First of all, sorry to say, but you may as well not hold out hope for your old high school friends to come back from college. People, especially who you know from junior high or high school, will generally move on once that term or year or semester or whatever ends. Junior High and high school is weird where i seemed to have a lot of friends, or way more than adulthood, but none seem to last. The point is, you may as well move on with your life because 99% of the time, those old friends, even if you spent every waking hour with them for years, will move on from not just you but everyone once that chapter of their lives is closed, it is just life, you can't take it personal.
The friend who is very social and has a lot of friends, I would tend to not want to deal with him, because i don't like people like that. My next door neighbor has hundreds if not thousands of friends and hosts parties every other day inviting a ton of people over. He is the most boring fake phony person on the planet. Very social people who have a lot of friends mostly have to adopt a fake personality to get where they are. You are better off staying alone than riding anyone's coattails, even if that means hanging with someone who does all the work socializing. I dunno, you should find your own way, and again, I don't generally like super outgoing people like that because all they do is keep branching out and you never have their attention for long.
If you are a natural born leader, you have a huge head start because people will look up to you on some level. If you look like some type of authority, I dunno use that to your advantage, pretend you are the authority, you probably look like you are, so just pretend you are until you are. My point is you have a huge head start, i am so far from a born leader I can't tell you. I still dated gorgeous women but this was a long time ago and my luck ran out years ago but I did it with being an expert BS-er. If you are a born leader, then you should be able to get enough respect that you have one up on most of the other losers out there hehe
I don't know about faking happiness, almost all people I THINK are completely fake regarding everything. You have to pretend to be happy, and content and mature and quick-witted to get by in life. I just don't have the energy to even say more than 5 words to people at this point, I am overwhelmed