Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sincerely, the Socially Awkward Homeschooler

Dear Naive Society,
Hi! My name is Megan. I am a senior in high school. No, I don't go to the public schools near by, not even the Christian school. I'm homeschooled. Does that surprise you?  When my older sister used to tell people she was homeschooled they would reply with, "But you are so normal!"  When I tell people I am homeschooled they respond more like, "Ohhhh. Now it makes sense!" This is because I am quiet, fairly naive, and often a good dose of awkward among my peers and when people discover I have been homeschooled my whole life, they finally have something to blame it on. After all, how could I have been socialized?

Well, actually, I have been given as many opportunities to socialize as anyone. I go to church, work, sports practices, and youth group on a weekly basis plus a decent amount of just hanging out with friends. I have also reaped social skills in these situations by needing to seek out my friends. I don't get to know people by going to school with them everyday since kindergarten, so I have to ask questions to learn about those around me. Not to mention what I've learned from needing to be intentional about socializing and learning to plan my own events rather than just seeing my friends at school tomorrow or having every weekend filled with school activities. Being homeschooled has not crippled me socially, but caused me to pursue friendships with more intention.

Yet, regardless of my many opportunities and the wealth of social skills that they foster, I would still consider myself a little awkward. This isn't because I was isolated growing up or because I don't have friends, it is because that is just my personality. I am introverted, quiet, quirky, naive, and unstylish. I would be this way if I went to a public school, private school, or sea school! Yes, I am awkward, but blame it on me, not my education.

The Socially Awkward Homeschooler

P.S. This is not an angry rant by any means! I am not trying to claim homeschoolers have worse or better social skills, but simply calling to mind that they have equal opportunities to socialize as anyone else. I am simply saying that social skills have a lot less to do with where you go to school and a lot more to do with individual personalities. I am not being bitter in the title, just stating a fact that I am awkward and I am homeschooled, but I don't think one flows from the other :)