On a Tuesday afternoon, I found myself in a career workshop,
sharing a bleak piece of my story with a stranger. In this reflection, I
explore that bleak piece and identify my limiting beliefs at that time. I also
recall how I overcame this setback, what I learnt from it, and how I felt,
sharing this side of myself with a stranger.
In my first few weeks on campus accommodation, I didn’t make
many new friends- because I am shy and tend to pull away from people.
Initially, my lack of friends did not affect me too much. I wasn’t the only one
eating meals alone in the dining hall. Over time however, I saw more people in
larger groups of friends, eating together, going out together. Watching others
having fun with their newly found companions made me feel lonely and miserable.
These feelings of course, affected my performance in classes. It led me to
think that I was not likeable, and in some ways, different from others.
Furthermore, these limiting beliefs hung around in my mind all the time,
reminding me that I had always been shy and that I had never made friends
To overcome this setback, I pushed myself to sign up for the
house committee and asked others to join me for meals. Being elected into the
committee instantly ensured everyone in my residential block knew my name.
Passing by people on the way to and from class were moments where my presence
was acknowledged. People would wave, smile and say hello. I was satisfied.
Furthermore, asking those whom I knew from freshmen orientation to join me for
meals, secured my seat at the table, amidst a group of smiling faces. Eventually,
I established strong relationships with two girls from my residential block.
The three of us regularly accompany each other now.
After a semester of staying on campus, I learnt several
things. Firstly, that I make few, quality friendships. I do not ‘click’ with a
lot of people, but always the right ones. Secondly, I learnt that I am not shy
to talk to individuals- regardless of what I’ve believed since I was a
child. I do enjoy making conversation
with new people that I meet and am not as shy as I always thought I was. Third:
being in university gives you a lot of opportunities to meet potential friends.
There is always an event coming up that calls for participants- all I must do is
go out there. And lastly, I learnt that my family and friends- from school- are
always there for me to lean back on. I can turn to them when I find myself
Sharing this part of my life with a stranger during the CFG
workshop was an empowering and relieving experience. It required me to pull
back up a dark part of my journey that I did not want to face and share it with
someone who would not judge me- hence the relieving part.
In conclusion, my- initially difficult- social interactions
in residence life made me feel lonely and gloomy. However, overcoming them
illuminated things about me that I did not know.