Awkward No More: Looking Back to Past Situations

When I first pitched the idea of writing a column documenting the uncomfortable and awkward moments featuring yours truly, I had an abundance of awkward moments to choose from. But oddly enough, as soon as I began writing a biweekly column for the New University and relying on the money I receive for writing the column (I’m the stereotype of a broke college student, just sans Ramen Noodles as a staple food), I no longer found myself in excruciatingly uncomfortable situations.
When I first noticed the extreme decrease in these moments, I didn’t know whether to feel elated or sad. Though I never “enjoyed” the awkwardness per se, I did realize almost immediately after each moment what a great column it could make. To be honest, moments after thinking, “Well this is awkward!” I would smile, knowing that I would share my embarrassment with others and we would all have a good laugh about it.
Sitting at my computer ready to write this column, I thought about what to share. I just haven’t found myself in any horridly awkward situations since the last time I wrote! Memories of walking across Mesa Court in a towel the first week of school because I was locked out made me smile, but luckily that only happened once! Then I remembered a moment quite vividly from the beginning of the year.
It was not so much one instance as a series of events. Up until the end of my senior year of high school, you couldn’t pay me enough to get me to go to the gym. But I finally came to my senses and realized it wouldn’t kill me to lift some weights and do some cardio every now and then.
By the time I arrived at college, I was thoroughly addicted to working out (not the workout itself, but the feeling I got afterwards due to the endorphin rush—all you gym junkies know what I am talking about). In addition to going to the gym six days of the week, I joined the rowing team as a coxswain. For the first few weeks of the season, the coxswains do the same workouts as the rowers. Thus, every morning I woke up at 7 a.m. for practice.
Seeing no point in changing after practice just to change again a couple hours later for when I go to the gym, I stayed in my workout clothes. I congratulated myself on saving time and energy, and then didn’t give my choice a second thought. However, my hall-mates did.
One day I biked back from class. Upon arriving at my dorm, I hopped off my bike and began locking it up. As I was doing so, a group of guys from my hall walked up. By this point in the year, we were still learning names and forming friendships. They smiled and said hi, asking where I was coming back from. I responded and asked them the same, making simple small talk.
After looking at me funny for a minute, one of the guys (to be honest, I don’t remember which one it was) asked, “Do you have non-gym clothes?” My jaw dropped to the floor. “Of course I do,” I replied, as I quickly hid my embarrassment and explained my reasoning for still wearing sweats and an oversized tee at three in the afternoon. A silence ensued as he realized how oddly inappropriate his question was, as we were not yet good enough friends for him to ask such a question without it either seeming rude (which it wasn’t) or funny. After a minute or two of silence, he turned and went into the dorm. The other guys followed.
I was still surprised. I know I wear gym clothes a lot, but I own a plethora of other clothes! As I walked through the hall to my suite, I thought about how my hall must view me: a gym junkie who hits the weights rather than the books (if you knew me, this would seem hilarious since I love to read)! I smiled to myself, thinking the guys must feel slightly intimidated because a petite 5-feet-4-inches girl goes to the gym more often than they do!