“Aggressively social” aptly describes the atmosphere at my school. There are so many events, so many attempts to community-build, so many kind people who just want to get to know you.
Bafflingly, it also describes my attitude over first semester.
Listen, I’m a social person. I love to be around people who I love, I value friendship very highly in my life, I love a good party now and again. When out and about, I’m perfectly pleasant and make nice conversation with people, known and unknown.
But I have never been a particularly “social butterfly”-y kind of a gal. I’m not one of those people that feels compelled to meet new people very often; I’m not very comfortable around very many new people; I find the “getting-to-know-you” stage of any relationship rather difficult.
But this last semester? Whoo, boy, did I do some socialing.
I was at events. I went out. I got dressed up, I got dressed down, my makeup and hair got done. I’ve got dozens of photos from semester because I just. kept. going places. With people!
I took part in almost every big school event and a good number of small ones. In my dorm, I’ve earned a reputation as one of the girls who always consistently shows up for dorm things and is involved. (I never thought I’d would be described that way in a dorm setting. Ever).
It was mostly subconscious – I just kept saying yes to doing things. But looking back, I think it was because I knew that I would never do anything if I allowed myself not to. I would not have had a good semester if I’d spent all of it alone in my dorm room.
To find the people you want to be around, when you’re the kind of social that I am, you need to be the bigger kind of social first. And you know what? I had fun. I enjoyed the results of my social aggression, and it’s paid off for me – I found the people I really like who I can spend time around without doing anything in particular. (Which is my favorite kind of spending time).
I don’t know how aggressively social I’ll be in the coming semester, because there’s not longer that nagging “if you don’t do this, you’ll be a sad, lonely shut-in” imperative in the back of my head.
But I think it was good that it happened, and maybe that social butterfly will come back out of the cocoon every once in a while to meet the demands of the highly social environment I’ve selected for myself.
We shall certainly see.