I’m a bit of a social outcast, be to honest. Always have been, I think I’ve told you before. But I made a decision, recently. I decided that I don’t want to be a social outcast forever, and so through the fog and haze that has been exams, revision, and worry, I’ve found my positive mindset on one front, and I’ve tried to socialise. Lots. I don’t want to be the social outcast anymore.
Socialising, however, takes it’s toll. Until I get to know you, I’m very much the introvert. Decisions are a danger zone and direct questions terrify me, as my flute teacher must well know by now! So to be in a room with a group of people is hard. Not only do I have to think of the correct things to say, I also have to perfectly articulate answers which will be accepted by my peers and say them in a voice that is loud enough to hear. I don’t watch TV, and I don’t really listen to music, so in ‘pop culture’ topics, I’m lost before the conversation has even begun. I can’t explain exactly why it’s so hard, and once I know you, I can talk for England, but new-ish people, pressured situations, or direct questions in a one-on-one environment (particularly about difficult topics) are extremely tricky. So while sitting with those that I will share a house with next year doesn’t stress me out (I don’t overheat, which is my main sign of stress), it’s exhausting.
Working in a group is obviously bad because I’m rather the perfectionist, but even I don’t really understand my issue with just talking to new people. I don’t even think it is an issue, I don’t dislike it, I just subconsciously avoid it. Bizarre. Maybe it’s about worrying that I won’t fit in or will say something wrong? I honestly and truly don’t know.
Recently though, I’ve been trying to socialise, and I decided that if I didn’t jump head first into the deep end, I’d never get it. So, I did just that. With the people I’m living with next year, I went for tapas, stayed up really late and played cards, chatted, scrolled through Pinterest, watched movies, and played more cards. Every single night. On order to try to fit in, I stayed up much later than I would usually on a few occasions. I’ve also spoken a lot more and spent more time with my course mates now. I like them, we have something in common. Same is with the guide and scout society, they’re my favourite people at university. Again, it’s probably because we have a ‘weird’ interest, that doesn’t conform to twenty first century first world social idealism. I know they’ll accept me, and that’s important, because guiding is one of my favourite hobbies.
So I’ve tried hard, and I’ve learnt a lot. But it has tired me out, and I can’t keep it up. I’m always going to be independent and an introvert, and whilst I know it’s vital that I socialise for my health and well being at university (and to force me to take breaks from studying), I’m always going to need time alone. I haven’t had that this week. Now, I need to work on finding the balance. Making that decision can be tricky. Do I work? Do I socialise? Do I sit in my room and do my own thing? Do I run? Do I play my flute? But I can’t continue as I am, because I’m starting to loose sleep in order to be with just myself. I’m not getting the vital ‘me’ time that I need to function. I’m not able to ground myself, to completely 100% be myself, to let go, and to fully relax when I am around others.
I will strike the balance, I just need to keep making these social decisions, and keep that positive mindset. Now is the hard bit. Now, I have to make the decisions sensibly. It’ll be all too easy to slip back into my lonely cycle of work with no breaks, but however much I like it, it’s not healthy. So whilst it’s okay to say ‘no’, I need to say ‘yes’, too. I have to make those decisions. And I hate decisions. Even more than I struggle with socialising!