Herding People is Hard

Since I’m new to Santa Barbara, and don’t know anyone, I’ve been trying my darned-est to organize a few outtings and events to get to know people… with limited success.
I’ve tried to organize dinners, movie nights, and more, and it just hasn’t worked out very well, which is discouraging.

But I always try to stay positive, so this week I set out to try one last time. I organized a movie outting (Shaun of the Dead) for Thursday, and a hiking trip (to Inspiration Point) for Saturday… sent the message out to all 13 BMSE students… Well. I’ve gotten two positive responses for the movie, and 2 or 3 maybes for the hike.

Part of the problem is that the majority of my incoming class is international, and an overlapping but non-identical majority of the class is not very extroverted. Not sure how much they’ll ever want to hang out and do fun stuff.
Clearly, it’s time to stop beating my head against a brick wall and move on to the next class of people to meet, established graduate students. So now I need to start schmoozing my way in, starting with attending the Friday Happy Hour.

*sigh* Meeting people and trying to make friends are very difficult experiences for me. At least I’ve found two fellow BMSE students that I’ve eaten lunch with a few times and had over to my place. It’s a start, eh?

Guess this message isn’t very cheery… Just kind of venting out my frustration, to work them out.

18 Responses to “Herding People is Hard”

I think you’re doing the right thing in trying to make friends and create a platform for people to socialize and get to know eachother on, but, as you noticed, they’re probably not the most extroverted group. If they’re anything like me… they’re not going to be making a real effort to make friends (or even go out unless the activity really genuinely interests them), but will be happy when they just happen to hit it off with some people. Basically, I realize you’re lonely, but you’ve got to accept that not all people are as energized about making friends, though that doesn’t mean they don’t want friends. (Honestly, I’m a social slug most the time — I’ve just got too much inertia sitting around at home, and I think a lot of other people, especially introverts, are like that too. I’m not saying it’s a good thing of course — I think your anti-slug efforts are very honorable.)

Also, you shouldn’t force yourself to be someone you’re not, or go do things you don’t really want to do, just for the sake of making some friends (friends that, given the circumstances they’re made under, might not be that right for you anyway). I’m referring to the Friday Happy Hour — you don’t drink. That’s just what struck me. (Isn’t there another vehicle through which to socialize with the established grads?)

Anyway, I know you’re lonely, but you’ll make some good friends out there eventually, really! It just takes time and it’s a process that doesn’t work too well when forced, at least from my experience…
Good luck πŸ™‚

Teisha - September 29th, 2004 at 3:57 pm

I agree with Teisha. I think that you’d do better going to symposia and colloquia (spellings?). I know that MCDB isn’t the perfect model for all departments, but I’ll bet your department has speakers and, with them, receptions. I also bet graduate students- and other interesting folks from the department- will be there. I know that you’re sad that it’s not going more quickly, but building these new relationships takes time. You have an advantage over some of the others: you got to school earlier and got established and comfortable in your apartment. A lot of them are still working out where stores are and how to get cable hooked up. πŸ™‚ In a few months, you’ll have plenty of new graduate school friends. And then we’ll have to have another “Who the hell are these people?” posts.

ShortSpeedFreak - September 29th, 2004 at 8:11 pm

Good advice from both of you- thank you.

Things just take time.

Think I should try a “Roll Call” post, see how many lurkers I can lure into commenting?

Paradoxdruid - September 30th, 2004 at 2:38 pm

Have you told (m)any fellow grad students about your board? You should really think about it if you haven’t… It’s always fun to have new, different people πŸ™‚

Teisha - September 30th, 2004 at 6:22 pm

Good point, Teisha. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t post a roll call post until you’ve told some people about the site. Then see who pops up! πŸ™‚

ShortSpeedFreak - September 30th, 2004 at 9:37 pm

Guess I could post an update, eh?

The Hike yesterday actually turned out very well- there were a total of seven of us hiking, and I think we all had a pretty goood time for the most part (the sun was a little unyielding and the trail a little exposed, so we were pretty hot). In a matter of fact, there was a proposal to do something after the hike, a proposal that was followed up on: we all (plus a straggler who joined us) got a pizza dinner together, and then most of us came over to my place to watch a movie (Clerks, in this case).

Much fun was had, and it was very reassuring to me for my chances of not being a friendless wonder while I’m here. πŸ˜‰

Now, I just need to wait for this neurotic post to drop from the front page before I give out my website to them…. Ah well, what the hell- I’ll give it out to them anyway.

Paradoxdruid - October 4th, 2004 at 9:23 am

“Now, I just need to wait for this neurotic post to drop from the front page before I give out my website to them…. Ah well, what the hell- I’ll give it out to them anyway.”

Brave soul.

Teisha - October 4th, 2004 at 11:09 am

Andrew, they’ll learn you’re neurotic one way or the other. Best get it over with so you don’t have to waste time with people who’ll just get scared away

Owen - October 4th, 2004 at 11:46 am

Good point, Owen πŸ™‚

Teisha - October 4th, 2004 at 12:59 pm

Hey! When did this become pick on Andrew day?!? Oh, wait, that’s every day with my friends. (joker)

Paradoxdruid - October 4th, 2004 at 3:03 pm

He learns.

Owen - October 4th, 2004 at 8:01 pm

So, um, where are these alleged “friends” of yours, Andrew? (Maybe they took one look at the board and ran?)

Sorry, I had to say something.. it’s been a slow day for your board πŸ˜‰

Teisha - October 5th, 2004 at 8:54 pm

At least two of them have seen my website now, and one has even read this post (the horror! πŸ˜‰ )

Perhaps they’ll start posting in due time. *shrugs

Paradoxdruid - October 11th, 2004 at 9:33 am

If a) she’s female and b) she’s not scared, I’d recommend marrying her. You might not do any better πŸ˜€
Ah, Andrew, what would I do without you to kick?

Owen - October 11th, 2004 at 9:42 am

I dunno… You could buy a puppy with big sad eyes, it’s probably much the same experience. πŸ˜›

Paradoxdruid - October 11th, 2004 at 9:50 am

Yeah, but for that he’d actually have to put the effort into going and _buying_ a puppy… whereas you’re free!

Teisha - October 11th, 2004 at 11:03 am

Besides, puppies only whimper. You make real words.

Owen - October 11th, 2004 at 1:06 pm

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