Posts Tagged ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

People You Hate

Friday, November 10th, 2023

If there is one thing that is for sure going to happen in college, in life, it’s that you are going to meet people that you just don’t like. I go to a pretty small college, and for the most part I like to think that I can get along well with anyone. That being said, even in my small community, I have some opposition. There are a couple of people that I just do not like, for whatever reason.

My first year of college was online because of Covid, so my first year in the dorms was my sophomore year. I decided to go random for a roommate, and was matched with someone I seemed to have nothing in common with. I moved in without talking to her at all, with the exception of a five minute phone call discussing if the rug she wanted to buy would fit ok in our small shared space. I had a feeling that we wouldn’t be best friends, but that was ok with me. I thought we would at least be able to cohabitate.

Wrong. I’m going to skip the details, for my sake and yours, but we did not get along at all. We had some problems that we could not resolve without getting residential life involved, and it put an extreme strain on our already foundationless relationship. I ended up moving rooms two weeks into school and we hardly saw each other after that, but once in a while we would run into each other on campus. No words were ever said, but every look we exchanged was charged with strong mutual dislike. In truth, I hated her. 

Me and my new roommate get along much better!

Now, I understand that maybe hate is a strong word, but in my case it is accurate. When everything was fresh, seeing her would rile me up. Heart rate increased, face hot, stomach turning–the whole thing. Laying eyes on her fired me up to the point of significant distress, and I fed into the toxicity that is hatred. I talked bad about her to my friends, I gave her dirty looks, I blocked her on instagram. I am not proud of the way I handled our conflict, but because I felt that my feelings were justified, I didn’t realize how my own negativity was poisonous to my mental well being. Why should I carry all this anger with me over something that had long been over?

Time, as it does, diluted those strong feelings greatly, and now, in my senior year, I do not really think about her at all. Or at least, I hadn’t in a while, until we ran into each other in the bathroom at a local bar. The two of us made eye contact, but our eyes didn’t hold any tension or malice anymore, it just felt awkward. It seemed that we had both moved on. We sort of smiled at each other, and said a polite hello as I washed my hands. Sitting in that politeness for a moment, I complimented her boots and started to dry my hands. 

“We don’t have beef anymore, right?” she asked. I wasn’t really sure. It all felt so far away now, we had both moved on. My hatred had turned to apathy.

“No, we’re good.” It was time to let go. Even though I hadn’t been thinking about her much lately, it felt good to have some closure. Hate is just not fulfilling, and I didn’t have room in my heart to carry it anymore. We chatted for a few more minutes in the bathroom, and though we will probably never be friends, it felt good to let go of all of that anger I didn’t know I was still holding on to.

Sometimes you have to feel your hate, and that is totally ok, but you cannot let it overpower your joy. Hate is a parasite. It is draining, and heavy. You do not owe anyone your affection or friendship, especially when they have wronged you in the past, but hatred is ugly and wastes energy. It’s one thing to not want to be around someone, it’s another thing to let them live in your mind constantly. Protect your peace and don’t waste your time in anger. You have better things to do.

Hate doesn’t look good on anyone, but a new haircut does! Use this coupon to save 15% on a fresh cut

By Erin O’Brien

Erin is a student based in Boston, MA studying Communications and Studio Art. She is drawn to telling stories about love and friendship, with themes of humanity and connection at its core. In sharing her personal truths, she hopes to provide readers with nuggets of learned wisdom and college survival skills

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