Jun 13

A Piece of Advice: Socializing in Post-Secondary

Hey y’all,

What I want to discuss today is a topic that is mainly directed towards those on the spectrum who may be in College and/or University; the importance of socializing in these settings, and that it is easier than you may think!

I remember when I first started University, I was initially very shy. I was “on residence”, which means that I lived in student housing located onsite, and I shared a floor with many people from different cities, provinces, and even countries that I did not know! Due to me being timid and admittedly socially inept at the time, I purely focused on my studies. Shortly after, what became increasingly apparent was that I didn’t have an “out”; a method of de-stressing myself from my studying. So I decided to try different social activities, such as going to a bar, dorm parties, and various other residence activities and “typical” icebreakers that work for the majority of the population.

I then made a self discovery: none of these things were enjoyable for me. Since these settings were so loud and chaotic, it was triggering my sensitivity to loud noise, and thus it was still difficult for me to actually get to know people and not just of the current situation of inebriation. I had to think of an alternative. I then discovered the existence of student-run clubs! Clubs are essentially interest groups that are made up of a body of students. Most post-secondary institutions have an assortment of clubs in them.

In my case, my eyes laid upon the Nerf club. A bit about me; I enjoy video games, mostly FPS’s (First Person Shooters). I always wanted to emulate the experience of these games into real life, whether it be in paintball or airsoft. So when I saw this Nerf club, which involves getting into teams and accomplishing objectives while flinging foam projectiles from ABS plastic blasters, I saw an opportunity to practice this passion. I ended up going to this club every single Wednesday night and even eventually became a “technical marshal”, basically a lead referee/instructor and equipment maintenance person. It was the most fun I’ve had while attending University. My past experience of FPS’s, paintball, and airsoft allowed me to easily make long-lasting, true friends in this club and gain a position of leadership.

Here’s my point, call upon your past experiences to guide you to new interests and experiences. Also, even if you are unsure, push through whatever anxieties you may have and just try. Going to bars MAY be right for you, chess MAY be right for you, every person has their own interests and comfort zones. It is up to you to discover them and embrace the positive energies that come from those.

Until next time, thank you for reading.

– Aelius

Image result for nerf retaliator

P.S.: The Nerf Retaliator, the first Nerf blaster I’ve owned.

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