On Thursday, I decided I needed to take some drastic measures in regards to an area of my life I have always struggled with. After class, I asked if my communications teacher had a few spare moments after class to talk. I followed him to his office and there I asked for assistance in this great trouble of my life:
“How do you make friends?”
Witches, he gave me the saddest, most pitying look I have ever received in my life. For a moment, I felt like I’d made a grave error in judgement. But, I held strong and explained: I have anxiety. I’m almost thirty. I live far away from anyone I would meet at school. I don’t drive. I. Need. Help.
I don’t know what I expected; it’s not like I haven’t typed this query into countless search engines. His responses mirrored Google: “Have you tried meetup? Have you tried getting involved in campus activities? You just gotta put yourself out there.” He did offer this new bit that, while good to know, doesn’t really help me now: “It will be easier when you transfer and are focused on your major, because everyone taking that major will pretty much be in all the same classes.”
As it turned out, there is no secret, magical short-cut to getting people to want to hang out with you. You just have to talk to them and hope they think you don’t suck.
Not super helpful in a practical sense, but just expressing this frustration to another human being who is professionally not allowed to judge me made me feel a little better. It’s progress, at least. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, or something.
I decided to take his advice and looked through the list of campus clubs; according to him, our campus is the most socially active in our district. Witches, I looked through the list and found two that appealed to me. One of the other district campuses (the San Diego Community College District consists of three different schools that students can attend–enrollment in one constitutes enrollment in all of them, basically), has a couple I’m interested in, but I’m not sure I want to travel that far.
I emailed the advisor of the GSA asking for more information on what they do and when they meet. Maybe I’ll even ovary up and go.
This is all so far outside my comfort zone, it’s ridiculous. Making friends was so much easier in high school when I could buy kids off with food. Bringing cookies to hand out to the class just doesn’t have the same social charm when you’re thirty as it did when you were fifteen. Go figure.
But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t. Because, really, any excuse for cookies, right?
I love you all.