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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A little help from some Hatrack friends?

Author Topic: A little help from some Hatrack friends?
Member # 10047

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I used to be a memeber of hatrack a year or two ago, but wouldn't post much, so I don't expect people to remember me.

I will try to explain my story as concisely as possible, so here goes: Last year (2008) I graduated from high school, met an amazing girlfriend over the summer and went away to Long Beach State University. My girlfriend went to Oregon state, but we remained together. Classes were going well, then about three months into the school year (on november 20th to be precise) I was diagnosed with a mixed malignant germ cell brain tumor.

I got a medical withdraw from school, and was in treatment for the next 9 months. I had two brain surgeries, chemo and radiation. Fortunately, I'm clean of cancer right now.

I finished treatment on July 22, and started school back up at the local JC on august 17. For anyone who doesn't know much about radiation, it sucks. It gets rid of cancer, but it drains your body of all the energy you have as well, because, as I found out, it continues to work up to a year after they finish the actual treatment (known as the radiation effect).

And so, my problem is this. My three best friends from high school are in San Fransisco, Chicago (I am in San Diego), and the other has grown apart from me. Fortunately I still have the same amazing girlfriend who only goes to school in LA now, but I am having trouble meeting people on the community college campus, namely because I am only there for class, and then leave as everyone else there seems to do.

I used to play sports, but as a result of the brain surgeries and tumor location, my vision is no longer good enough to be able to play the things I love. I think sports are usually a good way to meet people (at Long Beach, I played with soccer with a group of about twenty every weekend), but this tool is no longer at my disposal.

If you were in my situation, how would you go about meeting friends?

I come to this group because I know you guys are understanding and thoughtful, and I just need a different perspective.

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Member # 2199

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I do remember you, although not well.

I'd find things you like, and see if there are any groups on campus that focus on that. The people in those groups will already have some similar interests with you, and you may hit it off with them.

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Member # 1807

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If you're religious I'd look for religious groups in the area. If you're spiritual I suggest trying to find a UU church. If you're not religious at all see if there are any humanist groups in the area.

I'd also second kweas suggestion, but also look outside of campus.

Also maybe try searching for Meetup groups in your area.

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Member # 6146

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If there are other larger colleges nearby you may be able to get involved in some of the student organizations there, if you see something that interests you. My student theater tends to have one or two people at any given time that aren't students here, but think it's a cool place to hang out. Do you have time to work part time? If you choose the right one, maybe something on campus, that could be a way to widen your social network.
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Member # 2314

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First of all - congrats on beating cancer! I never did radiation but I know how much chemo drained me and I know it's tough to get back into the swing of things.

Volunteering is a good way to meet folks. Helping others takes the focus off yourself.

What are your interests? I know you played sports, how about a local fantasy league? Book clubs?

Best of luck to you - stay in touch with us here and let us know how things are going. [Smile]

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Member # 8594

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I'm so sorry you had to go through all that and am glad to hear you're free of cancer.

How bad is your vision, out of curiosity? (I am legally blind so know something about the limitations of poor vision).

Does your campus have any activities? If so, I'd start there.

I met all my friends in college playing cards. I love playing cards and am very good at it, though I haven't found many people willing to play recently.

Religious groups work if you're religious, but even when I was religious I found them to be too focused on religion...or maybe I joined the wrong ones. I wanted to have fun.

You can try a bowling league. If you're not sure how to do that with low vision, I can give you tips. (Not that I'm great, but I manage.)

Community theater?

Volunteer for a local charity? (Christmastime is a great time of year to do this.)

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Member # 1807

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I'll also second volunteering. I've met some really great people volunteering who have become very close friends over time.
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Member # 5633

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If you like board games or cards, try looking on meetup.com for local groups (or inquire at your local board games store). It's a good way to meet people in a low-pressure way; you'll be able to have interesting conversations if they're cool people, and if they're not, you can at least focus on the game to keep the awkwardness low.
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Member # 3831

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How close are you to the La Jolla area? There are plenty of things going on at the UCSD campus.
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Eaquae Legit
Member # 3063

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Do you enjoy your studies? I usually end up connecting with people who are in the same classes as I am. We all leave right after class, of course, but often there's a student society and/or lounge you can hang out in. At my first school, it was a little one-room closet big enough for a ratty couch and a bookshelf, but we could cram 5 or 6 people in there if we were okay with being cozy. It's great because it provides an automatic topic of conversation, and you can go from there to games, coffee, general hanging out, etc. I found the same thing worked at my later two schools.
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Member # 8916

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I have an odd suggestion: Routine. In college, I would always eat lunch at the same time on the same days in the same place, but never in a restaurant or cafeteria. People whose schedules brought them past my "spot" regularly would first nod, each say, then smile, then say "hello," then eventually get into small talk, which eventually sparked real conversations. It's a little change, but I remember it made me feel known, and even sparked a few friendships.
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Member # 10047

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I have looked into some of the groups that my college has to offer, and I'm thinking I would like to join the photography group, but the thing is I don't have a nice camera. I would assume there is no $1,000 camera requirement, however I would feel awkward joining a group where everyone's camera was superior to mine. I was already planning on joining the volunteer group at my college, however that group doesn't start having meetings until February (don't ask me why). Not religious though, so I guess good idea, but not the right fit for me.

Midnight - I suppose I have the time, but definitely not the energy. Like I said, I am just completely wiped, and take a two to three hour nap daily.

Belle - I like photography, anthropology, philosophy and comedy. Haven't tried the fantasy league thing, but I assume it would be too late to get in this year's pool. I ashamedly haven't read a book in far far far too long. One of my goals this winter break.

Christine - My vision is so-so. It was one of the symptoms that alerted me I had a tumor. It got better with chemo, but then after surgery, due to the location of the tumor, it was worse than it had ever been. It was double-vision so I saw two of everything, even when I tried to focus. Fortunately, the ophthalmologist said it was nerve damage, and nerves heal, so my vision has improved substantially since my surgery in May. I wasn't able to drive then, but am now, which I am incredibly thankful for.

Shigosei - I live in Chula Vista, so it's about a 25 minute drive. I could do it, but it's not necessarily "convenient".

Thank you all for your suggestions and inputs. Definitely going to try some of the groups on campus.

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Member # 12078

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A lot of meeting friends has to do with learning how to integrate and mingle and get friends. I just don't know how you do that.
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Member # 11540

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Jumbo Wumbo- don't feel bad about the camera. You don't need a great camera to take great pics. Check it out. If the people seem cool, then who cares if they have nicer stuff then you? They should still be able to give you tips and advice other then get a better camera.
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El JT de Spang
Member # 7742

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Once your vision improves a bit more, I'd definitely get back into sports. Even if you're not amazing, it's a great way to meet people. And everyone is mostly understanding of the fact that not everyone who plays is an all star.
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