Introvert on Campus
My first few months on a university campus were surreal. The cozier class sizes of high school gave way to the massive behemoths that are lecture halls. Not only were there a plethora of pupils sitting beside me, but I also did not know a single one of them. The naturally sociable have an easier time navigating this labyrinth. The notion of an introvert in such a situation brings about images of a lonely soul on the side, awkward hellos, and excessive alone time filled with sorrow. There is far more to introversion than there seems, and it is far from a life sentence of solitude.
Introversion is often lumped together with social anxiety. The latter comes with its unique challenges to be overcome. Introverts, on the other hand, often enjoy socializing and do not necessarily experience significant society in situations such as large classrooms or parties. Whereas extraverts feel energized from spending time with others, introverts often need alone time in order to recharge. This can be difficult for other people to understand, but it is by no means a reason to feel ashamed.
Social events can be a great place to make new friends and connections, have good times with current ones, and relieve some stress. This is true for both introverts and extraverts. Even if you are one of the former and find these gatherings can be exhausting, a few simple parameters can help you get the most out of them. If you are feeling reluctant to go, agree with yourself to stay for at least one hour. If after that hour you are still having a good time, promise yourself that you will remain for another hour, and so on. You can also decide on a set time to leave, and simply let others know you are heading off to get some work done. Going with a good friend can make it easier to not only make the most of the event, and but also leave early if you depart together.
Finding good friends is crucial for study partners, emotional support, and the building of long-term connections. Discard any preconceived notions that we all should have hundreds of friends. Seeing social media profiles with thousands of connections and pictures with hundreds of likes have set up expectations that simply do not align with real life. A few close friends will always offer much more fulfillment than a few dozen acquaintances.
A campus can be filled with events of many sizes, as well as volunteer and work opportunities. Colleges and universities are brimming with activities that you can sign up for and participate in. These can include more solitary group activities, such as yoga classes, as well as creative art endeavours that you can explore during your alone time. It is definitely possible to utilize your introversion to allot for more study time and practice. In doing so, you will excel in more strengths and graduate with an enriched skillset. Regardless of what others think, be proud of who you are and do not look at your introversion as a weakness.
It is not only okay to be an introvert on campus, but it can often be a very wonderful thing. By utilizing your existing positive attributes, while also ensuring you do not stray too far into seclusion, you can achieve a very healthy and rewarding balance. You do not have to be the life of the party; instead, make socializing a part of a fulfilling life.
Acquaviva, Allison. “An Introvert’s Guide to Succeeding in College.” Utica College. http://www.utica.edu/student-blogs/an-introverts-guide-to-succeeding-in-college-2/
O’Halleron, Lauren. “How to survive college as an introvert.” Campus.ie. http://campus.ie/surviving-college/personal/how-survive-college-introvert