Community Contributions, China, and Counsellors-in-Training

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Well, it’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? Over a month since my last update. To tell the truth, I’ve actually been kind of avoiding writing in here – not consciously, really; it’s been more of a subtle way of telling myself that I’m too busy to do it right now and that I’ll do it later. And then I tell myself that again, and again. My excuse, of course, is that I have been pretty busy. And that’s the truth. I finished up my job at camp, was whisked off straight away back to university with little time to relax, and then Orientation Week came along and I was a leader of little froshlings for a week. On top of that, I caught a cold somewhere around the second last week of camp that stayed with me for quite a while (I still have a cough from it). And to top it off, besides the school work and such, I applied to be on Residence Council as a Community Contributions chair – and I got the position. So now I and another person are responsible for planning community events to volunteer at different places, raise money for charities, etc. as a residence. It’s going to be pretty cool – but it’s also kept me somewhat busy.

But as I said, those are all really just excuses. It doesn’t take much time or effort to sit down for a few minutes in front of a computer and type out some words in a blog. And goodness knows it’s a good thing to do when you’ve been busy – that moment just to sit and contemplate. But here I am now, at 1:15 in the morning, and I’ve got things on my mind. Let me give you a peek.

I guess I could say that things have just been different since I came back from camp. Here at university, things just aren’t the same as last year. I suppose that could be a good thing, but everything just feels so awkward. I haven’t felt quite “at home” like I did last year. I contribute part of it to my time at camp. I’ve certainly grown quite a bit from my time there, and I see myself as more independent and more of a leader than before. Quite frankly, that scares me a little bit. I was applying for jobs today for next co-op term, and I found one that is a position for an English teacher – in China. I stared at the job posting for a good five minutes, just thinking. Part of me wants to apply – think about it! Think of the opportunity! A flight to China for seven months to be a teacher in another country! The other part of me thinks that the first part of me is absolutely insane. I don’t know why I’m even thinking about it! I’ve never been out of Canada before, let alone North America. And seven months, on my own? It was a huge step just coming to Waterloo, and that’s only an hour’s drive away. Yes, I have certainly changed. Before camp, that first part of me – the adventurous part – would never have surfaced, because it was so minuscule that it was barely surviving. But now, things are different. I’m different.

On top of that, the atmosphere here in residence is different. I mean, there are a lot of awesome first-years here now, and that’s really cool. It’s nice to be the big man on campus now. But among my friends, the people I clung to closest last year, things are different. All of them are of age now, and since they can now legally drink, they take advantage of that opportunity. I mean, they’re not alcoholics, for sure, and not even heavy drinkers by any standard, but because of the decision I made before even coming to university last year not to drink, that makes me feel like an outcast sometimes. I’m thoroughly glad that I have stuck true to my decision and not wavered. But for instance, tonight a bunch of my friends had a plan to go out tonight and drink. That’s fine; one of them invited me to come, and I said no. She didn’t tell me that she was joking because she knew that I was going to say no anyways. After they came back, I was talking to them on MSN and asked if I could come over there, and they told me that I wasn’t allowed – it was a girls’ night only. Thanks for telling me that in advance instead of leading me on. They’ve been getting angry with me for not spending much time with them, and so finally when I’m prepared to, I’m not allowed. Well, I’m certainly grateful. Luckily, there was a lounge party tonight where a bunch of people were watching movies, so I had something to do instead. Yes, things have been different. My friends are different.

Speaking of friends, I’ve made some new ones from camp. I wish I could hang out with them more, but I usually only see a few walking around campus every once in a while. It’s hard to keep in touch with them, even with stuff like Facebook or MSN – it all helps, but it still doesn’t cut it. There’s nothing like face-to-face conversation. However, I did manage to make a friend from camp who talks to me frequently on MSN. Too frequently now. It’s a girl, and I’m pretty sure she has a thing for me. Of course, she’s also 16 – a bit too young for me. She was a counsellor-in-training, so we worked together for a couple weeks. But now she talks to me incessantly. I don’t want to get angry at her for it – her home life doesn’t seem to be too great, and I’m not too sure about her friends situation. But still – it’s bordering on illegal. Add to that one of my friends from university last year. Over the summer we had a discussion about “us” – where we stand and what our feelings are. And now things are awkward with her as well. She is one of my best friends, and now every time I talk to her, I feel…awkward. I just want this drama, or tension, or whatever you call it, to end. And of course, that makes me want to stay in my room more, and then my friends get angry for not hanging out with them enough. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

I suppose that’s all I have to say, really. I needed to get that out. It’s been building up for a while now, and this blog has for quite a while been my place to vent. It’s been my catharsis. I’m not in bad mood. I’m not angry, or depressed, or anything like that. In fact, I’ve been in quite a good mood lately (although tonight has been a little bit of a different story). But here I am, and I really don’t know what to do. I suppose it’s a matter of just getting through it – living with it until it goes away. But until then, I feel awkward, and it makes my introverted self just that much more introverted. On the plus side, it’s meant that I’ve had more time to spend talking with God. If I were more of an optimist, I would consider that a great thing. Of course, the realist that I am sees the fact that I could spend that much time with Him and still be much more extroverted. But whatever. Life goes on. No one said it was easy – or…unawkward.

One response to “Community Contributions, China, and Counsellors-in-Training”


Just wait. It never really gets any easier – take it from another introvert. However, you do gradually grow in confidence and independence – so they tell me anyway – I’m still waiting! 🙂
Have a great year, and say yes to China. You’ll never be the same!