How College Made Me a People Person

Now I am not claiming that I wasn’t a people person before college, I just was more of a ‘me’ person. All my life, I have been someone who needed some alone time to recharge after being with people: shockingly, college doesn’t give you much of that.

I was nervous about living with someone. Being with someone all the time was not something I was used to. At home, I loved to go out with my friends, get food, and have them come over, but I had limits. If I saw my friends for a whole day, I needed the next day to sit at home and take some time to myself. This is how it’s always been, I wanted just as much decompression time as socialization time. If I had a big event to go to, it would be known that I needed a whole week by myself to recover.

Credit: RDH Mag

This is how I kept myself sane. My mind worked in a way that would feel overwhelmed by an overload of social stimulation. I would often feel drained or grumpy without time to recharge from a social event. It took me years to find a pattern that worked so well for me until I got to college and my pattern could not be maintained. In college, I have had slim to no alone time. My roommate and I spend a good portion of time in the room and with each other. I eat almost every meal with my friends, and even if I miss one, it is guaranteed that I see them after.

Credit: TES

Despite this, in college, I rarely feel socially drained and I don’t feel the same overstimulated induced panic that I used to be driven into constantly. I enjoy my time with my friends and their presence recharges me, rather than draining me. I can’t decide if I have grown stronger as a person and stopped letting other people drain my energy, or if I met people that happen to provide me with good energy. Either way, I am grateful it happened. I can’t imagine not spending time with my friends at college, as the few times we've spent apart have made me unhappy. I intend on continuing this pattern of letting social situations keep me motivated and mentally clear rather than tired or upset.

I don’t want this to be interpreted as me no longer enjoying my alone time, because trust me, I love and cherish it. But, finally, I am able to use it as a time for me, not a time of recovery from going out. I should enjoy going out and doing things that take energy, and I should also enjoy being alone and having my own company.

It took me 18 years of life to understand this and learn to create a balance in socialization, and I’m so glad I did.

 

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