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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Brush With The Tough

You'll have to excuse the somewhat cheesy title.

Yesterday marked the first day of a new semester; my third semester at the school. My friends and I were officially sophomores, and it felt good not to be one of hundreds of freshmen, milling in uncertain circles and exchanging new words as they slipped into a foreign routine and environment. Lectures seemed to go on forever, and by the time lunch had rolled around, we were starved. The food court was, as usual, spilling with students, and we had to make do with takeaways from the snack stall. M- and I settled on curry puffs, while W- went all out and ordered two sides of deep-friend tofu and a side of sticky pudding to go along with it. These were popped into separate plastic bags, and with that, we proceeded to the upper levels of the modern building to look for seats. After alternating between levels seven and five, we settled on the latter and dug in, our hunger pangs now acute. Despite our initial complaints about the lack of seats in the food court that had compelled us into having to purchase takeaways, I had an excellent time catching up with my friends-and I was certain they had, too. Between bites of our food, we compared our pedicures (M- had hers professionally done) and fumed about the fact that I'd been placed in a different class from theirs.

I may be taking a journalism course, but speaking to strangers still remains a daunting experience for me. It's like feeding a child who loathes vegetables a stick of celery: try as anyone might, it's difficult to get me to open up immediately. I've always considered myself a private person. I tend to internalise my thoughts and feelings, and while I love my friends and family, I need alone time more than most people realize.

Stepping into my new class yesterday after lunch was new to me. I hadn't experienced something like this in a year, and I felt startlingly awkward. It was a sharp juxtaposition from the way I usually feel, and the feeling hit me hard. Everyone was sitting in pairs or threes, and as I took a seat next to an unfamiliar face, I could feel slight panic rushing through my blood every now and then. When the teacher announced we were to pair up, the panic reached peaking levels, and the dormant nerves in the pit of my stomach came to life as I watched my classmates pairing up with their friends.

I still experience tiny nausea-inducing spells when I think of facing yet another day with my new class.

It wasn't a perfect day, but here's hoping tomorrow brings better things yet.