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This is exactly what I have been thinking over the last few weeks. I, too, was quite happy and had lots of friends in elementary and early on in middle school, but the transition must have just scared me into a shell. My dad passed away when I was in the seventh grade and I retreated even further from the world. We got a computer and I spent most of my time on it by myself. Went on like that through high school.

I graduated in 2004 and have taken a year off from school. I've become so much healthier mentally and physically in the last year. I lost 60 lbs. and I'm looking great and I talk to many people. I tell my friends that I feel like I'm back in elementary except with greater responsibilities. I guess that's all it really comes down to. There comes a point when you realize that the world isn't as serious as you thought it was. There aren't "grown-up" things that you are supposed to be doing. Everyone does the same things and you are allowed to do those things; such as hanging out over at a friends house or going to the movies or whatever. These aren't childish things to do. Only, this time, you have more responsibilities (bills, work, college, etc.). This summer has been great for me. I've gone to several parties and met many people. I actually went on a few dates and am pursuing one of them, we're just friends right now. It's as if the truth was revealed to me and the fear vanished. Now, of course, there are just some times when you don't have much to say and that is ok. You should, however, try your best to comment on things and ask questions. Introduce yourself to strangers and don't treat the ones you know as strangers.
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