Never fall for a girl who gives you a nickname on the first day. Especially of an animal you hate. She was one of my first friends I made in college, which I regret. To be fair, it was mostly my fault for getting my hopes up. Still, she’s someone I wish I never wasted my time with.

I met her through a physical education class everyone had to take in college for their general education. I still remember what she was wearing on her head- a red angry bird beanie. She had started calling me “Panda” because she said I looked like a panda. I wish I could go back in time and warn myself about her, though. Maybe slap myself a couple dozen times. Eventually, we began talking more and she told me of her problems, and only her problems. Her strict, religious family, or her awkward boyfriends. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she never really responded when I tried to talk about my worries. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything from her, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted any sort of attention, and here came who seemed like a sensible, intellectual, attractive girl. Shows how bad I can read people.

What eventually got to me was how she never seemed to want to talk unless she had her own problems. Those were usually the times she texted me. But if I had anything else to say, she was gone. I finally had enough one time I saw her at an anime convention and asked if she wanted to hang out- no response. Now before I sound like I’m just whining about losing someone, let me explain why I thought she and I were, at least in the slightest, friends.

At the time, I still had hope for everyone. If they needed help, I helped them. It was as simple as that. Right? Wrong. She had always needed help in writing papers, and of course I volunteered to help. Free of charge. And I lost count, but after the third paper, I was growing tired and busy with my studies. But I still made time to help her. And I was stupid. I was blind. I didn’t see that she was using me. I should have known better, but I didn’t. Here was this wealthy girl who probably had everything she wanted, and threw away what she didn’t. Not to say she was a bad person, but she was an oblivious one. And I was too caught up in her to even notice that until the very end.

Now I can’t probably look at pandas the same way again. I’ll always be reminded of her, and how I actually thought we were close friends. How I nearly ditched a class (which I eventually failed) in order to wait for her and comfort her, because she was crying and bawling due to her parents. How I did my best to crack a smile on her. Those memories will stick with me, but I wish I never made them in the first place. I spent too much time on a person who didn’t appreciate me in the slightest. I guess all I can say is that in the end, you shouldn’t help people to the extend of you hating yourself. Does that make sense? I guess not. Maybe I just get too close, too easily. But at least now I have a clue on when to stop helping someone.