Social, Lack-thereof

Today, in the shower, while I was listening to at least one of my suite mates getting ready to go out for a Friday night in Miami - with more of my friends, but to which I was not invited, nor really wanted to go to anyway - I came to a conclusion: I simply never learned the ways of a teenage social life.

Sure, I had play dates, went over friends houses, etc. when I was in elementary and middle school, but most of those were arranged by my mom or my friends' moms. I never really figured out how to approach the "let's hang out" bridge - it's always seemed awkward to me. Then I hit high school, and my life outside of academics dwindled down to a sparing school play or something similar. It didn't seem odd to me - after all, it wasn't like I never saw my friends, it was just always in an academic setting. We hung out at lunch, at the various club functions we were forced to go to if we wanted to retain membership, had fun in the classes we had together, made a comedy routine out of doing a big group project; we just, never "hung out." I didn't have time. Most of my friends never had time, either.

I thought this might be the root of the problem: while I was a tad socially awkward, well, so were my friends. My close friends anyway - we were all so busy that the art of socializing like a normal teenager never really developed. Like I said, this never seemed to be a problem, because we all saw each other and talked in school.

Then college came around, and this came back to bite me in the butt: more free time meant much more time to socialize like a normal teenager, something at which I was totally unskilled. I did accomplish some things, but felt left out of a lot of the fun (or at least events). Some of this I blamed on lack of texting. Some of this I blamed on my over-courteousness, never just barging into rooms, always waiting to be invited. I thought I was out of the loop because I wasn't in the middle of the party, if you will. So I decided to surround myself in it in a suite this year.

I don't know if it's working (though it's only day four). Well, it's working a little: I know when we're going to dinner, and have many more opportunities to talk with everyone and find out what's happening over the course of the week. But... I'm still out of the loop. Maybe this is on purpose: my friends know I won't enjoy staying sober and watching them all get wasted, but there's no way I'm getting wasted along with them, so no fun all around. Maybe they're doing me a favor. But there's still something, something that I'm missing. Maybe it's that the means of communication were just established, and not everyone has gotten around to adapting (I'm talking about you, JKL). It just feels weird, being one of the two people that initially met, causing the pre-nuclei of the group that formed (the true nucleus formed later, but I was part of that), and being so out of the loop.

It wasn't my friends in high school that caused me to be this way, it was me. Perhaps I just don't have that teenage social instinct: I fear that what I like to do isn't what everyone else wants to do. My tastes range in small child and middle-aged to old woman. My personality has a singularity right around my current age, causing extreme awkwardness. Maybe I would have broken some of that if I had slowly developed the social skills along with my peers in high school, but there's no way to ever know.

For now, I have to find a way to make me happy.