A couple days after I got to Lausanne, I sat down and realized ‘wait, I don’t have any friends here.’ Have you ever sat down and realized you had no friends within a few hundred miles, I mean kilometers, of you? That was certainly an unusual feeling for me, I’m happy to report. Shift to a new continent, language, apartment, and now the support network I’ve spent my life weaving, snap my fingers, and it’s gone. By choice. This was optional and I thought “yeah, that sounds like fun.” I’m not saying being abroad is not fun, but I am saying relationships are an integral detail of human experiences that I completely overlooked. That’s my bad.
I wouldn’t say it was sad, being friendless and whatnot, because I had just arrived and what did I expect? But I had considered the language and the courses and the mountains and how many pictures I would take (ha), but had not considered how I would make friends. It hadn’t been necessary in years.
Now that I have a few friends (just a few, let’s not get too crazy), I can say that one of my favorite parts of this campus is hearing about all the great places people come from, interests they have, and experiences they’ve been through. I love that diverse origins don’t get in the way, especially if language isn’t an issue. In fact, this is one of my favorite things to come across anywhere: people enjoying each others’ company despite blatant differences.
Here is a map of the origins of people with whom I’ve had real or real-ish conversations through EPFL: