Writer: Sebastian Arancibia
Designer and Illustrator: Zinat Nayebzadeh
It’s Friday. You talk to your classmates while walking toward one of BCIT’s bus stops. You say bye to them and take your bus. Once you’re on it, it hits you: It’s the weekend and you don’t have friends outside school. You’re entering the void. That’s life for many of us, international students, people from other provinces and people who have lost touch with their high school friends — congratulations on that.
What are you supposed to do with your free time and yourself?
Well, after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there are two paths that you might want to follow if you want to have a nice weekend.
One path is trying to connect with more people, the other one is going out by yourself or you can also call it “taking yourself on dates” if you’re one of those people who like to romanticize their lives—that’s me, I’m the people.
If you want to connect with people, I have several suggestions:
Hold on. I know what it looks like, but believe me, some dating apps have “friends” settings where you can just match with others looking for platonic relationships. I know people who have found really good friends on Bumble Friends. Don’t judge, be open.
Look at yourself and think about what parts of your identity are the ones that you share with other people that could help you find a community. For example, I’m Latino and I’m in every single “Latinos in Vancouver” Facebook group that exists. In these groups, there are always events or people looking for friends.
Be the party
Let’s go back to the beginning. What if before saying goodbye to your BCIT pals you ask them if they want to hang out? I know, sometimes it feels awkward to hang out with people you only see in a school setting but it’s only for a few minutes and then everything flows. I promise.
My last suggestion for this path and I have a reason for this being at the bottom: I hate sports. But I know a lot of friends who have found really nice communities within sports teams. You don’t have to be an athlete, just go search for teams near where you live. Or don’t, just simply don’t do sports. That’s OK. You’re valid.
And for my lonely and on-a-budget friends:
Oh libraries, I love them so much. Every city in Metro Vancouver has its own good share of library branches. You don’t have to go to read, or maybe you should, shame on you. You can also just go to one if you want to get out of your house and you don’t want to pay for a coffee/meal just to hang out in a nice space.
Be a tourist in your own city. There are so many neighbourhoods bustling with life, there are so many parks within the city, and there are so many buses that can take anywhere. Go out and explore. Also bring your charged phone, a water bottle and, probably, an umbrella.
What if you romanticize your life? If you’re going out, film some videos, download cap cut and share your days with your followers. You don’t have to talk; you can just share moments of your day or your aesthetic. Don’t be afraid of being that influencer in the wild. Remember it’s your profile and you can do whatever you want.