I finished moving in a month ago in my new job as an RA for one of the undergrad dorms here on campus. Last week all my undergrads starting moving in, and now pretty much everybody is here. Classes start next Wednesday, after Labor Day.
I didn't anticipate how nervous I was going to be to meet all these girls (it's an all-girls dorm). I feel like it's a highschool popularity contest - will they like me? Will they feel comfortable talking to me? Why have I suddenly gone all awkward and shy? Why is this odd squeaky voice coming from my mouth, and why are my hands squeezed together behind my back? In short, people, why am I ducking and weaving to get to the shower in the morning, hoping none of the girls will pop out of their rooms and see me stumbling down the hall, rubbing my eyes, wiping the drool from my mouth and trying to smooth out the cowlick in my hair? I shouldn't be HIDING from my own girls, this is ridiculous!
Part of this nervousness comes from just the way I am used to living. I like to come home to my own quiet place by myself, fix dinner, put my feet up and watch TV and putter around on my computer for a little bit. I enjoy being social with my friends and sometimes with people in general, but being social tires me. I need to be by myself to recharge. So it's just daunting for me to think about coming home, and leaving my door open to a typical loud, noisy undergrad dorm.
Last night I came home after playing basketball, and I sat on my bed to work. Well that idea turned out just like you might suspect, and I ended up falling asleep. At about 9pm, a knock at my door woke me up. And I had the strangest reaction - I panicked. "Ack!" I thought, "I can't answer the door like this - I have pillow creases in my face, there are dirty dishes in my sink. I'm just not ready." And I thought to myself, maybe I'm not cut out for this job. If my reaction when my girls want to talk to me is to panic, this really isn't the place for me.
I was then fully awake, so I popped open my computer to check email. And I sat there on the bed, in the dark (so the girls wouldn't know I was home), and I felt so guilty. And I thought - you know what, I'm better than this. I've passed highschool, and frankly this is ridiculous.
So about 15 minutes later I opened my door, and wandered down to the kitchen. And wouldn't you know, there were a bunch of girls in the kitchen, and as I passed by they said "Miss Outlier! We're so glad to see you, come on in!" And do you know, they had made cookies for me.
Wait - aren't I supposed to be making cookies for them?
The cookies were delicious, and I sat and talked to the girls for a half hour or so, and played a card game. I got back to my room later, and I had a huge sense of relief. I got over my silly panic. They like me. They even made cookies for me, which is incredibly sweet.
This morning when I ran into other girls in the bathroom, I didn't duck and weave to get away. I knew their names and said hello and I didn't even worry about my cowlick. This job is going to turn out okay after all.