Today was hard.
When I work up it was raining. We don’t have breakfast on Sundays, only brunch, so I got up and showered and then I went downstairs to meet my family to go to church. After the community picnic and fair/information sharing about different community things last night, I had decided I wanted to try out the Methodist church while my family was here. We went. It was fine–shorter than my home church’s services!:) But I’m not sure I’m going to be going back. I like church and I want a church here for the connection to the community but I’m not sure if that connection is going to be found at the Methodist church. There might be other churches where I would feel more connected and there is a ton where I can look, so we’ll see.
Then I said goodbye to my family. It was hard, impossible really. I know that December is going to come faster than I could ever imagine but four months is a long time, and it’s really hard to say until later to the people who know you best, the people who have known you the longest, the people who are you, who have been you, who are very much so responsible for you being who you are today. It was hard, but I couldn’t cry as much as I wanted too. Oh don’t get me wrong, I did cry. But I couldn’t let myself go because I felt like if I did, I would never stop crying, and I can’t handle that right now. I have to be strong. That’s how I get through. I hold on, I hold in. It’s not always the best way to operate but it’s what I do. When I am the weakest, I force myself to be strong.
So I hugged and I cried and I said what I could force myself to say and then I walked back to my hall, and up the stairs and into my room. You can’t dwell on the sad forever, or you’ll forget to be happy. So I went to brunch with Beka and her mom and another family sat with us about halfway through. The food was BEYOND good–I’ve eaten so much, it’s insane. But the conversation fell a little short. I wasn’t in a say anything just so something is being said mood and then I felt bad because we were just sitting there, eating. But it got better, and the conversation picked up and we laughed about me saving Beka for the freight elevator if she tried to go down in it.
Then Beka’s mom left and we were alone. We then went to the residence hall meeting across the street with the other girls in our suite. It was informative, and they second years did skits which were funny. Then we went back to our room and hung out for a few hours. I was starting to feel down. I wasn’t meeting anyone really. I talked a bit more with two of my suitemates but besides that, I hadn’t really talked with anyone else or done anything with them. To be honest, I kind of wanted to go home. In that moment, I was ready for that or to snap my fingers and make it be December, so I could see that I was going to be okay.
Then we ent to self defense class, and I learned a lot of good stuff like a simple punch and a simple kick and how some body language signs of how to tell when someone might be wanting to attack you. The basic gist that we learned was “Back off. Back off.” Side step, like a quarter of a clock, “Back the F off.” If they don’t? Attack! There is, of course, more to it than that, but that was the basics of it. I was still feeling down in self defense. I went back to my room afterward since I didn’t really know what else to do. I wanted to write this post, a post about feeling lonely and excluded and afraid I was missing out on making friends, a post about how it was imposible to be an introvert and make friends at school, but I didn’t want to scare all of my college freshman friends who are reading this and have yet to move in to their dorms.
But don’t be afraid! Because this is what happened: At the self defense class, the woman who taught it talked about how this first semester isn’t going to be a lot of fun. Of course, it’s going to be fun but it’s not going to be as much fun as the ones to come because you’re getting used to being on your own, and managing school and work and your health and making friends and dealing with your roommate and your suitmates and it’s just a LOT of change at once, and that makes you really stressed out. Hearing this, I was starting to feel better. Then Kelley, Maria, Beka and I walked over to dinner together and sat at a table. I was still feeling a bit awkward and we didn’t say a ton but we did talk. Then another girl sat down with us, Lizzie and we talked to her and I was feeling comfortable. Then after finishing pizza and cookies, the second years (The Peer Listeners and RAs) did a lot of skits about peer pressure and being homesick and partying and being safe and all that typical first year college student stuff. It was super funny and I laughed a lot, and thne afterwards a second year went to each table and we discussed. Two came to ours and we had a nice conversation and when we left I was feeling better.
I ran into a group of second years, first years and Pricilla, a girl I met when I came here in March, who were all going with Pricilla to see if she had made it into the dance company. I went with and it was nice to feel like part of a group for that 15 minute time (she got in btw!). Then we all split up to go our different ways and I went back to my hall. Kelley and Maria were in the parlor and they were talkin with our hall director about a monopoly type board game based of the town we’re in. Soon we were upstairs in our suite playing. And even though I hate board games, I felt bonded. I laughed. I made jokes. I had fun.
Then we went to the homesickness/get to know you games thing int he basement and we talked about homesickness as a group and it was super nice to know–well I already knew but to hear and not just assume, that other people are struggling and feeling alone. Then we played some get to know you games, including Your My Neighbor If, better known as (to me!) Eres Mi Amigo Si…MY KIDS’ FAVORITE GAME FROM PANAMA. Needless to say, I never got in the middle since I literally played a cut throat version of the game every day all last summer. YAY ME. Celebration wave in favor of myself:)
Afterwards, people started leaving but I talked with Maria, Kelley, this other girl named Meghan from Texas and this girl named Caitlyn for a good while. We talked about phobias, so I got to discuss my NO LOOSE HAIR ON ME OR NEAR ME please deal. It was fun. I love Maria. Her laugh makes me laugh and she always seems to be laughing at someone or something so we’re always laughing.
Three girls just name in–the same Caitlyn from the basement convo, a girl named Sam who looks and acts just like my friend Abbie from AMIGOS (I told her that hahah) and Shannon, who I met in March. We just introduced ourselves and chatted a bit. It was nice.
Moral of the story: You have to give it time. Let yourself lie low when you need sometime to recover from something but also put yourself out there. You can’t hide in your room. Be friendly. Laugh. Smile. Let people talk about themselves. Everyone likes to:) Invite people along–Caitlyn has a second year roommate so I gave her my number so we could eat breakfast tomorrow maybe. If you do it to them, they’ll feel more obligated to return the favor. And make goals–like “that person looks cool. I want to talk to them.” and then follow threw. I talked to the French girls–mission accomplished. Now I’m moving on to my next goal: Refind the girl who likes Friends.
Ps. Our senior is still MIA. We might just have one? And we got a new suitemate! Or two? They’re never here so we don’t know. But I met one for sure and she seems nice!
Pss/Pps: I told Maria my favorite song was Ven Conmigo. She said she liked it too and then laughed at me. Typical.