The networking events that are part of new associate orientation seem awkward. Conversations lag or they will go on forever—or I won’t have anything in common with the other person. It’s tedious and draining. What can I do?
Becoming a hermit is probably not an option. As you seem to recognize, you have to try to make the events more palatable. And remember that things get better. Just with the passage of time, you will build relationships and develop friendships and much of the awkwardness will fade.