By Fatma Bujsaim (@Fatma_Bujsaim)
On the one hand, life was simpler in school, friendships were put into simple categories that were labeled as either black or white, other options were given different colors; red, blue, and green. On the other hand, in university, there are black, white, and a gray-scale, with no other options. What we have in front of us are gradient shades, of black changing to white, which makes it impossible to have categories or borders; we cannot draw a line in between.
Our contact list is quite simple in school, just like categories labeled with colors. It includes four very simple groups; best friends, friends, classmates, and “others”. Our best friends are the ones we hang out with everyday in school and call as soon as we are home; and our friends are the ones we casually hang out with every now and then. The categories here are very simple, black-white-red-blue.
Entering university, we realize that our friends and best friends break into sub-categories that could be mind twisting at times. There are of course the classmates and “others” in this stage, but what confuses us the most is how they are integrated into each other that we cannot notice the difference. We have the hi-bye friends, those we pass by the corridor and just nod a hello; we have the friends who we always hang out with in a certain class and then never see again. There are those whom we met through our friends, but remained friends with after dissolving the former friendship. Then comes our besties who are completely different from our best friends because the latter have entered a different college or university than us, and we now rarely see each other. So our besties are those who are with us at all times whether we were at home or on campus. There is another kind of friends whom we call major-friends; those we just know by name and coincidentally happen to take every course with because we share the same major.
The lines between all of them is out of focus; we cannot see the lines that divide these groups because they are not groups nor categories. We start to realize that we cannot categorize people, they are who they are to us and everyday they may mean something else to us depending on their actions and attitude. We learn that people come and go and things are never same in that gray-scale, it is constantly shifting; sometimes people jump to the darker side and sometimes to the lighter. Some people remain as they are for the whole four years and never change in terms of what they amount to us and where they stand on the scale.
We also harshly learn that some friendships are disguised by our friends; they sometimes wear white masks only to be revealed later that they are darker than we thought. We learn that people change, like their taste, interests, and mentality. Whether it was in a good way or bad it is up to the person himself, since we are not in a position to judge because we change ourselves, but they still change; everyone and everything does, nothing is everlasting.
People can be friends or foes; we might realize that from our first encounter or after years of association. We cannot always categories them, and sometimes we cannot categorize them at all because they change all the time. Even if we are diagnosed with OCD and suffer a great obsession of organizing and categorizing everything, we learn to let it go and adapt when it comes to people.
If people shocked you at some point and hurt you, or simply surprised you by showing you how great a friend they are, do not worry, we all went through it and will continue to relive this realization. People keep on changing, to be better or worse, and there is nothing we can do about it. So whether we were shocked or amazed, we learn that we are not the only ones facing this challenge.
This, my friends, is what I found out while I am on campus; I wonder if that is going to change after graduation.
After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.
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