I've started college for the first time. There are many things that I am enjoying and am excited about. I am starting to get to know some of my classmates and am hoping to form some new friendships. I love the class I am in, English Composition 110. This is the only class I am taking this semester. I was advised to do this to help ease into college life. I think it was a good choice.
But then I tried eating in the cafeteria a couple of times. I felt like I did when I was a kid and moving around and having to change schools in the middle of the school year. That being the new girl with no friends, trying to find where she fit in.
It's a large room full of people, none of whom I know. I look around trying to find a place to sit. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of empty seats, even whole tables where no one is sitting. That isn't the problem. It's that I don't have a friend to sit with, to talk over how the day is going, what classes we like, what teachers we like.
I pick a seat and start to eat. And I find myself retreating into my shell. I literally start to hunch over a bit, keeping my eyes on my food, rarely looking up. It's like I erect a shield around me to hide.
I don't like this feeling. I want to feel confident. I want to be a part of a group, not off by myself feeling like an intruder or worst, an outcast.
I read a verse from Proverbs the other day about one that has friends must first be friendly. That means I need to sometimes be the initiator in making new friends. I feel I am doing ok with that everywhere else on the campus. There's just something about the cafeteria room that is intimidating to me. I have to believe that this is just a phase that will soon pass. That soon I will know enough people that I can sit with someone and have an enjoyable meal together.
But for now if you are looking for me during lunch, I'll probably be hiding in my shell. It's safe in there.