Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses.
@Regislian: I see what you’re saying about the ‘age gap,’ and I’ve heard this from others as well. You’re right that I shouldn’t worry so much about interacting with my grade, and instead focus on others. The unfortunate thing I’ve realized is that now that I’m a senior, I will be participating in a lot of senior events, where I’m more or less forced to interact with these people. So I don’t want to forget about them completely, otherwise my loner status will get even worse. As far as taking a step back and letting others initiate contact, well, I wish it worked out like that. I don’t really initiate much, but when I don’t, no one really has any reason to talk to me.
Thank you for the study tips also. I’m sure these will come in handy. My hardest class is going to be Calc II at the university, and frankly I have no idea what to expect.
@Eguy: Glad you were able to identify with what I wrote. I agree that this community is like a home. That’s why I’ve come here after all. It’s nice to be able to write something like this, get intelligent responses, and not have to worry about repercussions at school. I shared my previous essay with a few people at my school, and it didn’t go over very well. Thank you for the kind wishes, and I wish the best to you as well.
@Imperial: You make a very good point that there is more than what meets the eye with other people. It’s something that I often forget, but with my self-esteem it becomes very difficult to convince myself that so-and-so was just having a bad day, or whatever.
Also, I should clarify, when I reached out to my former friend, I wasn’t seeking any help. I was trying to continue the conversation we had the previous night at the football field, but I think that since we were at school in the presence of others, he didn’t want to be seen with me. I agree that I shouldn’t try to be friends with people who are rude to me, but man, it seems like they’re all like this. I can’t help but think it’s just me. Or, like you said, we just not on the same channel. Dunno what to think.
@RDs: “It encapsulates the feeling that the world is playing a game according to rules that you were never told.” What a perfect analogy.
And what an impressive response you wrote there. It’s very fitting that you talk about overthinking first and foremost. Overthinking and obsession are the bane and the boon of my existence. My perfectionist attitude has helped me improve my craft, through cup stacking, cubing, writing or what have you. My addictive personality explains my obsessions with my hobbies, and also my aversion to drinking or smoking as a minor - I’m sure “I’ll just try it once” won’t go over well with my addictive body. But when it comes to social interaction… hoo boy.
I have a delay in conversation, because I often take several moments to quickly analyze the possible responses to whatever I’m about to say. It’s even worse when texting - I sometimes go hours without responding to messages because I’m thinking of the perfect thing to say and how to portray it. This probably gives off the impression of standoffishness or rudeness, but the truth is that I care too much about what I’m about to say. I’ve even gone as far as writing multiple texts at the same time, then quickly copy/pasting them so there’s no way the recipient can respond before all of my messages are sent. It’s pretty bad.
Couldn’t agree more that It’s something I need to work on, but I wish it were that easy. If someone says “stop overthinking it!” ...well, that just makes me think more. You said “[at] some point your mind will get lost in this mess and further destroy your self esteem.” Yeah, my mind has been lost in that disarray for so long that I don’t even know how to deliberate with myself anymore.
I was actually able to relax and take life easy in the 8th grade. I called it “Operation Ice Cube,” a silly plan for myself that involve getting myself to chill (Ice) and focus more on things that I enjoyed (Cube) Somehow, the Operation was an overwhelming success, and 8th grade was probably my favorite year of school. Unfortunately, the rest of my high school experience has been a fruitless chase to whatever it was that made me so relaxed back then.
As a side note, in the 7th grade I did “Operation Mushroom” an effort to make myself more outgoing and more of a fun guy (fungi) I went as far as counting the number of words I spoke to people outside my friend group, and keeping track of my progress. I eventually wasn’t able to keep track, and I considered that a success as well.
My self-esteem is interesting. Internally, my self confidence is terrible, and I think I've demonstrated that already. Externally, though, I have weirdly excellent self-esteem. I've grown to dislike self-deprecating humor, so I've taken upon myself to do the opposite (self-appreciating humor? :thinking:) For example, if someone asks if I'm in a relationship, I'll be like "hell yea dude, you know me, I'm a player." It's pretty nice, but I wish I could convince myself that stuff.
I’m thankful that I’ve never been afraid to partake in new endeavors. I also like to challenge myself. Thank you for sharing your anecdote about going to a party. I’ve never been to a school dance, partly because I’ve always said it wasn’t for me, and other influences. I’m trying it for the first time this year, so I hope it’s a lot of fun. I hope that one day I’ll do something as radical as hitchhiking across Europe.
@Kalle: Thank you for the advice. I don’t think entering the workforce is really an option for me, and I’m pretty happy with the path I have set for myself as a Statistics major.
Today is my last day of summer. I slept in until 1 PM, went to a singing lesson, did a bunch of school preparation stuff, shipped some eBay items, and went on another long walk to write this entry. I’ve been anxious all day, characterized by my severe chest and shoulder pains (I haven’t felt these all summer long… feels bad man.) I became so overwhelmed with emotion that I started to feel sick. Can’t say that I know what to do about tomorrow or the rest of the school year. Ah well, let’s just see what happens.
In the meantime, I’ll be listening to this song and trying to take every word to heart.