I’m Sorry. What’s Your Name Again?
Think back to freshman year. For some of you, this will not be too hard as you are freshmen right now. Here you are, thrust into this new world. You are excited and a bit nervous. You are placed in a dorm and your first inclination is to try to meet as many people as possible in order to start a friendship so you do not end up sad and alone.
At least, that is what you try to tell yourself.
The inflow of new people slowly tapers off and you begin to work on maintaining the relationships you have. You revert back to your normal self and your friends acclimate to this new normal. Maybe you still like meeting new people, but it is no longer a top priority. But what happens when you do meet new people?
As an introvert, I can only keep up the façade of being incredibly charming and wonderful for a short amount of time before I have to go hide and recharge. It is great to meet people during these short bursts of being cool, but that rarely happens.
Being with familiar people allows me to just be me, which is so much easier. If I am at lunch with a few friends and then some of their friends whom I do not know come and sit down, it changes everything.
My first reaction is to internally freak out. Have I met these people? Should I know their names? I then proceed to be awkwardly silent as I try to figure out if I can contribute to the conversation or if it would be better to silently eat my food.
I study the newcomers, trying not to stare. They do not need to know how weird I am immediately. Sometimes the opportunity to speak comes up and I will take it. Then I have to judge the reaction. Can I continue or should I run away? If all goes well, we will part and I will at least remember their faces for the next, somewhat-awkward interaction when I have to ask for names again.
Meeting people casually is hard. Most of the people you meet after freshman year are not in find-friends-to-survive mode anymore either. It always seems like the other person has it all together, but he or she usually does not. The best anyone can do is stick out a friendly hand and ask for a name. And then ten minutes later, ask what the new person’s name is again. Everybody does it.