I’ve been a self-professed Socially Awkward Person (SAP) for as long as I can remember. It’s not always been the most fun of times, but I’ve learned to embrace it. Being a SAP has gotten me into all sorts of situations, most leaving me to swear that I will never leave my room again, only to realise the next morning that whilst I am very afraid of people, I also quite enjoy being around them - a love/hate relationship if you will, (like the feeling of watching the news lately; you want to look away, but you just can’t)
I’d love to think that I’ve gotten better with social situations throughout my time here, especially when I recall my Freshers' week (well honestly, what I can actually remember as most of my memories are still drowning in a sea of alcohol). One particular occasion stands out...that is, other than alcohol induced academic incest and the absolute mortification that followed (Woo, go freshers! Such unbearable fun). Take heed from me, fellow St Andreans, as you follow me on a journey in the life of a SAP.
It all started when...
Many moons ago, in the far and distant past of naïve Fresher-hood, I decided that I wanted to go to the ‘give- it-a-go’ volleyball event and since my housemate decided that she was not going to accompany me, for whatever convenient reason (traitor), I set out into the massive maze of a city that is St Andrews to try and find the mysterious land, commonly known as the ‘Sports Centre’. Setting out from Albany, early as all of us Albanites were accustomed to doing, I thought I would be just fine as I’d been to this chateau de perspiration before for the Sports Fayre.
And it was...
I was unequivocally lost. "Couldn’t you just ask for directions?" - You might ask. Oh you make me laugh, dear reader. What? Start an actual in-person conversation with someone? Are you freaking joking?!
"Didn’t you have a GPS on your phone?" - You might counter.
"Do I look smart enough to think of using GPS?" I retort.
Long story short, I ended up at ABH by a random duck pond. Classic.
As a car drove past me, the guys inside it beeped the horn, startling me enough to make me actually jump. The two neanderthals, *coughs*, sorry, guys that got out of the car apologised, well, sort of - “It was an accident, I promise,” one of them chuckled. (Translation: “My god, don’t think I was trying something on you, ye ugly beast”) I proceeded to scuttle away...
I trotted past them down the dead end street oozing the confidence of David Cameron before the Brexit vote - it was all going to be okay, the Sports Centre was clearly just around the corner. Just like Cameron, I would soon realise only too late that what I saw at the end of this road would actually be my doom - the final judgement but with fewer demons and more erratic ball slinging.
“And I thought we lived in the middle of nowhere, where does she live?” I heard one of the men whisper. Just so you know, Mr. Stranger, it’s sure as hell not a whisper if I can hear it 10 metres away - dick.
“In the fields I guess?” Clearly a pair of standup comedians I was dealing with. Haha, stop it please, I can barely control my laughter. Not.
(I didn't say that though, I just thought it - sure as hell showed them)
Did I think that was the end? Yeah. Did I do what any SAP would and take out my phone to 'pretend-message' a non-existent friend till the guys left and I could turn around and slink back? Uh-huh. Was I about to faint because all the blood in my body was in my cheeks? Without a doubt.
Only when I turned around, the guys were still there.
Eye contact. Raised eyebrows. Muffled laughter. Kill me please.
I eventually made it to the Sports Centre. But it was ten minutes past the time the event was supposed to start. Did I go in? Nope. People might look and judge how late I was, of course. So I slinked back to my halls, somehow deciding that past DRA was the fastest way (so, okay, maybe there were people around and I couldn't after what just happened turn around in public to walk back past them).
After this, I made the mistake of going to the Fresher’s Fayre…all by myself again. I made my way around, staring longingly at the booths of the clubs I was interested in but didn’t have the guts to go up to – Tunnock's teacakes and Tennants, be mine forever!
During my wanderings I had the misfortune of running into a stray student with a camera and a microphone.
“Hey, are you a fresher?” she asked, whilst I struggled not to hiss at the camera like a vampire in front of a cross (Fun fact: you can actually kill a SAP by aiming a microphone at their head).
“Uh-huh.” I mumbled.
“Can I ask you a few questions?”
Me: (Energetically, faking enthusiasm) Of course I don't mind!
My brain: (Screams uncontrollably) What the hell are you doing?! You stupid vagabond, of course you DO mind!! THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT THIS WHOLE MONOLOGUE HAS BEEN ABOUT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I really wished she wouldn’t but I have a hard time saying no to people so there I was, being filmed after a few prompts to act as energetically as I possibly could. Sigh.
She asked what freshers’ events I went to, which I had enjoyed most etc. and I began to tell her about Clan Warfare.
She interrupted me cheerily, "everybody talks about that!"- okay then. You know, that was apparently the wrong answer - who knew such a thing existed in bland-student-journalism-video-land. I could feel myself blush anxiously.
What I wanted to say was: Well, sorrrrrry. I'm a social recluse that only went to one event and even that wasn't the right one. Truly, sincerest apologies, from the bottom of my socially awkward heart. Can I please go now?
“Anything else?” She looked at me hopefully, shoving her microphone impatiently in my direction.
My brain: (Panicking) Ah hell no. No, nu-uh girl, don't say it. Don't you freaking dare, when we've come this far together. No, why would you-
“Eh, volleyball give-it-a-go?” There it was. Recorded, immortalised in the annals of history.
“Was it fun?” She asked.
“Loads of fun. Best day of my life, bar none.” I wondered if she could feel my sarcastic loathing perpetuate the air.
No one ever saw it. The only reason I didn’t move out to live in the fields, return to my sweet socially awkward hibernation, right past that dead end.
(Sighs deeply) Why am I like this?