Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I’d Just be the Catcher in the Rye and all

The first weeks of my new college have resemble my worst years of junior high more than I’d wish for.

You see, I wasn’t really popular while I was growing up, and it was mostly my own fault; there weren’t any bullies or Regina Georges to blame. It’s Simple, I don’t like the attention. I spent most of my classes laughing with a friend about how much the word angina sounds like vagina, and that’s about it.

Where I’m going with this… ? Hum… Let me check my notes. Ok, here it is: Starting a life in a new place is hard, at any age (yes, I’m pretending I’m giving you brand new information. Go along with it and nod, please). It’s even harder for someone who blushes every time all eyes are on her; and worse if she can’t avoid those eyes since every time she opens her mouth people think “oh, she talks funny”.

Considering my social disability, it is a given that I won’t be receiving friendship bracelets any time soon. On the contrary, I have found myself alone in my room listening to Boulevard of Broken Dreams wondering if that phase wasn’t suppose to be over about 5 years ago.

But, before Holden Caulfield gives me a pat on the back, I have to say… I’m not complaining; I’m aware this things take time.


  1. The one thing about being socially shy that I have learned is that sometimes you have to go against what your brain is telling you is right, step up and introduce yourself. I have never been a social person, and often I find myself enjoying my alone time more than going out with friends. However one can’t live completely to themselves. So every now and again I suck-up my shyness and social inability and go talk to somebody I don’t know. I have found that over time it has become easier, but it’s still always a fight with my mind telling me to run from any social interaction.

    If you are alone in your room by yourself, it’s because you choose to be. The world has given up on you; you are just choosing not to interact with it right now. It’s your decision either accept that you just don’t feel like going out today and enjoy your time alone, or get up, head out and see what you can find. Head down to a local coffee shop, book store, bar, whatever your scene maybe and see what life brings your way. Just be careful, be safe, but have fun.

    P.S. I know you probably already know all of this, but sometimes it helps if someone says what you already know. It helps you relate and lets you know that you’re not the only one out there that feels this way. Hang in there; you never know where life is going to take you next.

  2. Smart guy, that Jules... :)

    Otro tímido por aquí. Es curioso que muchas (muchísimas) personas que en carne y hueso no serían capaces de iniciar una conversación por vete a saber qué motivos luego suelen tener charlas interesantes guardadas en el tintero. El ejemplo es que tú dices tener problemas para iniciar una conversación y luego por aquí nos brindas algunas perlas realmente divertidas.
    Al respecto del acento... cuanto más hables más común será a los que te vean habitualmente. Y cuanto más común sea menos llamarás la atención. Como bien dices es una cuestión de tiempo. Acostúmbrate a ello y saca a relucir el ingenio que gastas por aquí, que el resto vendrá solo.


  3. @Jules. Yep… I’m trying, seriously. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s just awkward. But I’ve made some friends, so it’s worth it. And I agree… If I’m alone it’s because I want to… I do, and you would to, if you were locked in a building with a bunch of girls (let’s say you’re don’t want to bang them, ok?) that can be loud and annoying. Oh, and it definitely helps to know I have some support :* thank you!
    @Juanjo. Ya, te lo juro que yo si pienso “soy fascinante”… Pero solo los que se toman el tiempo para conocerme lo sabrán. Da igual, al final las personas que acaban siendo mis mejores amigos son gente que también es introvertida. No sé, para mi son más interesantes.

  4. I hear this a lot from friends and so on, and I'll tell you what I tell them.

    Making friends at a new place, at least in my country, is pretty easy.
    For several reasons, none of which are grade-related, I've had to start anew at three different universities over the past three years.(here in Belgium universities don't really have a hierarchy of how "good" they are like in America for example, so I didn't "upgrade" or "downgrade" either, there were just circumstances ^^)

    Here's what I always do: On the first few days, most people don't know each other, so that's the moment of golden opportunity.
    The moment you enter the auditorium, try to pick a spot next to someone who's sitting alone. Strike up a conversation and ask the general questions(where are you from, hobbies, etc, etc).
    Most often this person is happy enough to not be sitting there alone anymore.

    Then comes phase two, you'll see people coming in alone who plan to sit somewhere by themselves. Don't let them.
    Just call out to them, and wave, and tell them to come sit with you guys, after all, it's better than sitting alone right?

    If you can form a group of four it's already pretty good: you know three people!
    Chances are these people will meet other people/groups as well, giving you an easy way to get a foot in the door with yet more people.

    Very often I find the "original three" aren't the ones I end up hanging out with most of the time, either because we get put into different "groups", or just because we're not that much of a match. But that's ok, it's usually enough to get through the first week with a lot less anxiety about not knowing anyone.

    I've done this for the third time this year now and it's worked again,I think I'm on good terms with most people in my year.
    Doing this with people who are pretty open to it(since they don't know anyone either they'll be less likely to reject your offer) makes for good "practice" for further down the lane as well.

    After all, it's only the "beginning of the course" once, yet striking up a conversation with someone you don't really know in any other situation tends to be pretty similar.

    I'm pretty good with people and not shy at all, but I've managed to talk a friend of mine who's pretty shy to try it out on her first day as well.
    Last I heard it worked out ok for her.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents!

  5. I have to start with… Wow, thanks for taking the time to give your advice.
    My main problem was that, I came in a month after the others… I usually pray on the lonely quiet ones too, but that month gave them all the chance to make friends and not be so lonely anymore.
    I’m pretty sure, with your history; you must be an expert at small talk. I’m not, I always run out of things to say and end up with a very awkward “I know, right?”… But on more optimistic news, I must tell you the month I’ve been staying here has forced me to be a lot less shy, apparently if I don’t talk people don’t talk to me, so unless I want to be a hermit I had to grow some balls and start talking to people.
    Things are going great (: As you say, my original group is not exactly what I would have chosen, but are pretty helpful when it comes to introducing me to new people.
    Now, honey, I have to go… I have to go mingle (=

  6. I think we could start a support group "I should have stopped listening to Green Day half a decade ago".
    I used to be exactly like you, i'm glad that phase's kinda over now, although I still sometimes feel like a - in GD's word (wasn't I supposed to stop listening to that like five years ago?) - social tool without a use.

  7. I'm really curious what you mean with "exactly like me"