Let's face it: Loneliness sucks.
I was sometimes very lonely during camp. Two weeks in I'd gone through a breakup of a four year relationship, my first, and it hit me like a truck. Even before that, in my first week, I was at a new campus. The vast majority of attendees were repeat offenders to Duke, so they already had established friends.
But you know what? Sometimes it pays to be a floater. I got to be on friendly terms with a lot of people, even if they weren't my best friend. Groups happen everywhere, and sometimes breaking from them can open you up a bit.
That breakup still sucked. But I had floated around, so I had acquaintances to lean on. People don't like to see others in pain. The helpful spirit comes out that way.
It was the day before our anniversary. I know. Yikes. The day after was a field day. Literally. Actual field day. I was on blue team. You wouldn't think nerd camp would be the place for this, but I guess I was wrong.
I sat down on the curb, dejected. Plus, the hubbub of the crowd was so not helping.
A girl in a baseball cap with my same auburn locks and wry aura finds a spot next to me.
"Man, our team sucks," I say offhandedly. I'm still wallowing, so my gaze is somewhat averted.
"I'm on red," replies Baseball Cap Girl. "I'm Sydney."
I introduce myself, and suddenly the conversation is ten minutes, half an hour, and then a full two hours long, until field day is over. We both had the same single event (limbo, at which I was not the star.) It worked out in our favor, and at the end of it all I had an awesome partner in crime for the rest of camp. Plus, I got an extra contact in my phone.
Being a floater is fun, but sometimes it's good to not be one forever.