“What do you do for fun?”

New friends, old friends, dates. They all ask this question. And if you’re like me, that’s worse than having a cavity filled, waiting two hours on hold just to find out that you are not that important a customer and your call is not at all valuable to said tech conglomerate or going to a three-hour lab.

I’ve never been able to fill this with a decent answer. What is fun?

Doing a ton of calculus problems, reading about medieval civilizations, and re-watching Gilmore Girls for the 25th (I think) time? All fun. Doing extra work for my job? I get ecstatic at times. Randomly getting a text saying or someone asking, “Hey are you hungry?” or “Wanna hang out?” means something interesting will happen.

Last year when I lived in the Honors College dorm, I always frequented my friend’s dorm. I basically was his roommate for the year. We’d watch Futurama or a movie while doing homework or procrastinating. Sometimes our friend group would have board game nights and we’d join in. Even though I don’t live there anymore, I’m always up to hang out with my current suitemates, whether it’s just talking in the common room or getting something to eat. Even after work just hanging out or staying late to get homework done or study is a regular occurrence.

This is my idea of fun.

However, though this is the type of thing that others enjoy, it’s not the only thing that they enjoy. Over the past two years, I’ve experienced a few parties and been a part of large group gatherings. And the thing I have repeatedly learned is that I do not fit in there. I don’t understand what’s so great about being in a room full of drunk people listening to music so loud it transcends time by still ringing in my ear for the next three days, dancing and making out with people they’ll never remember, or playing drinking games that are mundane. What's the point in having fun that you’ll never remember?

Even if it isn’t a party, I don’t understand large gatherings of people or wanting to have people join an already set number of people. I’ve never been good at gauging large crowds. There are too many variables, one of the most prominent being that people don’t act anywhere close to something resembling their normal personalities. The groupthink settles in and automatically people get too unpredictable.

It’s probably just me or people like me. If you like that type of lifestyle, that’s great for you. I just personally don’t understand. I’m not built like that. I’m a weird mix of introverted and extroverted. I didn’t realize this until it was pointed out to me a couple of times. I used to think I was solely an introvert, hating to go out at all (which is true at times), but a few people pointed out that I’m actually quite loud or assertive.

I thought it was a skewed perspective, since they were coworkers and I am loud and assert myself in certain situations. But then I’ve asked my other friends, who’ve known me in the past, known me now in classes or just in general, and they’ve said the same thing.

In a group or in class, I’m probably the quietest person you’ll ever come across. I stand alone, sit by myself, or just generally have a resting-blank face. On the other hand, if I’m with a person-one-on-one or maybe two people, I’m my own antithesis, my own antiparticle, extremely loquacious and open. I’m at ease and I feel that I connect the best whoever I’m talking to.

Deep conversations, funny, random inside jokes, and spontaneous memories occur all the time. It’s amazing to be with someone and only them, learning about them and talking to them about your thoughts or your problems. People open up more themselves, making themselves vulnerable or willing to be helped. I’ve had long talks into the night about art, music, architecture, movies, or literature and had heart-to-hearts as someone can finally admit that they’re not okay and you can admit that you’re not either.

I’ve never been able to achieve this sense of closeness except when I’m alone, whether it's been with friends, people from work, or guys I’ve been with.

So yes, I don’t go to parties every weekend or spend my days hanging out with a large group of people, but I still find my own fun. And I guess I have my answer.