I recently went back to Elbi and remembered quite a lot of things from my college years. I spent four years in the university, and of course I learned a lot! If anything, I definitely learned quite a lot about myself. But I must emphasize the fact that there are still things that confuse me and I still question my life decisions from time to time.
It’ll come as a surprise to some of my friends to learn that I’m an introvert. Yes, dear friends. The jolly, perky, boisterous me is actually an introvert. And it was definitely a setback during my first two years in college. Back in high school, I didn’t really branch out from my clique. I joined clubs but never alone. So when I entered college without a single close friend with me, I was a fish out of water.
It takes me months to years to warm up to people. I didn’t easily click with anyone. So in my first college semester, it was a normality for me to eat my lunch alone, save for mondays. I rarely think much about my first two semesters in college because it makes me feel like a loser. I was a struggle for me to make friends back then because I didn’t know how to talk to people. What made it even more difficult is that in Elbi, you’ll have different sets of classmates for every subject. There’s no block section here. I also chose GE subjects where my classmates were either Engineering or ComSci students.
I also happened to be an introvert in a sea of extroverts. I took up Development Communication, so yes, it’s full of the most vibrant and dynamic persons I’ve ever met. In a room full of dominant personalities, I hid myself. I tend to hide in the background when I’m in a large group. I am easily intimidated. It’s all my fault, I know. FYI, I did attend block meetings every Monday, 2:30 PM, but didn’t manage to get closer to anyone. A couple of years later, my blockmates didn’t even know that I was their blockmate. Sad story of my life. I just laughed it off but it stung a little.
It felt so horrible that it reached the point where I cried a lot because I felt lonely. The first time I met up with my high school friends after graduation, I started crying when we had to say goodbye. I didn’t want them to go because I knew that once I went back to Elbi, I’d go back to being a loner. For an entire semester, I had no seatmate in my DEVC10 class.
I learned how to cope, of course. The experience taught me to be independent. Even now, I no longer mind doing things by myself. Heck, I even prefer it sometimes. I started being okay with it, and I found countless of things to do alone. In the end, I didn’t mind eating alone in restaurants. I consoled myself by thinking that at least I had a roommate to eat dinner with, and at least I had high school classmates in Elbi, too! I just had to stop wallowing in self-pity. Other people managed to do a lot of stuff by themselves, and I should learn that, too.
Of course, I eventually made friends, real ones, too, but it definitely took awhile. I think it was only when I started taking my major classes that I actually start connecting to my classmates. And I am grateful that I chose DevJourn as my major because of the small size of our classes. Okay, that’s a pretty lame excuse. Haha. But really, it was probably the first time that I actually felt like I belonged somewhere.
Lately, I’m feeling more confident with myself. I have friends in the office, and I maintain connection with the old ones. But the prospect of once again interacting with college classmates scare me. They seem to be accomplished individuals already, and I’m just… floating. Just when I’m starting to think that I’m coming out of my shell, I start to crawl back in. I must not let that happen, though.
I don’t think I’ve told this story to anyone. I’m not even sure why I’m writing this. Maybe I just need to let it all out. Hey, writing has always been therapeutic for me. It was blogging (and diary writing) that helped me get through those years in college. I’m not feeling top-notch lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about my career (or the lack thereof) and the possibility of going back to school.
I guess I just want to remember it all to remind myself how much I’ve grown. Since I’ve been throwing tons of pity parties for myself lately, it’s time that I realize that things are no longer so bad and things will always find a way to get better. This is a reminder that things are different now, and there’s no need for things (or for me) to go back to the way it used to be. I have tons of people around me now whom I can always, always rely on. They’ll never make me feel that I’m alone.
I need this reminder all the time.