By Reagan Greenwood
I’ve attended the same college for the entirety of my Bachelor’s degree and recently started the Master’s program at the same university. It’s not a large university. The class sizes are well under 100 students, especially in the English department. Over the last five years, I have spent numerous hours with the same classmates, getting to know them and slowly developing friendships. However, I did not feel like I was really included in the group until the past weekend.
I’m not an outgoing person. I’m quiet and reserved. I always have been, but the thing is, I don’t particularly enjoy being alone all the time. I like being around others and simply watching TV or sharing past experiences or memories. I looked at the other people in the department. They all seemed to get along so well. Some were roommates or best friends and spent time outside of the classroom together. I was jealous to say the least. I wanted to have that type of relationship, especially since I had spent so much time with them.
This past weekend, one of my fellow Graduate Teaching Assistants invited me to watch It: Chapter 2 with him. I hesitated. I wanted to go and I was so happy to be invited, but I hated scary movies, especially if they involved clowns. I used the excuse of not seeing the first one to get out of it, but then I ended up getting invited the night before to watch the first one in order to prep for Friday night. I couldn’t say no, and I am so glad that I didn’t.
Even though I was stressed out through both movies and threw popcorn at every jump scare, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In fact, it was some of the best nights I had ever had. I got to talk with my colleagues and get to know them better outside of the classroom, and they got to see another side of me. I stayed up until two in the morning after the movie watching comedy shows in order to calm myself down and help clear my mind, but the whole time, I couldn’t help but think about when we were all going to get together again.
I think it’s important to get to know the people you will be spending a lot of time with, whether it’s classmates or co-workers. So, take the initiative. Organize an outing and invite everyone, even the people that you think will say no. And if you are the one receiving the invite, don’t turn it down, even if it involves going out of your comfort zone because you never know how big of impact it will have on you or those around you.
Edited by Emily Chance