happen to them. A mutual disappearing act.
So a solution may be to stick to the close-knit group of friends I have to date. If I don't make a lot of new peers, I don't run this risk of this problem, of not placing any amount of substance or significance to any of them. Quality over quantity? Nonetheless, then how do I not become trapped in a bubble or know whether I'm within a hive mentality, oblivious to what else is out there. Am I limiting myself from the opportunities life has to offer by confining myself to the same trustworthy few; yet is it really confinement if it's self-imposed and voluntary? Meh I'm grateful for the close friends I have right now and ultimately, I can just focus on my own life and enjoy the company of those around me regardless of quantity or quality.
Mind's starting to get cluttered and I need to get back to the real problems at hand.