Fearing the Unknown: The Greatest Downfall?

As a student at a highly esteemed sports university, there are a vast amount of opportunities to get involved with. There are endless societies to join, vast sporting opportunities to grab a hold of, and a tonne of committees to run for. In spite of all this, I take part in nothing extra-curricular. I am a keen fitness freak, regularly going to the gym and running. I used to play hockey for the town I live in in Kent. I used to work for my school’s newspaper. I used to run district cross-country. I was the house captain in sixth form. However, none of this attitude has reflected across to my time at university.

Some may say that it is a huge mistake on my part.  I don’t feel I fit in very easily to university life as it is, as I am not a heavy drinker, I am nonplussed by clubbing, and I don’t wander the campus in trackies and a gilet. I am very shy with new people, and I regularly say things that come out awkwardly and I know the taste of my toes all too well. However, the enthusiasm that these organisations have for gaining new faces sometimes has the opposite to it’s desired effect; for me, definitely, anyway.

The idea of socials makes me want to curl up; I can’t bear the thought of being drunk and making a fool of myself as I do with my friends I have made in halls (which took a long enough time as it is). I am far too scared I won’t be able to keep up with the copious drinking, especially since I measure in at only five foot, meaning I am quite the lightweight, by nature. The idea of trying to force my way into an already established clique terrifies me as well, but the biggest fear of all is the fear of the unknown.

I wish I could work up the guts to try out for the Athletics Club at my university, but initiations terrify me to my very core. Repeatedly, we are told that they are optional, but I know I’d never get to know people as easily as those who were ‘initiated’. I also wish I could join a society, but I just can’t face walking into a room of new people, most of whom already know each other!

Should the drinking culture at British universities ever change, the over-thinking worrier types, such as myself, will lead a much easier life. I would much more enjoy ‘going out’ if it wasn’t for the pressure to GO HARD OR GO HOME – I could maybe even enjoy the odd social here and there!

Reading back over this post, I know how it’ll sound to anyone who reads this waffle: I am an anti-social loner, who spends my days and nights alone. In fact, I think I am just terrified of making an idiot of myself, or being disliked. I am always worrying about the ‘what ifs’ instead of overlooking these, and seeing the clear benefits of putting myself out there. I am not anti-social – I am just slightly introverted, and very aware of my flaws in social situations. 

Apologies that this has completely drifted from my usual topic of political matters – I feel that this could maybe in fact be related to university politics. Student Union politics. There should be a more laid back attitude to the new start; enthusiasm is all well and good for the loudly enthusiastic. Us quieter enthusiasts just get lost a bit in the background, waiting to have everything spelt out for us so we can pull a Bentham and add up our pro’s and con’s. Either that, or I should just go ahead, and stop being a wussy…