“I am not my introversion”

“You call me”, I was playing back my years as an undergraduate in my head and thinking about the difficulty of balancing my studies with my social life. Overall I spent the first three years worrying about my grades and whether or not I would be accepted to graduate school. I was more comfortable sitting in the library or in my room with a book than going out on a weekend night. I spent little time interacting with other students and making friends. Although I had a great group of friends back home and wasn’t anti-social by nature, I likely appeared that way to those students I had met early on in college. It’s hard to build old relationships into friendships when you give off that kind of initial impression, and it’s just as difficult to make new friends late in college. I really didn’t know how to go about it, but I guess I got lucky. I was fortunate enough to make a good friend my junior year and a wonderful group of friends during my senior year. Were it not for them I would have had a negative overall opinion about my college years.

I’m not blaming anybody for the way things progressed. It was my decision to isolate myself from the beginning and I lived with/am living with the consequences. On the plus side, one of those consequences is the fact that I truly value those friendships that I do have. But this comes with the insecurity that I might one day lose those friendships. For me, one measure of the strength of those friendships is the relative number of phone calls or text messages I receive from those friends. It lets me know that a given friend is genuinely interested in my life and makes me feel more comfortable taking the initiative to contact that friend. The key is that such friendships feel mutual. The idea of initiating a conversation and “pressuring” someone into hanging out upsets me, and I have certainly been in that situation before. I want to call friends as often as they call me, and I want to be appreciated by friends as much as I appreciate them.

Long story short, my introversion in college (1) made it difficult for me to make new friends and (2) made me insecure about keeping those friendships I did manage to make. My understanding of whether or not I’ve “kept” those friendships is based on the number of calls/texts I receive from those friends. I want to be called. You call me.