by Sonia Su
But let’s backtrack.
Lewin’s Formula states that behavior is a function of the individual and the environment. As much as I would like to attribute most of my behavior—which I will get to soon—to the environment, I can’t deny the fact that I am and have always been an independent person, both socially and academically (we’ll ignore financially).
When I say that I would like to blame the environment for how I behave, I mean that it has been too easy to blame my lack of a social life to growing up in the suburbs of Maryland. Having lived mostly in Boston these past four years, I have made a simple (painful?) realization that, well, it was not necessarily Maryland. After all, my sister’s social life served as the epitome of everything mine wasn’t, even in the insufferable suburbs. As an introverted, sheltered girl thrown into a college city, I desperately tried to construct my own social life, dragging “friends” to as many (some admittedly lame) campus events as possible. Eventually, it clicked. These people didn’t really want to go to these events with me. We weren’t really friends. I stopped reaching out. And that was that.
Over the years, I managed to keep a few, close friendships. Somehow, college was just like high school all over again. Who were really your friends? Relationships in general are messy. As amazing as people can be, they also suck. Sure, I am an adventurer. I love exploring new places, going to cool events, and just being out of the house. If there was one good thing about growing up in a suburb, it was that I learned to be as adventurous as possible, taking advantage of the time I have in any place to explore as much as I possibly can. Because the other option is sedentary life. Stuck at home. Bored. But not many people would be willing to go with you on all these adventures—with me, at least. As a result, I’ve had conflict-free, emotion-free time to myself on these adventures, whether it be at a startup event in Cambridge or at the highest-rated café in the Financial District.
This final week of classes serves as the perfect example—I plan to go to at least one event each day. No plans to go with anyone. Tons of work to do but forcing myself to go on these adventures. I literally caught myself squealing, “Ooh, adventure,” to myself last Friday when all T rides were free and I decided to go all the way to the Financial District before my 9 a.m. meeting back on campus. Such is my life.
Recently, I also had a huge fallout with someone I had been friends with since freshman year. Long story short: I just couldn’t deal with her shit anymore. She treated me terribly, and it was like in freshman year when it just finally clicked. I didn’t want to fight or try to salvage whatever we had. Her actions proved again and again that she lacked what normal people would consider respect for me. My anger and how stupid I felt continue to mask the pain that would naturally come from, well, breaking up.
It’s scary to admit that this lack of social ties actually feels good. Sure, it does not come without many times of feeling self-pity, but after four years in Boston, I’m quite ready to move on to the next stage of my life.
And of course, hearing all this and my complaints about people, you can see why my family is worried.
I’ve always preferred independence, and this way of living might be utterly impossible for some, but for me, it works. I’d much rather do something by myself than to try to figure out the mess that is relationships. It is my flaw, but I’ve turned it into something that gives me strength.
I’m a different kind of person.