Humans of Campus

“Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking important decisions for yourself is a necessity for growth and betterment” – Joyita Pandey , SVKM’S NMIMS, Mumbai

Humans of College

Building human relationships is complicated isn’t it?

At least for me, it sure was.

The extrovert my friends know me to be whose biggest strength is communication, was not always the same.

I have struggled with it most of my life.

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Being the kid who would get transferred from one city to another every now and then, it was not easy for me to make friends.

I did not know how to make a conversation or even just initiate one. I would wait until someone would come up to me and say hello, so naturally, building friendships was a task, and quite a big one for me.

During the initial years of my schooling I changed 5 schools and every- single-time I had to start over, repeating the same drill, Sitting all alone for the first few weeks, and taking a few months to start to settle in. It sure was difficult for me, but it got even worse when I was being bullied.

The already- not so good at conversations- kid would now get bullied verbally and even beaten up, simply because she was new.

And that made it all even more difficult for me.

Then came the time when my younger sibling started her schooling, and I saw her enduring the same things as me.

I never wanted her to face up to everything I was going through. I wanted to do something, I wanted to be an example, someone she could look up to when she needed to believe in herself, I wanted to not only help her by giving the bullies a taste of their own medicine but I wanted her to be self-sufficient, so that she could do that herself.

That is when things started changing;

I learnt to stand up for myself, stepped out of my comfort zone, and tried to make conversations and be more social, and to my surprise I was genuinely enjoying the process.

I do not intend to mean that being an introvert is better than being an extrovert or vice versa, it’s just that we should all try to step out of our comfort zones because we never know what we are made of and what we are made for!

I started developing a passion for interpersonal communication and public speaking and decided to develop this skill- participating in debates, elocution competitions, extempore etc became platforms for me to not only showcase my skill but also learn along the way.

As I was a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya (central school) where Hindi and Sanskrit are given equal importance as English, I discerned the beauty of Hindi and got besotted with the language.

I not only was the debate champion for three consecutive years in my own school but also am a state level debater.

I was so in love with developing this skill professionally and proving it to myself that I have changed for the better, I fell prey to the mentality that having many friends will be testament to my social skills,

And there I was, making new friends everyday, saying a hundred “what’s ups” and high fiving every other person in the corridor, I thought I was proving something to myself.

But none of these friendships were deep connections, I did not love any of these people with all my heart and neither did they. Deep down I was alone, and suppressed this emotion because I would always tell myself that it is not easy to be good friends with so many people and check up on them every now and then.

But of course, just like every other girl, I needed a best friend too, someone I could tell all my little secrets and someone I could giggle with,

And so, I started forcing myself to try to become good friends with some of these people, all in an effort to find someone I could call my best friend.

At that point in my life I thought maybe having a best friend means to have someone who is similar to you, someone you can share all the gossip with and someone who will be a part of all the fun things you do, and that practically defines the close friendships I’ve had in school.

I never paid heed to the bond we shared, it was always about the superficial fun.

A few of these girls I called my close or best friends would try to bring me down on a regular basis by

cracking demeaning jokes on my body, because puberty hit me very late as compared to all these other girls;

invalidating my dreams and passions and making me feel like they are too far-fetched to be achieved,

making fun of the fact that I had never had an “actual boyfriend”, blaming me for rejecting all the boys who would approach me and making me feel less of a girl for it.

But as I had never known what a real friendship bond actually feels like, I thought maybe this is how girls behave and this is how it is supposed to be, I never considered this as a form of bullying because, after all, friends make fun of each other right? How can someone bully an outgoing, head-strong person? It is all harmless.

You know how they say, It all seems fair until you step out.

So it was not until college, that I realised that I have had so many toxic people in my life.

In college too, I made many friends and shared lots of good bonds, but nothing compares to the bond I share with my best friends who are nothing less than family to me.

They showed me what it is like to always have someone backing you up,

They always hype me up and reassure that all my dreams and ambitions are valid,

all the decisions that I take about my personal life are mine and mine alone,

and they correct me whenever I am wrong, for my own good.

We help each other in growing into better individuals, we love each other and have each other’s backs no matter what, we argue about every single thing we disagree on and learn to see things from many perspectives.

Nothing effects our bond.

Now, I am so proud of myself for cutting off, all of those toxic people from my life. To be honest, it was hardly a breeze, but it was worth it.

All things said, the takeaway from my story is to force yourself to step out of your comfort zone and explore your potential, life is too short to not take risks.

The only thing that cannot be forced is a human relationship, you can try and sustain any relationship; and to be honest, all good, healthy relationships require effort; but anything that drains your energy and kills your aura is definitely not worth it.

Nobody deserves toxicity in their lives. It will be hard for you to cut all ties but trust me, it will be worth it, and you will thank yourselves for taking that step.

To my homies reading this, you know who you are.. HOTPEEPSANDSEXYDEEPU is endgame 😉

Joyita Pandey

3rd year,  B pharm + MBA

SVKM’S NMIMS

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