I am really satisfied with my school life as a grad student - I take challenging classes that are useful for what I am interested in, I have an awesome advisor, and I feel like my project is relevant and important. I get along fantastically with my labmates and other colleagues, and I realize I am really fortunate to have all these things in my academic life going so well. (With the exception of the blasted broken heater issue).
But I am, if I stop long enough to think about it, lonely. I can keep myself busy with school and my own projects and hobbies, so I'm never bored. But I can't fix lonely, I can only ignore it.
I have a great group at work - my labmates, and other grad students in mechanical engineering. I can always count on lunch invites, chats in the hallway, people to grab pizza and study with, and somebody to sit next to me in class. I also have a set of people I enjoy in the dorm - other officers who say hi when they see me, other volunteers to banter with while we prepare meals. I even have friends I see at bible study - once a week friends with whom to sing and study biblical topics.
So I am blessed, and I have more than enough people around me to satisfy my introverted personality. So I feel almost guilty for being lonely.
But what I am missing is the kind of friend you can call up at any hour, the ones you can count on when you are upset. I had these friends in undergrad, and some of my favorite memories are with them: random nights watching crappy reality TV, spur-of-the-moment road trips. Occasionally there would be episodes of somebody crying on the bathroom floor, or someone holding an impromptu ice cream binge after a breakup. But if I was ever upset, I knew I could call. And if they needed me, they knew I'd be there as soon as I could.
One of the guys at school has a girlfriend who recently got a cortisone shot in her back. He took off a few days to take care of her - bringing her home from the hospital, making sure she ate (well, he ordered in fast food instead of cooking, but hey whatever works....), sitting through chick flicks with her while she recovered. If I ever needed somebody to take care of me like that, I don't know who I'd call. You don't ask people from work to do that, (in fact being that close to people you work with can backfire). It takes a different kind of friend, and I'm not sure how I go about finding that kind.
I think I partly shoot myself in the foot because I am so independent; I so rarely need to be taken care of I don't even think about how valuable those kinds of people are. So this logical engineer needs to remember not to neglect her social life. That, or just avoid ever needing to go to the hospital...
Where do your "anytime, anywhere" friends come from, internet?