When you are in a new environment, a new school, for instance, is it normal to feel like everyone will start making assumptions about you the second you walk through the door? The eyes just follow you, and you’re so scared to open your mouth because you don’t want to say anything weird or crazy. This may just be my anxiety talking, but maybe some of you have felt this way too.
Going to study at a new school in a different location that is unfamiliar to you can be so exhilarating, inviting, and completely overwhelming. There’s so much uncertainty that it consumes your inner thoughts. Everything is up in the air, swinging in the ocean breeze. I can make any decision at my own jurisdiction and having the liberty to wield that power completely willy-nilly is pressurizing.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being by the ocean. Its cool air is soothing, and the sun-kissed days never end. I have found my own spots around the island that I visit every day because I find comfort in their nooks and the views the give.
However, it is when I have to deal with new groups of people who already know each other and already have inside jokes, shared stories, and knowledge unknown to me that make me feel less than. I know that this is a totally normal scenario that happens all the time but being in a place with no one you know going in is not what I would call comforting.
I am getting to know people here, and everyone has been so kind and welcoming toward me. I appreciate them all for that. I know that it will be very hard for me to forget those that I am working and taking classes with. There are no clubs here on the island, but we have movie nights, enjoy an occasional game of Catan, and take fieldtrips on Fridays.
I guess, in the endgame, I miss my close friends back at Wittenberg. It feels like my academic semester is missing a piece to its puzzle. I miss the comfort of knowing someone is always there to talk, or that I can just walk over to their house or apartment and just chill. Here, I am still always asking if it’s okay to join them at their dining table. At Wittenberg, I always felt welcome, and I could walk up to almost anyone and start a conversation.
I think time plays a factor in all this, or I hope it does. We shall see, I guess. Here’s to me gaining more of a secure conscience throughout the semester, and maybe a little more confidence.