As the end of orientation draws near, I find myself thinking about friendships — those I have had over the course of my life, and those I hope to forge while completing my MBA.
I am the poster-child for introverts. I tend to be shy, to prefer quiet and the indoors, I love solo activities like writing and reading. While I have learned to get by in social situations and can be quite loud and excited in short doses, those types of activities are draining. I need time to recharge afterwards.
That means making and maintaining friendships can be hard for me at times. Not always, but often. I don’t believe it’s ever again going to be quite as simple as the first day of preschool, when a girl I’d never met before came over and asked if I wanted to be best friends. (I said yes, and we were inseparable for years.)
No. Often it’s much harder and slower than that. I have known people for two or three years before coming to the realization that we’ve moved past the “mere acquaintance” stage. Not only that, but my introversion (plus a whole lot of other factors, but introversion is a large part of it) means I sometimes don’t talk to friends for weeks or months at a time.
Why am I thinking about this now? Because over the last week, I feel like I’ve already begun forging a bond with my cohort that I never could have imagined. I am not generally the type of person to easily get to know every single person in the room — and yet, over five days, I have begun doing just that. And it is incredible.
There is something to be said about learning in an environment where I feel comfortable announcing to the entire class that when I ordered textbooks online, I accidentally sent them to Edmonton.
This week has been absolutely amazing. With all the crazy team-building activities (some planned, others spontaneous), it almost feels like I have known these classmates for months. Weird that classes haven’t technically even started yet! If this is how I already feel, I can only imagine the type of bonds I will have by the end of two full years of this program. Isn’t it exciting?