As a nerd in a university with thousands of people, it was inevitable I would have to interact with them eventually. I didn't go into college with this mindset, but I would've certainly leaned that way. I had the same three good friends for almost the entire 5 years of secondary school. We were about the closest thing the all-boys secondary had to nerds, so it was safe to say my social skills are the least were somewhat lacking.
I spent much of Semester One of Year One in Arts with a very low profile. The size of my course made making friends with similar interests nigh impossible. One of my friends had met some new people in his course and I had no choice but to stick with him and get to know them. As awesome as they were, I always felt slightly outside of it all - I was the token Arts student on many occasions. It was OK though - I had made little impact in the Societies I joined and was very much just taking it easy and quiet.
Then, in Semester Two, my formerly small confines expanding outwards and upwards. I went to the gaming convention in Cork, Warpcon, in January. I started to drink as soon as I turned 18, after having criticised the Irish drinking culture for so long I was finally able to do it, and legally too. Anyway, Warpcon involved me and another guy getting very drunk. Especially me - I had been tipsy a few different nights out before going to Cork but that was when I got properly drunk. I was a little embarrassed initially but now I don't mind at all. I didn't get sick and I certainly made a name for myself...
Itzacon, the Galway convention, kicked off in February. Once again, I was at the heart of it all. I was working for the convention so I went out on the Saturday and Sunday nights. The Saturday night involved me meeting most of the people I would call good friends and acquaintances today. On the Sunday night, I got to re-affirm these new friendships as well as get to talking with people I knew from years back.
The entire period of March to May saw the meteoric rise of my social skills and aptitude. Well, they only really became solid by summer but it was in this time I hung out with my new friends that I had made myself, stayed out many a late night (to the chagrin of my parents) and generally just enjoyed the student lifestyle. It really was an incredible time and I made yet more great friends.
Summer was a great time as it was my first non-secondary or primary summer, but a college summer. As opposed to before, when myself and my three old friends occasionally met up and spent the summers bored, I had immense fun as my new friends were in Galway for most of the summer. Many a fun time was had and at last I was getting over my nervousness and other little ticks.
August and September were a rough transition phase, as I had to get used to switching from the relaxed nature of summer to the hustle and bustle of Societies and attending lectures, studying and assignments. I retreated away from it all for a time but it quickly caught up with me and I embraced it. Unlike before, this Semester One for Year Two is going great. I'm keeping up with all of my coursework, I'm active (enough) in the Societies and my social life is taking off to new levels. There is the fear of failing or being overworked; the fear of making some grand slip that destroys everything I helped build for myself and others and there is unnecessary drama and all but I can get through it all again.
My quest to be "the best I can be" started back in late 2008. After a rocky start, I conquered the LC and am now well into College. These years are the best of my life, I can't be wasting them!