I wanted to tweet this thought, but couldn't condense it to fit in the character limit. Then I remembered I have a blog.
Before I spill my thoughts out in text form, I'll give a little bit of context. I am currently at a music program called Aria in Mount Holyoke College in Massachussetts. Basically, it's 10 days of flute classes, lessons, and practice time. I like to think of it as flute immersion.
Anyway, I came here not knowing anybody, which is a big deal for me, as pathetic as that might sound. I can't tell you how many summer camps I've skipped out on because I didn't want to go alone. But, I decided I'm a big girl now and if I can handle college, this isn't a big deal.
Hello, social anxiety.
Okay, so it's really not that bad. I think I'm pretty decent at being friendly and pursuing conversation. I'm not the most talkative person ever, but I will make a devoted effort to prevent awkward silences, because obviously everyone hates those. But I think it's pretty common for the initial conversations with a new acquaintance to be pretty awkward. I don't know what to say after asking where you're from and where you go to school, and neither do you, so sporadic comments about the food and weather ensue.
These are actual things I've said during mealtime conversations (but not all at once, thankfully):
"Oh my gosh, I love soft cookies. It's really humid here. I think I would die without my fan. I'm so glad they had grapes today. Did you notice it rained earlier? Seriously, this cookie is really soft. You should try one."
I don't think I can stress how much I hate this part of meeting new people. You know what's great though? That moment when you finally break through the uncomfortable small-talk and hit on a topic that both people can talk about. I think stories are really helpful. Someone telling a really interesting or even embarrassing story can break the ice much better than discussing the benefits of Mozart (I know this from experience).
I guess my point it to say that making new friends is hard and a little painful (at least for me), but then it's really nice to have those new friends.
Side note: I have conflicting thoughts about blogs, because by nature they're a little narcissistic - I'm writing about myself and hoping people will read it. It's a little self-centered. But, we're all at least a little self-centered, or at least very self-aware. So I decided that it's okay for me to write (a little excessively at times) about myself on the internet, because I'm not forcing anyone to read it, and maybe it might even be a little interesting or entertaining to someone. Also, I don't really want to bug my friends constantly with journal entry accounts of my day and random philosophical thoughts, so this is a good place to put that stuff.