The Tales of an Intern with a Case of Social-Anxiety: Part 1

by Katelyn Brockhaus

Do you walk into a room full of people and your mind immediately shuts down?

If you don’t, I am sorry but I don’t like you.

 

I am one of those people that in a small group you get to see who I am, but in large groups or crowds, I am a shell of myself. In a structured environment, I am golden. I can give presentations and such things in front a huge audiences and I am on fire, but put me in a more unregulated situation with many people and I lose that fire. This blog is about a couple of events from the beginning of my internship that I attended, or tried to, what happened and how I get through them.

 

Story #1: The First Day

If any Sundogger was at my welcoming party back in August, you would have seen that I froze big time in front of that crowd. Not only did I show up late to my own Coffee and Donuts Welcoming (I couldn’t figure out where to park as an employee or where the employee entrance to the building was — it was rough), I proceeded to stand awkwardly there not able to answer the questions asked because my brain was fried already and there was only like 25-30 people in the room yet. When I couldn’t really answer the question, people just laughed it off and continued with their previous conversations. I fine with this because I probably looked like a deer in headlights and frazzled.

This doesn’t sound good does it. Well despite my first impression being a little wonky, once I sat down and took a breath I was much better. People would come over by themselves or in small groups and introduce themselves and ask questions. I was still a little nervous but nothing I couldn’t handle. So the rest of the party went fine and the Sandy’s donuts were amazing!

The biggest thing for story #1 is to just breathe, relax and let it go. By “it”, I mean the moments of brain-deadness. There will always be moments that are uncomfortable but having a short-term memory on the matter is really important so that you can move on and still have a good time.

 

Story #2: Thanksgiving Lunch

Beginning of November I started a bodybuilding fitness program so I was not able to actually eat the Thanksgiving lunch which was brutal because Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. But I decided to go and went down with someone and didn’t really think walking through the food line was necessary so I moved off to the side. What I didn’t think about was I had no idea what to do after while I waited off to the side. No idea where to sit, who to talk to. That is when my saving grace found me. Laurie comes up to awkward little me and says I have to come sit with her! Because of Laurie I ended up sitting at a table with several people I know, had good conversation, and wished I was eating.

Something I learned from this was had I actually taken a minute to look at the tables’ individual people I would have been much less freaked. But I was looking at full tables of people talking and eating and was overwhelmed. Also, actually eating at company events is so much nicer! But I figured out to ask a few more questions before I go to the event. If I am nervous and want to sit with someone I know, I should ask if they know where they are going to sit so that if we do get separated I have a little more structure to rely on.

 

These first stories are the two big events that happened my first semester here at Sundog. The takeaways from these stories is that moments are going to happen and that is okay. I still thoroughly enjoyed the events. A big thing with types social-anxiety is that the person will let their imagination run wild after the event happens and make it into a much bigger ordeal than it really was. So one thing I learned over the years is to put a halt to my mind going down that road. I am naturally kind of a goof-ball so as soon as I let that awkward leave my mind I am back to my normal smiley self, laughing and having a good time.

 

Want to find out what happens in the second semester?

Stay tuned for part 2!!

 

With all the laughs from re-living and writing about my ordeals,

The Intern