A Fellow Non-Hugger
Welcome to Drew. I am also a non-hug person. When I was little, I handled it in a very inappropriate manner by either screaming or yelling 'Stop touching me." Now that I am grown, I usually yell silently, 'Stop touching me' but not out loud. It would, afterall, be rude.
When I first came to Drew, I was well aware of the 'hugginess' all around. It is really a lovely gesture, but, as I said, I am a non-hugger. However, Drew is a small place and for the most part people don't want to offend each other.
So, my approach was multi-pronged.
First, it is usually helpful to have something in your hand that would make hugging really awkward. This is a short term help. Another method is to step back out of hugging range when you anticipate it is coming. If you are the first person to wave goodbye, then they are less likely to hug.
Second, if I get caught in an unexpected hug, I live. It was done out of love, sort of like a slobbery dog kiss.
Third, I am vocal about it. As I said, Drew is a small place. I simply say, "I'm not a hugger." People catch on quickly and Drew is a very accepting place. They are not going to fail you in Christian Love for saying, 'I prefer not to be hugged.' Moreover, honesty makes everyone more comfortable. People generally don't want to make you uncomfortable by hugging you, afterall. And you are setting up your own personal ground rules for how people interact. You are not a hugger and well I am usually grumpy. So, we can accept that and move on.
My final piece of advice is that it will get less and less anyhow. Once you see the same people all term in chapel or in SemHall, and once exam week strikes and no one has had time to shower, the hugs get substantially less. You, my friend, are new, huggable, welcome you by hugging you, meat.
So welcome to Drew, and I hope this helped a bit.
ps, when you meet my dog his rule for everyone is that you have to scratch his bum. And he was not afraid at all to make that known. So, if you consider my dog walks around SemHall sticking his bum under people's hands so they will scratch, your request not to be hugged is hardly rude at all.