Social Anxiety Without Social Interaction

Gwendalyn Waggoner, Editor

Junior year and the early months of senior the first thing most people asked me was, “Do you know where you’re going to college?” It became an automatic response, “I’m looking at a few, we will see how the financial aid turns out.” Truthfully, I dreaded the question because it brought a reminder of the stress residing in a decision. 

I did eventually decide on a college, and now when someone asks I can say I will be attending St. Edwards University with pride. This university is a dream for me, but being 20 hours away in Austin, Texas brings its own challenges in the preparation stages. Usually, I have little trouble meeting new people, if you know me you are aware of my… spunky… personality. Most of the people who are also attending St. Ed’s are from Texas and quite a lot from other countries! While this is what enthralled me about this school, being in quarantine makes it all the more difficult to make friends online. Lately, my conversations are centered around what we are binging on Netflix and statements similar to, “Wow, this really sucks,” or “I really miss school,” making conversations quite lackluster. 

Texting is something most teenagers have mastered the skill of, but I struggle to feel accepted in that majority. Even with my closest friends, I worry I have become distant during quarantine (no pun intended) due to my inability to hold a conversation. I thrive off of social interaction and feed off of the energies of the other people in the room, so texting is very hard for me to pick up social cues. 

While just becoming close to a few future freshmen at St. Ed’s, the school announced my search for a roommate was no longer needed. The university decided that in order to provide safety for the incoming class all freshmen will stay in private dorms. While this is a valid solution to the unprecedented situation it saddened me to know I will be missing this crucial experience of having a roommate during my freshman year of college. Although this means I will have double the closet space I still struggle to see much of a bright side.

 After already missing so many important senior memories, I worry this losing streak will continue into my college life, as well. I still am reaching out to new people, despite my communication anxiety, and I have even committed to a dorm room connected to a neighbor, and a new friend named Jordyn. In a rushed effort to just officially pick a room I stumbled across an empty room with a neighbor who was a theatre major, I hope that means she won’t mind if I sing in the shower! I worry that she and the other people I have talked to will not like who I am in person, despite our conversations online, but nevertheless, I am excited to fulfill a dream. I am trying to keep my hopes high for a world of new experiences down south at St. Edwards University, I mean truthfully what could go wrong at a school with a goat as the mascot!