Saturday, August 22, 2015

Avoiding the Cafeterias and Making Friends

During this week before school starts, I've had a hard time getting myself to go and eat in the cafeterias here on campus.

So far, I don't have any friends here. I know about 6 people, some of which went to my same school back home, but they were never really apart of my group of friends. Making friends isn't particularly easy for me because I'm uncomfortable going up and talking to random people, having actual conversations with someone I've just met, and being in front of other people alone (i.e. sitting alone at a table eating food).

The friends I had back at home are all very outgoing and inclusive people, so they weren't deterred by the fact that I was really quiet at the start of our relationships, and persisted until I felt comfortable with them and was able to be myself around them. They also provided me with the ability to not be alone in public. However, they didn't come to college with me!

I've set the standard for myself that I'll at least say Hi to people that I pass by. It seemed simple enough. People say Hi all the time when they walk past each other! Who knew, maybe they'd become my friend after I'd said Hi to them a few times in passing.

However, being the person that I am, I instead found myself staying in my room more often, and waiting until everyone else had left the floor or was in their room before venturing out to the bathroom or out onto campus so that I wouldn't have to say Hi to anyone.

A few nights ago, I was invited to a "Girls Night" where it was advertised that there would be a movie, facials, and the girls who came would get their nails painted if they wanted to. Now, this was exactly the kind of activity that I was prepping myself for. Because of the movie, I wouldn't have to talk to anyone for a very long time. I'm good at painting nails, so i figured that that would be a great way for people to get to know me without me having to talk to them.

As the time got closer for the event to start, I got more and more worried about it even though I was originally really excited to go. I told myself that I shouldn't arrive right on time because then I'd look to eager. I'd need to arrive fashionably late. However, "fashionably late" turned into "really really stinkin' late", but I ended up making myself go even though I was so late because I assumed that they'd all be focused on the movie and on doing each other's pamper things.

I was wrong.

I went to the room the event was meant to happen in and found out that the girls in there were apart of a sorority, and the Girl's Night had been moved somewhere else. Then, after wandering around the building getting really sweaty and upset, I found a Lounge area in the basement of the building where a large group of girls were watching a movie. Assuming this was the place, I opened the door to the room to walk in. I was behind all of the girls, who were focused on the movie in front of them, so I figured that I'd be able to come in and sit behind them all without anyone seeing how late I was.

To my dismay, the wood floors in the Lounge area let out earsplitting squeaks with every step I took! Everyone in the room turned around to stare at me, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid! I looked down and fast-walked to a chair, which also made noises as I pulled it to face the movie so that I could sit down. After everyone's attention returned back to the screen, I wished that I could get up and leave because I didn't see the girl who had invited me in the crowd and I told myself that I'd walked in on the wrong group for the 2nd time.

The movie ended soon after I got there, and I ran out right after the first few girls left and I knew it was okay to leave.

I was talking to my boyfriend about it, because it was bothering me that I was so unable to make friends on my own, and I get so upset in social situations where I don't know a single person. He told me that it's okay to make friends at my own pace, and that it's not a bad thing to wait for the outgoing people to befriend me like back at home. So, since then, I haven't been forcing myself to talk to people or to go in public on my own. And, actually, it's made it easier for me to say Hi to people when I pass by them because I'm not forcing it. I'm just letting the Hi happen when it happens when I go by!

Maybe I'll trying facing the Cafeterias next...

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