One of the best parts of college is that, for one of the first times in your life, you get to pick your friends. You have been with the same people possibly since kindergarten and all of a sudden you are introduced to an entirely new group of people. It's exciting, but let's be real. It's terrifying.
I was an out-of-state student, so this push into the social deep end was especially drastic. While other first-years were eating lunch with their high school friends, I was eating alone (which is totally cool by the way and now something I actually enjoy).
Two weeks went by and I was basically still friendless. But when I was trying the classic "be friends with the people on your hall" trick, I heard that a girl living a few doors down had a birthday coming up, and that one of her favorite things is Irish Soda Bread. I was homesick, still hunting for friends and a fairly good baker. It was bread time.
I Ubered to the Harris Teeter and asked my mom to mail me caraway seeds. I stationed myself in a tiny dorm kitchen and baked two loaves of bread. Once I texted my floor GroupMe that I had made this bread for this girl, I sat in the first floor lounge and waited. People came. They ate and they talked. And then, something really cool happened.
I lived in a North Campus dorm that only had 100 people in it and the first floor was all boys. Those boys heard the gathering in the lounge and they came by. And they stayed long after my floor had left. They showed me their rooms and we watched TV, and all of sudden I realized that everyone else was like me. Everyone was just trying to make a friend.