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COLUMN: Awkward

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 23:02


What I’m about to say is going to make you uncomfortable. It will make you squirm and cringe and recall some of your least favorite moments here at Boston College. But then again, what I say will probably make you recall your friends’ worst moments as well, and maybe, just maybe, amid your unpleasant feelings you’ll laugh too.
I was recently informed that I am an awkward human being. Well, that was no surprise to me—I’ve known that my entire life. I don’t know how to end phone calls, and one compliment will send enough blood to my cheeks to turn them the color of a fire truck. For a long time I thought I was alone in this uncomfortable world, filled with embarrassed giggles and moments that reveal my inability to handle normal social situations, but as I looked around the dining hall with a close friend the other night I realized I was not alone. We were laughing over the awkward waltz I had just performed with the person who sat at the table before and was trying to get around me to exit, when we noticed it was not just I in this world of unease. Oh no, BC is filled with awkward people and situations. In fact, we sat there during dinner and listed typical situations here at BC that we all go through, and yet we all find so uncomfortable.
Lets look at Lower for starters. It’s basically like a college-level obstacle course but with the exact same challenges and embarrassment you felt in elementary school. First comes the test of strength—sounds like the monkey rope, right? But this time, it’s a door. Yeah, you know which one I am talking about. The one that is all the way on the right and is so dang heavy that your original effort isn’t enough. Instead of using any of the three other doors on the left, which are like the monkey ropes with the knots in it, you went right for the hanging piece of death. Or in this case, the wood block that weighs as much as you do. You basically walk into the door rather than through it, causing your friends to laugh at you and the cute girl behind you to wonder if you ever go to the Plex. By the time you are done wrestling the door, you realize that you’re already in the midst of the next obstacle: the army crawl. Low to the ground you attempt to wriggle by the service group that is screaming about the poor children they just know your money will save. Of course they see you and when you have to deny them you feel dirtier than you would have if you had literally been crawling through mud. Into the lines you go, one step to the left or right and someone will push you to the side, just as the school-yard bully did to the little kids on the balance beam. Finally! You have your food and begin to maneuver your way to the utensil station. After performing an awkward square dance with the other confused souls looking for a plastic fork, you turn around to a sea of people, none of whom you recognize. Its like a glass house as you wander through lower searching for the face of your companions. Left, right, up, down, you’ve passed the same table three times. You spot your friends, but they seem to be doing the same hopeless wander you are. Luckily you see people starting to get up, and while you know you’re about to dive in on that table, and they know you are too, you both pretend that’s not the reality of it, and the whole situation gets unnecessarily uncomfortable. By the time you sit down, you’re out of breath and blushing, hoping to curl up in on a back bench where no one can see you.
But the dining hall isn’t the only place with typical awkward situations. All over campus the early week is full of terrible moments. Whether it’s making eye contact with someone you hooked up with in the Mods last weekend, or making eye contact with that girl that you may have hooked up with in the Mods last weekend, your Mondays are bound to be filled with discomfort. Teachers make allusions to knowing what you did over the weekend then move on to talk about the sexual tension between characters in the Iliad while the girl your roommate brought home glances at you from across the room. By lunchtime you’ve thought you’ve run out of awkward situations that occur as a result of the weekend’s activities, but then you run into your friend’s brother’s best friend and you panic. You don’t want to be rude and not say hello, but do they remember you? Both of you had had a few Nattys before the introductions and while for an hour you two became best friends and shared some of your darkest secrets, you’re not sure if they even know your name. So instead of risking embarrassment for both parties, you shuffle away with your head down and your face red.
Later in the week you can guarantee that you will run into your ex at the Plex, looking all hot and sweaty in your oversized tee after being on the elliptical for exactly 60 minutes plus the 5 minute cool down. Mind you, this was after you had to pretend to do push-ups for 20 minutes, trying not to seem like the tiger you are, ready to pounce on the first elliptical that is free. You’ll run into at least three members of your orientation group where you will apply the BC look-away, the same look you will, (or I guess won’t) give to the history professor you no longer talk to, even though you asked for a letter of recommendation last semester that he was too busy to write. You’ll probably get lost in Stokes, for even though it has been weeks, the logical students of BC still don’t grasp that the third floors of the North wing and the South wing are not connected.
The pull away is that everyone goes through these situations. So learn to embrace the blush, laugh at yourself and along with others—it will sure make life easier. Hey, for most of us, at least we’ve passed the awkward times of trolling in the Mods, and if you are not past this, you’ll probably be too drunk to realize it’s as awkward as it is.
Editor’s Note: The views presented in this column are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of The Heights.

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