The Power of IC and the Importance of Making New Friends

February 12, 2024
Shira Preis

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Class of 2025

Read more from this author →

IC is the ultimate BBYO convention. Thousands of teens around the world gather to meet with friends new and old. However, in addition to already-known friends and roommates, IC allows for the creation of new bonds. Whether in the lines for an elevator or in a LEADS day track, branching out at IC is one of the best things a person can do.

Last IC, I went in knowing my friends from CLTC, and that was it. I signed up for LEADS tracks and sightseeing tracks all by myself. At the time, I did not know that it was common to sign up for these events with friends, so I ended up alone. However, this was one of the best things that could have happened. I was forced to branch out and sit with new people. I met so many new friends who I now keep in touch with throughout the year.

Before going to IC this year, I tried to get into the same LEADS track with one of my closest friends from camp. However, both times I tried to go for it, I still ended up by myself. While initially upset, I quickly realized that I would turn out just fine. I am in a track that I am very interested in with other people who have similar interests. I am excited to see who I can meet this year, and maybe I will even have more fun than if I ended up with my friends.

Other than just LEADS tracks, IC allows other chances to make new friends. Last year, the elevator lines were infamously long. Instead of standing there miserable about the wait, I would get to know the people around me. Most people at IC are open to making new friends and would also love a chance to chat. I got so many girls' life stories from just standing in line and being open to talking with new people. The quiet moments provided some of my favorite memories, as it was just me laughing my butt off with so many different people.

One of my favorite memories from last IC really shows the power of the support BBYO offers. I was running an Oneg, and it was just not going the way I wanted it to. I quickly shifted to adjust but remained upset the rest of the night. The people at my Oneg noticed and came up and just talked with me. I ended up playing games and dancing the night away with these girls. As I was packing up, I ran into one of my new friends from the weekend, and she remembered me. She quickly came up to me, hugged me, and spent the rest of the night with me. A bad night quickly turned positive just from these simple interactions with people who were basically strangers to me.

Lastly, the people I most quickly became friends with were my IC roommates. I only knew one of my roommates from CLTC, and the others were unknown to me. However, we all quickly bonded. We spent every night staying up until at least 3 am talking and laughing and sharing snacks together. I still talk with these girls, and they have the ability to make me smile from thousands of miles away.

In this IC, I am pushing myself not to just stay with people I know. I plan to go to a Limud by myself I think I would enjoy it. IC is all about balance. Prioritize hanging out with close friends for sure, but also be open to all the new people you will be surrounded by. You never know the girl in the airport or on your LEADS track may end up being your closest friend. That is the power of IC.

Shira Preis is a BBG who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and she loves to dance and write in her free time.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox