So obviously, finishing High School is an end of an era for most people. It is when you have to face the fact that you are growing up and either take it in stride, or try to hide out in your parent's basement. With me, as I mentioned previously, I took it in stride. Well, I went to University. I worked at a local gas station (in the town that the High School was in) from graduation until I started school in Jan of 2002. And ho boy, was it a change.
I mentioned before that the town I grew up in had only about 250-300 people in it - 261 according to the 2007 census (which I guess technically makes it a village, eh?) The town I went to Jr. High in has a population of about 350. The town I went to High School in has a population of almost 2000 people. The distance between my hometown and my High School town is about 40 km (which is about 23 miles for you American reading this post). I am only re-iterating the above information so that you will understand the full impact of me saying that the University I went to, Brigham Young University in Provo Utah, has about 30,000 undgraduate students alone. Then you add to that the number of Graduate students and teachers and all that and you have a very VERY different setting than what I was used to.
It may seem odd to some of you who know me well, but I had a really hard time making friends at first. Part of the problem was that for the first little while (it was the first year and a half I think) I lived with my Grandparents so I didn't have the benefit of having roommates and an entire apartment complex all around me. My Grandparents live right on the Provo/Orem border, technically in Orem, so my Ward was a Young Single Adult Ward, which meant we had students from BYU and the local college, UVSC, as well as other people who were older and had bought houses in the area and those who still lived with their parents - most of these people were very secure in the friendships they had with others and they didn't think to include the new girl in things. Not that I was intentionally left out, I just didn't know anyone well and I didn't go out of my way to talk to anyone, so they never got the chance. I was definitely very shy for the first little while there. I met kids in my classes at school, but again, I never really went to hang out with them or anything like that. I wasn't used to having to become the kind of friends that hang out together with people that I hadn't known for a really long time. Even the people in High School that were 'newer' to me because they lived further away, I had still kinda known forever from competing in sports and things like that. So believe me when I say that meeting new people and putting myself out there was really hard for me. Mostly because I didn't have the experience and I was totally unsure of myself.
I got lucky and met a few great girls in my first Ward and in my first classes. And then I had a lucky break in meeting one of my best friends ever. I will go into more specifics about those instances later, but for now I just want to say that going to University very quickly helped me see that although I am generally an outgoing person, I definitely have a shy side. Especially when I am unsure of myself and at the time I was completely unsure of everything - I didn't know my way around, I wasn't used to the measurement system, I wasn't used to the weather, I wasn't used to the mountains, I wasn't used to University level classes (having to study turned out to be really crappy) - and all that un-surety made me want to finish school with my head down - not needing to get to know anyone or have a life at all. I would do what I needed and I would be done with it. I am glad that that attitude didn't stick! I met so many great friends in school and I had so many great experiences. Aren't you excited to learn more about them? ;) Come back tomorrow then!