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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sick of sitting at home on Friday and Saturday nights while every else my age seems to be out partying and having fun. My goal for this summer is to engage in some sort of social, out of the house activity at least every other weekend. Current game plan is to try going one of the many indie concerts constantly being held in town. They're pretty inexpensive (~$10), and the smaller venues will hopefully lead to more interaction with other people.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Already went to a couple of those. Today I bought tickets to a small venue concert being held later tonight. I've never even heard of the bands playing before, but they sound decent enough and it's getting me out of the house.

Next week I'm going to a convention. I do this every year already, but this time I'm going to try focusing less on buying crap I don't need and more on socializing. See someone in a cool costume? I'll ask if I can take their picture. A lot of the vendors want to talk for a few minutes, but I always try to get of our there as soon as possible. This time I'll stay and chat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Report from last night:

MY SA started kicking pretty hardcore as the day went on. I was absolutely dreading going to this concert, since I knew I was going to be completely out of my element. I did end up going though. As I figured, it was a place that I was completely uncomfortable at. Here I am, a twenty-something year old straight edge kid who has no clue how to interact with people his own age, at a seedy dive venue filled with a bunch of other twenty-something year olds drinking and smoking heavily. My SA is always worse around smaller groups of people, since I don't have the ability to go anonymous like in large groups. This concert, with 100 people max, was more difficult to go to than an A-list artist with thousands of people.

As the concert progressed, I couldn't help but start enjoying myself and becoming more comfortable. The bands were great and had a lot of energy going on. I saw a guy who was obviously a professional photographer. Since I also work in the photography industry, I decided to go over and talk to him. We ended up hanging out most of the night. None of the conversations were weird or awkward, since we had a common subject to talk about.

Overall it was a lot of fun and a great exposure exercise. I'm definitely going to do with more often.
 

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Wow, that's great! Glad to see your taking the initiative and finding out you can have fun during the process! Great job :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Going to a festival tonight (beer fest and chili cookoff). Let's see if I can chat a few people up while I'm there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bad news:
The festival ended up being a wash. Guess it was earlier in the day, because when I got there most people were leaving.

Good news:
I felt bad after missing the festival and didn't want the day to be a complete waste, so I went and joined a gym. It was something I had been putting off for a while now, mostly due to SA. Forced myself to take the guided tour of the place and talk with the customer service guy. I ended up working out for about an hour too. Working out in front of other people was pretty scary, but I got used to it after a while. It helped when I realized that most people weren't the stereotypical gym meatheads.

Sunday was even better: I went to see horse races and after that I went to a party. Even better, I did this with other people! My aunt randomly showed up in town and invited me along. People I didn't know were with us, and I managed to have decent conversations with them. Overall it was a good weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Went to another concert tonight. Unfortunately, this time didn't go as well as the first time I went. I pulled the same trick as last time, found someone with a camera and chatted with them. She turned out to be the girlfriend of one of the opening band members, and left when they were done playing (about ten minutes after I started talking to her). I had planning on staying through all five hours of the show, but anxiety set in badly and I left after two. I feel like a failure for doing that, even though I did technically meet my goal.
 

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Ah don't worry for leaving. Everyone gets set backs every now and then. I find just turning up is half the battle so don't beat yourself up over it. The key is just to keep practicing-I know you can do it.
 
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