Striving for a career in science has taught me a couple strong things over the years (besides how awesome it is). One of which is realizing you transplant yourself to build/acquire/develop some new skills, and repeat the process until you’re apt enough to do it on your own.
As I transitioned from high school into college into graduate school, I noticed another trend: enrichment for the socially inept/naïve increased as I went up the training scale (at least in my own personal experience). I had concerns that this was a logarithmic saturation, where it would only get worse the further you went up in training (despite how rational and socially acclimated most professors seem to be). Thankfully, the social awkwardness seems to have relieved itself among other postdocs (so far). So maybe this is instead the other side of the hump in the curve, whereupon the previously socially awkward in the graduate student community either learn to adapt, or are weeded out of the system.
I have always been fairly introverted. I get by okay in public it would appear, but I like/tend to be reclusive when I am able. Considering the necessity for transplantation for advancement in my career, this is utterly detrimental to maintaining any sort of a social life.
I was okay for the first month with the modified social environment of moving to Toronto. Now, the lack of interaction is hitting home a bit harder. The ironic part is that new social interaction(s) stimulated the feelings of absence; two recent symposia led to pleasant conversations with new individuals that left me longing for this on a regular basis.
Electronic communications and social media don’t quite cut it. They’re mediocre replacements for face-to-face communications.
Now begins the (emotionally) rough part of the transplantation into a new community.