You don't usually come to these things...
April 22, 2014 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Want to rejoin the herd at my University hall! Any tips on doing this without seeming awkward and desperate?

So I have a random friends from all over University, but I haven't really taken part in the social events at my hall complex for the last two years. I was just too scared at the start of my degree and once friendships started forming and I started building a social life outside halls it was just too easy to focus on life outside of it. But now, it's my last year now and I have major FOMO.. I miss hanging out in big groups and they look like they're having so much fun!

I'd like to start joining in now but everyone there is already in friendship groups and I'm worried that people will think I'm desperate or weird! I find it scary and daunting quite frankly but I know if I don't try to do this I will regret it and feel I missed out on this aspect of University life which I had always wanted. I know that Just Turning Up is an important first step, but what do I do once I get to the events and everyone is socializing and sort of recognize me but haven't even had a proper conversation with me after two years of living near each other?

Feel quite anonymous but if anyone has been through something similar, or have any tips to share I would be very grateful.

Also friendliness level - medium

Thanks as always hivemind! :)
posted by dinosaurprincess to Human Relations (7 answers total)
"Hi, how are you? I'm dinosaurprincess, I live down the hall ... Yeah, I was really wrapped up in my studies. Figured I should start getting out more. So, what's this all about then?"

If they won't engage, oh well. Move on to the next person.
posted by Etrigan at 4:49 AM on April 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

Consider it from their perspective: you're a bright new face amongst people they've been socializing with for years. You've missed two years of drama and who slept with who and who got drunk and who ruined someone's sweater and who has a weird cousin and other shenanigans. Fresh blood! Most people will be delighted to meet you.

Like Etrigan says, you show up and say hi. I think you'll be happily surprised at how many people will greet you graciously.
posted by kinetic at 5:09 AM on April 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

Are any of these events formally organized? Maybe you can volunteer to help out with whatever needs doing, from bringing food over to setting things up. That gives you a built-in group of folks to interact with, and something to do. I always find I'm less awkward when I have a task to do. (That's why I like throwing parties more than attending them.)
posted by xingcat at 5:52 AM on April 22, 2014 [11 favorites]

Ask one of the folks you're friendly with on the floor if he/she is going to the next mixer, and ask if you can tag along with. That way you've got someone to chat with as you all start moving around. "Hey Lisa, I've never been to one of these things. I feel a little weird about it, can I go with you? Maybe you can introduce me to some cute people."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:15 AM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I believe you that you were too nervous at first, and then too busy. Nervous and busy (oh, and introverted) is often my pattern as well, and it always shocks me to discover how many people assume any absence from socializing means I'm a snob and I think I'm too good for them. To counteract that assumption, it's probably helpful to go out of your way to be humble and helpful and put the rest of them ahead of you, especially at first (another good reason to volunteer with set-up and clean-up). Encourage them to talk about themselves; set up the jokes so that someone else can drive home the punchline while you laugh with them; express that you are so glad to be there.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 7:33 AM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you have even one friend or acquaintance who goes? Ask to join!
posted by amaire at 7:57 AM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go with another person, so that you can talk to that person instead of looking around in a desperate fashion.
posted by cheesecake at 5:07 PM on April 22, 2014

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