I already know that throughout my entire college experience, I’ve done some dumb stuff. REALLY dumb stuff. It’s part of the learning process, I get that.
But I know for a fact that if I were a decent, sound-minded, and normal human being, many of those mistakes could have been easily avoided. No questions asked.
Such as Exhibit A, which happened about 3 hours ago in my Genetics lab.
We were told to pick our lab partners. I had asked a friend the day before if we could be lab partners, and he said sure. So I was happy about that.
I was thinking about the lab all day throughout my classes because this would be the first day of Genetic lab, and I was kind of ready to get started (and kind of regretting my decision of wanting to become a Bio major).
So lab comes, and I decided that I would get to lab early so we could have a good place to work. I knew that the week before, the table I worked at was really cool. These two girls were really funny and easy-going, so I wanted to stay at that position.
So I get there early and I sit and wait for my partner. He finally comes in, and I’m waving at him and he waves back at me. Next, he walks away and sits somewhere else. I was confused, and a little dumbfounded. I had a seat right next to me that he could have taken. People were already sitting by their partners, so I was thinking that he would sit by me. Instead, he sits elsewhere.
At first, I am thinking, “Okay, maybe he forgot. It’s fine, maybe he’ll remember.” Then, I’m thinking that maybe he wanted to sit somewhere else and work with someone else. I wasn’t really hurt, I was just a little confused.
I accepted the fact, so when it came time for us to pick lab partners, I made eye contact with a guy who was sitting by himself. He gave me a nod like, “Do you wanna be partners?” I said “sure”. So he starts getting his stuff to sit by me.
I see my friend start getting up from his chair,
And he starts walking towards where I was.
Shoot shoot, crap, wait, what, omg, no.
My mind started going in circles. I didn’t know what to do. I had messed up.
So then, he starts approaching and the other guy is approaching. And then I have a panicked look. That’s when they kind of look at each other and they’re like, “Wait, what?”
Everyone has the Mr. Krab’s face on at this moment.
People around are starting to look, and… it was just awkward all around, all because of me. People also started whispering to their partner.
I am still cringing at the memory. It was so embarrassing and I felt so bad.
I tried to explain saying, “I saw you sit somewhere else, so I thought you had changed your mind.” And it seemed like the more I tried to explain, the worse it got.
I could tell that my friend was trying to making the least awkward as possible by saying, “It’s alright. No problem! I’ll just go and work with someone else.”
And I stupidly said, “Yea, it’ll only be for today. I am so sorry.”
Me, not thinking about what I said and not even thinking about the lab that was about to happen, forgot that this lab would be going on for 8 weeks. The people we chose as our lab partners today were our partners basically for the rest of the semester.
It was at this moment that I felt sooooo bad. I just wanted to rewind the last 10 minutes. So many alternative scenarios started to run in my head:
- I should have came in later
- I should have waited a little bit and not made eye contact with anyone
- I should have said that I made a mistake and that I already told a friend that I would work with him
- I should have never asked my friend the day before, and I should have let things happen naturally
- I should have just stayed quiet and been on my phone or something
- I just should have never taken genetics lab.
So the partner I have now is really chill. He’s relaxed and clearly knows what he’s doing.
After class, I had to go to my friend. I just felt so rotten during the entire 2-hour lab. We made eye contact and he was just saying, “It’s okay. It really is.” I guess he saw my face before I could say anything. I just felt like I needed to explain the situation. I did, and he said, “Yea, I could see how from afar it would look like I chose somewhere else. I was just telling the person next to me that I already had a partner.” He also said how he sat closer to the board in order to see it better, but he was planning on sitting next to me later. I felt even worse after that.
But then he told me that he was gonna work with his mentee and another person, so it was all good. I felt a little better, but still really dumb. I’m sure everyone in that room felt the awkwardness. It was the worst-case scenario brought to life.
It would’ve been better for me to not have found a partner and have to find somewhere to be.
If anything, from this I learned just how quickly I jump to conclusions. I need to verify more. I know that I’ve made this kind of mistake plenty of times, but I need to speak up. I could have easily gone up to him and asked him if he still wanted to be partners, but I didn’t.
I have really learned my lesson today.