Monday, June 7, 2010

(Not) Making Friends

In Lawrence, I had an almost uncomfortable level of recognition. I would walk through the downtown area and inevitably would run into many people I knew. Before you interpret this observation as one of arrogance ( I am arrogant, but it is not contributing to this particular argument), I must admit this psuedo-popularity was for the most part due to my involvement in many university circles (scholarship halls, biological research, school newspaper, amateur vampire slayers club, etc.) and my trademark state of dress (perpetually business casual). When I moved to Chicago, I was looking forward to starting anew and making a baker's dozen of friends (Twelve total, plus an extra, in case I needed to murder one of them).

Pictured above: an ocean of potential Chicago friends in the fog of anti-Sai sentiment.

It has been incredibly difficult to make new friends. Without school forcing my classmates into close proximity, I have been unsuccessful in making any new Chicago acquaintances. For this, I blame society and its unwritten rules.

Pictured above: My homemade strawberry french toast hasn't abandoned me. Yet.

For example, in my apartment complex, I will often share an elevator with another resident for approximately 17 seconds. During this time, what should I do? Should I just put on a goofy grin and say "Hi there! My name is Sai and I'm new here and I'm from Kansas! Want to get to know me more?!" Terrifying. No one ever says anything, staring into the corner of the elevator or pretending to check their phone. Do I dare break this silence?

Pictured above: Without human companionship, I have taken to a modern style of interior decorating. For instance, this clock I installed on my apartment wall reminds me of the unstoppable march of time and my inevitable fate of death. Also, it has a cute bird.

When the rest of my MSTP class arrives, I'm sure we will become fast friends. We will become a gaggle of geeks, spouting science to each other at an inexcusably irritating frequency. And when the MD students arrive in August, I will then be able to deceive a handful of them into hanging out with me. But this does not address the heart of the problem.

Pictured above: my new, Asian mug (my real, Asian mug is shown just in the column to the right on this blog) and portable computing device. My decor has become far too Japanese, and perhaps the simplest(?) explanation for my lack of friends is that all of Chicago is racist. I guess they don't want another Chinaman in their city.

The real problem is that I want to have "real" friends during medical school, friends who aren't "medical students" and therefore "boring." I need to make friends who are artists, law students, or young professionals who dared enter the "real world" and got "jobs". To do this, I will need to begin trying to talk to complete strangers. And not spend so much time writing blog entries.

Pictured above: Crippling loneliness. And Tanzanian-spiced fried rice.


  1. I hope to never end up in Chicago, but if I do, I will consider being your friend!

  2. Looks like you didn't read the Stoics well enough. Friendship is overrated.

  3. The solution is obvious: start a band. You will find overwhelming popularity returning to you shortly.