Remember how I hated freshman orientation? Remember how every introverted cell in my body cringed and I wandered around like a lost duckling for 4 days? This first week of classes is like that without the awkward icebreakers and forced game nights. But many of these other horrid cliches are there:
-weirdly huge gatherings of people eating a meal in the same place because no one has branched off into groups yet
-those 2-3 people that already knew each other and never leave each others’ side and you can’t tell if it’s because they’re mean or shy
-“who wants to do something tonight?”
-teachers encouraging you to include everyone and you roll your eyes but the scared child inside you is nodding and whimpering
-feeling like everyone else is probably doing something without you
-too many acquaintances
-“remind me of your name again?”
-everyone being very accommodating, while knowing at the soul of our beings we will not be selflessly offering our time, space, and instant coffee come November
In all fairness, it’s been 2 days and we haven’t even been organized into individual classes yet and I’m pretty impatient. But I already miss the feeling of being known and understood. Of effortlessness and laughter that is ages old and full of memories. I don’t miss the feeling of trying on the different aspects of my personality to see which one fits at any given moment. I don’t miss having to talk myself into staying in or going out. I don’t miss the awkward pauses, the guessing games, the small moments where I am alone without warning.
I know these are all a part of the process, and I can already see some friendly faces peeking through the clouds. But again, I’m impatient. And fearful, and small. I am reminded more than ever of my need to not rely on my own strength, to be patient and humble and willing to be told that I am deeply loved.
And for now those quiet reminders will be enough.