Lessons in Identifying Fuckboys (And Realizing That They’re Not And You’re Just Really Cynical)

So to be clear, I 100% believe in the concept of fuckboys, however, I also believe in the fact that my social ineptitude has bred a cynicism that distorts my social world view, like a lot. If you recall my earlier post about me not believing that my life could ever be like the typical high school/college movie love scenes? Turns out it’s actually very common and I apparently just have a giant stick up my butt from being a cynical hard-ass all the time. ANYWAY, to my story!

I don’t think I’ve shared too many stories on this blog (or much of anything really, sorry!), but sometimes things happen in life that make you think “Wow, this would be really great, I should tell my friends about this” or “Wow, this would be a great plot point in a sitcom”. Recently, I’ve had many of those moments, and I always mean to blog about them, but I never have the chance. Thankfully, I’m a “good college student” who gets her work done early and has no social life so she doesn’t even have parties or alcohols to be distracted by, SCORE! (insert sarcasm here cuz the only thing keeping life from sucking 100% is the fact that I have all my chem work done) But nevertheless, I’ve finally found the space in my day to blog for one of my legendary (and when I mean legendary, I mean rambling and circuitous) stories. So here it goes, the story of me and the FroSoCo fuckboy!

So on a nice sunny day in Stanford, California, September 19th to be exact, I moved into my dorm in Freshman-Sophomore College, stylized FroSoCo, at Stanford University. Now, I vaguely knew the names of roughly 50-60 people that would be living in FroSoCo through a Facebook Messenger group, but many still remained a mystery to me and even their names weren’t much to go by. So that day, I’m anxious to meet all the new people in FroSoCo, and since we were a bit isolated from all the other freshman dorms on campus, I expected the majority of the people I would befriend would be from there (see previous post to see why I was hilariously wrong). The first person I officially metâ„¢ was my roommate who, for only the purpose of further explanation of future events, is blonde, super nice, outgoing, and all-around amazing. So I’m pumped because I had spent the last month or so dreading that my roommate would be a weirdo homebody that wouldn’t talk to me or do anything, etc. (basically me rn so I’m a huge hypocrite). Anyway, fast forward to the time when all of FroSoCo convenes to say our official “goodbye” to our parents. I’m standing with my roommate as well as another floormate who, only for the purposes of the next event, was a guy who is very muscular. As the parents finish their goodbyes and we are waiting to be released to dinner, a very familiar blond boy I recognized from the Facebook messenger group darts toward our small group. He immediately introduces himself to both my roommate and my floormate, but noticeably to me, does not attempt to learn my name. He then talks up to the aforementioned floormate about working out and swimming, etc. but then directs his attention to my roommate. He asks to the group to exchange numbers, but once we all take out our phones and pass them over, as soon as he gets my roommates number, his phone goes away instantly. It was this moment that I no longer referred to him by his actual name in my head. He would forever be known as the FroSoCo fuckboy. And do not think I’m being hard on said fuckboy. He had several chances to redeem himself. Let me elaborate.

Several times I’ve found myself in the same room, same group as this guy, yet he exhibits the same telltale behavior. It’s almost mind-boggling how he can maneuver through a large crowded group of people and only engage with those he finds attractive. To me, he seems predatory and self-interested, but to the girls he finds attractive, it’s nothing. It’s the first day and everyone’s introducing themselves to everyone. But I’ve seen this guy’s pattern. Days of careful, unintended observation (I swear I didn’t follow this guy, he was literally just everywhere I was and it was lowkey annoying) reaffirmed my conclusion…until today.

So today, I decided to go to my first Chem optional “outreach” session, where basically we just do some extra problems from lecture. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have gone because I left realizing how much I underestimate my own abilities, or at least my abilities to properly use significant figures and understand 1 amu = 1 g/mol. Anyway, I walk into the lecture room and, because I’m late, sit at the nearest table with open seats in the front. There are two girls there who I thought were athletes (which is an important indicator because all athletes at Stanford literally look like Aphrodite or Adonis). Nevertheless, I was a bit nervous because the last time I sat with two athlete girls, they kinda ignored my presence, but these ones were nicer. I introduce myself and go to pick up a handout after setting my stuff down, but as soon as I get up out of my chair, none other than the fuckboy himself swoops in and chats up the other girls at my table, popping a squat at the last seat of the four person table. Yikes.

At first, I expect this experience to proceed as the past several have. He introduces himself in a kind of serial predatory way, I, of course, am ignored, and he somehow manages to collect their numbers or something, and that’s how it started. However, I soon remembered that I had to labor through witnessing this, while also sitting right across from him, but also having to answer the packet of chem problems and collaborate. Now, I made my way through these problems relatively quickly, as I mentioned above, but as I struggled to make my own voice heard as I was trying to correct one of the two girls’ wrong answers or give my input on how to solve a problem, he actually began to address me and look me in the eye in order to ask for help on problems. It was mind-boggling to me, and it reminded me how ridiculous I was being. Yeah, he was kind of a fuckboy, don’t get me wrong there, but for the first time, he sounded like and seemed like a normal college boy, not a creepy predator future-frat-reject. After he addressed me for the first time, I had no problem speaking to him as if he were anyone else I would be working on problems with (which does not mean comfortably, but rather I’d be able to pipe up after several seconds of hesitation), and I began to rethink whether it was ever right to label him a fuckboy in the beginning (but then I saw him do his routine later in the distance, so the label sticks).

Now, I’m not remotely interested in FroSoCo fuckboy or what his opinion of me is, despite the fact that I’ve written a diatribe on how disturbing I find his behavior and how I may have judged him a bit too much, but at the end of it all, I reached two conclusions. 1) I think it’s pretty interesting how I was able to change my perception of someone after actually meeting them legitimately, and 2) I think it’s pretty poetic and kind of my constant fate, to not ever be noticed for my looks (I’m literally invisible people, what gives. People who look like troll monsters deserve appreciation too!), but rather for my brains/ability.

Fascinating stuff, amirite? No? Yeah, I figured, but I really needed to post more.

 

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Rusty Nail Syndrome: My Own Personal Sequel To The Famed “Stanford Duck Syndrome”

It goes to be said that I miss my friends. A. LOT. One of my best friends and I used to say that we could reach other’s minds. We could complete each other’s sentences and say the exact same thing at the exact same time. It’s a truly astonishing phenomenon that not even 2500 miles of distance has been able to break so far. However, the fact remains that I’m still 2500 miles away, at Stanford. But get this, here I can do something just as good — I can read people’s faces!

Yeah, whenever I first meet someone, I can tell, by the glazed look in their eye and their impatient desire to talk to someone else, that I’m not interesting enough. Thus I define Rusty Nail Syndrome: The condition where you feel you’re the least interesting option in the room, socially speaking.

My first week at Stanford has been quite interesting. Sometimes I think I’m adjusting better than I expected. I’m super on top of my work which is new to me, my roommate is super nice and very cool, and I’ve gotten to know some of the people on my floor to a reasonable point. But then most of the time, I feel like I’m alone all of the time. I don’t have anyone to go eat with at meals, despite trying my best to not be too shy. Stanford claims to have this amazing process where they pair us with our perfect roommate, and even though I love my roommate, I feel like she got the short end of the stick. It’s hard to explain how I arrived at the conclusion that I’m just not interesting enough, but concluding my third day of classes, I’ve observed that whenever a large group forms as everyone introduces themselves, a natural barrier forms around me and everyone else. The conversation almost seems to naturally flow away from me no matter what the size of the group was. In groups of three, I’m easily the third wheel and left to the side, as the two remaining people quickly become fast friends. In groups of seven, ten, or even fifteen, I’m forgotten input wise and every contribution I offer to any conversation is spoken over or ignored. There are few times in my life where I’ve had to make new friends entirely from scratch. The closest experience I had to this was last summer at a high school summer research experience academy, but that was only 8 people, and I only had to mentally prepare to include myself as part of that 8. We were all very close and it naturally got easier. I don’t get that luxury here at Stanford. I’m on the periphery of what I describe as two major classifications of students that I’ve seen here. On the one hand, you have what many would describe as the stereotypical “nerd” (no shame, this is Nerd Nation after all), and on the other hand, you have people who are so effortlessly able to socialize while also getting involved with sex and alcohol like they’ve been experienced with it for years (they may well be tbh) but they also somehow managed to do that and their schoolwork as well. I don’t fit the first role very well, but I’m also just not interested in the latter. Increasingly, I feel as if my personality and identity aren’t very welcome here at Stanford. I can feel a stigma against people like me who choose to abstain from sex and stay sober among some of the people I’ve met at first that seemed really cool, which makes this adjustment harder. I’m agnostic (even though I never talk about it so if you know me outside of this blogosphere, surprise, I’ve been agnostic since the 5th grade), so it’s not like I have some religious exemption to it all, and I don’t even look negatively towards people who choose to engage in sex and drink alcohol. I made my decision based on an understanding of my own maturity, health, and history. Is it time to turn away from a decision I made to myself? I’m not even sure what feels right and where I fit in, but there seems to be no community where I feel like I did with my old friends. Even when I think I’m connecting with other people, they bring up their friends from back home and I’m constantly reminded that I can never compare. At the same time, I long for my old friends who ridiculed me playfully and who I could talk about anything with, my old friends who understood the decisions I made regarding sex and alcohol because they largely felt the same way. Being stripped away from my echo chamber of a social circle hasn’t proven easy, and it’s definitely not something that I expected to be so hard in the first place. I thought there would be so many more people like me here at Stanford, but, for the first time in my life, I’ve actually felt like a minority — which is astonishing because I was one of a handful of black students in my high school, and one of a small few in my AP and honors classes. I just yearn to find friendship like I did before. The kind of snarky friendship that was built on an understanding for academic achievement, but also pure fun that was born just from being around each other. The kind of friendship where I didn’t have to question my personal life choices in order to fit in better. The kind of friendship where I could read their minds and not their faces. The kind of friendship where I didn’t feel like a placeholder for someone before they found people they’re more interested in.

I really miss my old friends. I just can’t fit in here.