I’ve lived in the same ward for about 10 years, and made some amazing friends along the way. Not only have these guys been great friends for me personally, they have almost all been married to women who are close friends with my wife AND have children that have formed years-long friendships with my kids. Mind you, these haven’t been just casual, at-church friends, either: I’m talking about people with whom we’ve taken vacations, watched Star Wars, shared more meals than I can count, and generally reached the level of friendship where we can talk about the boobs, the butts, the farts, and the poops without hesitation. It’s been a couple-dating utopia! Then, over the past 4 weeks, suddenly and without (much) warning, my ward (and life) went through the Scottpocalypse, as each and every one of these people moved away.
I didn’t realize it fully until this past Sunday, but nearly everyone that I’ve had more than 1-2 meaningful conversations with (outside of church itself) in my ward is gone. As I walked around the halls at church, sat in Sunday school, and went to a training meeting during the 3rd hour, I realized that I couldn’t name 80 percent of the people around me.
So even though I haven’t moved, and my ward hasn’t moved, I feel like I’m in a brand new ward, filled with brand new people. Worse, they all seemed really, really young. And I’m not even old! My ward is roughly 35-40 percent (in terms of active members) graduate students from the local universities. Even though a PhD student is here for 5-7 years–long enough to feel like a permanent member of the ward–a share of these folks graduate each year and are replenished by new PhD and Masters students. This means that, while most of the ward ages normally with each revolution around the sun, the student population, which comprises about a third of the attendees, is evergreen: the average age never changes.
When we first, moved into the ward, I was one of these students, so they were obviously the same age as me. Even after I left school and started work, I was still the same age as these folks, and remained so until…apparently last Sunday, when the gap between myself and everyone around me suddenly ballooned to about 10 years.
I feel so alone, and demand that someone fix this.