Monday, April 7, 2014

Being Idiotic While Trying to Avoid Being an Idiot

This is a question I'd like to ask to a lot of people… This one is particularly hard to explain, because it is both embarrassing and confusing. Even for me to some extent…

Okay, here it goes…

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to do something in public, but multiple factors are making you worry for different reasons? And those said factors are pretty much "you problems"?

I get this sometimes, and I sometimes wonder… Why am I even where I am these days?

Today, I had scheduled a meeting with my advisor for picking classes for next semester. My advisor had told me in an email that I had to go to her office door and look at a sheet with dates on it, and pencil in a meeting. Sounds simple, right? In the email, she listed times and told me to let her know if I couldn't meet at any of those times. Also simple, right?

So I decided to wait by the classroom she teaches in, as I heard that she comes in at 2:00 pm. So I wait there at roughly 1:45-ish, I have no idea whether she's in her office or not. Her office is inside the classroom, and there were students in there. Usually in these situations, I don't like entering classrooms and interrupting classes that are in session. It's a weird habit of mine that I've had for years that I just really need to kick…

I really should've just went in, not focus on the students at all and just find the entrance to her office where the paper was.

But then I thought, "Why would she have a piece of paper on her door? Wouldn't you just contact her and schedule an appointment?" Also, I have this unusual fear of distracting/disrupting people. If it was on her door, open or closed, when she was having a meeting with another student, I'd feel awkward. Like, "Hey I'm walking up to your door while you're having a meeting!"

I worry too much, and it's to the point where I make a stupid decision.

So a faculty member walks by, I ask her if she knows that if my advisor came in today - just so I know that she in fact in the building. She was nice at first, but then I later explained to her about the email, as I wasn't sure about the whole "paper" idea thing. Again, such a simple thing that a damn 3-year-old can process. Then I got this for a response after I was told to, ya know, just go in and look for the paper on the door.

"Your level of skill is way above that" in an almost snarky tone of voice. To me that translates to, "You're a big boy." Why should 21-year-old me have to be told that? Why is 21-year-old me doing things that make me look like a 5-year-old?

This person must think I'm the biggest idiot. Because I was being one, quite successfully. This is like a little kid saying, "Should I go in there?" What the hell… Why do I fear walking into classrooms that have people in them? I made myself look like a bigger idiot, I should've just walked in. Heck, I would not have made myself look like an idiot at all. By avoiding a scenario that I thought would make me look like a big fool, I made myself look like an idiot in the process.

This isn't a pity party post, I'm sharing this because I ask… Have you been in a situation similar to this where you had no clue about something so simple that was pretty much right in front of you? Or where you made yourself look like an idiot this massive?

I had about three thoughts on my mind earlier today…

- "I hope I get a meeting before classes go up. I don't want to jeopardize my next semester!"
- "There's people in there. I don't want to walk in and distract them, look like the big idiot walking into the room." [imagines a derpy-looking thing walking into the room]
- "What if she's having a meeting and I distract it by coming to her door? I don't want to create a bad impression on my advisor!"

The faculty member didn't know this, and how would she? You can't read minds, you just go by what you see. To her, I was probably some really dumbass kid who should've been capable of doing something so simple. I really should have been capable… I mean, this is my 4th year in college and I'm acting like this???

I feel bad for that faculty member now.

Then it just makes me wonder… Why do I hit these lows? Or am I being too hard on myself? Do other people do such things? Am I alone? Is it wrong of me to ask in case it's actually a common thing?

I am confused, but it's why I ask. If you've actually done this sort of thing, please be open about it. I'd love to hear your story…