A few days ago, my Statistics professor introduced to me the concept of the null hypothesis – in essence, it’s what is expected to happen before you run an experiment. Hopefully, I haven’t lost you yet because I can’t imagine how annoying it must be to click on an article and suddenly be bombarded with math concepts – even I’d be somewhat peeved. However, as he continued on with the lecture, my professor decided to further explain the idea of a null hypothesis with something we could easily relate to – friends.
“When you talk to someone, your null hypothesis would be that this said person would be of no importance to you. However, as you continue talking to them, you conduct an experiment – the more you like them, the more you consider them to be your friend. Everyone has friends, right? Who doesn’t have friends?”
A few people laughed, while others looked on in neutrality. However, it got me thinking – friends are pretty hard to come by these days.
Montgomery College is a commuter school. It doesn’t have any dorm rooms, frat houses, or residence halls. I was never a huge fan of the dormitory life; I always preferred sticking to myself and forging my own path, but as I scrolled down my Facebook timeline, all my friends from high school seemed to be making lifelong connections with their roommates, sorority sisters, frat brothers, etc. For them, it seemed like they were meeting new people 24/7.
When I came back from traveling, it seemed like the whole world had moved on without me. My friends from high school had all gone off in different directions, but I still had a few that stayed in the area. I expected my homecoming to be full of catching up and gossiping, but everyone was too busy. In other words, I got lonely.
When I started classes at MC, I met a multitude of new and interesting people. I joined clubs, formed study groups, and started branching out and making new friends. At first, I was scared. I felt insecure and unsure as to whether people were actually in the market for making new connections, but the more I talked to other students, the more I understood that everyone always needs a friend.
I know it’s scary to talk to new people. I’ve always considered myself to be a social person, and even I felt intimidated by the idea of a brand new crowd. My advice? Don’t be scared to meet new people. Change the null hypothesis and forge your own.