Stop Looking

First off I am sorry for the lack of detail into my life problem. But I have a lack of insight too so I can’t exactly pinpoint it. I have a feeling that through my next few writings some of the things I have been struggling with will come to light. That plus a visit to our campus’s counseling center gives me confidence that I will come out so much stronger and wiser from my tears this past weekend. But y’all I am doing really well right now in this moment. I am happy to be back in classes and I have so many amazing things happening to me every day! My calendar is filling up and not just with serious meetings. We are talking dinners with friends from Atlanta, brunches on the weekends, me becoming a undergraduate researcher (!!!), and coffee/other fun with friends outside of classes. Plus I have homework again and call me weird but it makes me happy.

One of the things I get most nervous of the first couple days of classes is where I am going to sit in a class and if I am going to know anyone. Since 3rd grade I can remember surveying the room of my fellow students and sizing them up wondering which ones would be good friends for me. Which ones would share my likes and dislikes, would like me, and most importantly would play with me?

Finding that group of people in classes can sometimes make or break a particular class. Take my metabolic class for example, we have group project reports and we get to pick our groups. Normally in this situation I am always dreading the time to pick groups. They are groups of four and inevitably I am in a group of friends with 5 people. So who gets left out? I always assume it will be me. So I get a little aggressive in picking groups because I am so scared of getting left out. In my biased and distorted opinion I am always that girl. The girl going up to the professor saying she knows no one in the class of 400+ people and needs a group. I recognize this is an irrational fear, but I really believe it. I lack confidence and get scared, making me shrink away even when I don’t realize it.

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Now metabolic is different for me, and so are most of my classes these days because I am in classes with the same people and we established our groups a long time ago. I am very grateful for the group of people I tend to always pair up with these days. I really cannot imagine my academic experience without them. But this semester I had to drop one of the classes I was supposed to share with TWO of my favorite classmates and pick up a class that I would inevitably know no one in…

And once again as we all walked into the classroom to chose our seats that would of course become our normal seats I began sizing people up before I even heard them speak or had any interaction with them. I am not judging anyone when I do this I am really just hoping I sit by someone who will talk to me and will hopefully want me in their group when those inevitable group discussions occur.

I have been doing this all of my life without ever truly recognizing it. Me the person who really does believe you should never judge a book by its cover does it unconsciously. But today I became aware of it and I worked to change it. So when I caught myself walking into my class beginning to wonder who would be the best person to sit by (giving that awkward smile to everyone hoping one person will signal a secret sit by me code) I closed my eyes then opened and sat in the first seat I saw. Who knows if the people I sat by will like me or include me, but at least I didn’t chose to sit there because they looked like my type.

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Just like how God’s plan is totally random to me and I can never know it fully, I never make the correct guess on who is going to be my friend. It is those random meetings in the dorm hallway, or that person you see everywhere so you nickname them based on a class their in with you that somehow become your greatest friends. No amount of sizing up could have made me sit next to these people, it was all random. So I ask myself now to stop trying to meet people, stop worrying about not having a group, stop being anxious about being the odd girl out and just let it happen.

Shannon, Close your eyes and stop looking.

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14 thoughts on “Stop Looking

  1. No I’m the same way. I’ll email you details but we’re in a similar boat right now. That awkward period where you have nothing to do just puts me in such a funk. I feel lost without my classes. It sounds like you have a really awesome semester to look forward to! I’m really excited to see how it goes since it’s your last one!

    • O it’s not my last lol. I am a junior so I have a year left here. This semester is going to be very exciting and educating. I think I am going to learn a lot about myself actually because a lot of my classes are focusing on my views and beliefs and how they relate to society

  2. first day woes, i remember that fear too but luckily I actually do better in a class when I know no one. I give you major props for going to your school counselors, that is a tough but so necessary move sometimes.

    • Thanks Alex. So the appointment moved to Tuesday boooo. But I am a tad nervous as I have a counselor at home who I am accustomed to, but I cannot go home right now to talk to her and I think I need some person-to-person professional contact. I do better sometimes, but since all of my major classes have friends in them I am learning to do well in those classes and those have become my favorite. I look forward to my daily conversations with one of my favorite classmates!

  3. Ahhhh!! I love love love what you did in class! That’s such a wonderful idea 🙂 Look at you opening up and trying to meet new people!! I think you will be well rewarded for your efforts….and I was a total nerd, too, and always enjoyed getting those first few assignments…after the second week, however, I was whining with the rest. Congrats on the research assistant too girl!! That’s so exciting and well deserved 🙂

    • I cannot wait to see what this semester has in store for me. I am already making plans with people and doing things outside of the classroom. Although this week is sort a pre-week to what my real schedule will be like. I got to the gym every day except once. That probably won’t happen again lol. Yeah I am trying to get ahead so I am not too overwhelmed. I have a problem with hating readings. Professors always assign too much and I tend to abandon it as the semester goes on…

  4. I am thinking of you girl! I always had a similar fear with social anxiety that I would be the odd one out anywhere…in class…with friends…I don’t even know. At work I even feel that way! I know how excited you must be to get the semester rolling and I can’t wait to read more. Well when you are able to post of course!

    • I thought you might relate! I am trying to figure out what my posting will be like this semester. I want it to be more frequent than last semester but I also do not want to force any posts. So I think that like this one I will post as the inspiration/life strikes. This post actually came to me in the bathroom after my first class with people I didn’t know. My best thoughts tend to come in the potty rooms…

  5. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN THAT GIRL TOO!!!!!! Even in colllege! And you know what when I get to grad school next year…..yeah I bet anything it’s STILL gonna be me hahaha. But you do tend to form groups, and sometimes the most unexpected people become the best partners and even friends. In my Immunology class senior year, I took it with my best friend and my boyfriend. Then my boyfriend dumped me (now we’re good friends so it doesn’t matter at all but you know) and my BFF and I sat in the back, FAR away from him. We ended up sitting next to this kid that lived on our floor, was on the crew team, always walking around the common room shirtless, shamelessly flirting with me, and he was kind of a slacker – always asking for my notes when he skipped class etc. My BFF and I got paired with him for a presentation. GREAT. But know what? Not only did he end up knowing his stuff, doing more than his fair share of the work, and being the most charismatic and engaging presenter out of the three of us, he also became a good friend and almost like a brother to me, he became super protective of me whenever my ex passed us and I would get clearly upset, even ended up being my study partner for finals and my date to my sorority formal! SO. I hope whoever you sat next to turns out to be just the person you need, in whatever way! 🙂

    • Haha I have a similar story with a guy I have termed “anatomy boy” He is my fellow anatomy TA but he got the nickname a long time ago. But now he is my favorite person to sit with in classes because he is fun and cares about school. But he also calls me out on my bullshit. What are friends for right? Any way I love this story and I hope you remember this for grad school next year because it will help you open up and meet new people! 😀

  6. I think what you did in your new class was awesome, Shannon. It can be incredibly difficult to catch ourselves when we’re in the middle of those kind of habitual actions, so the fact that you were able to do so shows a great deal of self-awareness in you. And then the fact that you were able to counter your natural tendencies and just sit down without overthinking it shows the progress that you’re making. Great job, girl 🙂 God already has a plan for us, and no amount of analysis and careful deliberation is going to change that.

    • You are so right. God does have a plan. And I see it when I let go. It is the friends I make when I am not trying that stick by me. The friends I force myself to have? I barely know them and they certainly wouldn’t pick me up at a downtown bar get together on a whim 😉

  7. First day jitters are the worst, but your approach is perfect – just let it happen. The great thing about college is that everyone is looking to make friends and there are no cliques (is that how you even spell it?) like there were in high school. People are more than willing to help out and most likely they feel just like you! Everything happens for a reason so sit back and enjoy the ride 🙂

    • I always forget that college is nothing like high school even after 2 1/2 years here. But you are right people are much more accepting for the most part and want to meet new people even after they have their groups of friends. I am hoping this semester is one for the books. The snow made me have a pretty lame Friday night however…

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