What It's Really Like To Be an Introvert In College

For me, being an introvert isn’t about not wanting to hang out in groups or avoiding all social situations, it’s about needing to recharge by myself. This means introverts often have to perform a tricky balancing act of making sure they don’t isolate themselves, while still getting their much needed alone time. I’m not saying to ditch all your friends at every opportunity, but recognizing that you’ve spent a lot of your time around others lately and need to recharge alone is okay sometimes. 

I have found that in college, there is this consistent pressure to be hanging out with someone at all times. You’re supposed to meet all your closest friends, live with them, go to class with them, and constantly be surrounded by them. Now, extroverts have a field day with this and often don’t understand the desire, let alone need, to be alone. This has caused me some tension in my friend groups and made me feel bad about my introverted tendencies. I always felt better when I had sufficient time to myself, yet at the beginning of college I found myself feeling the need to always have someone to eat or do homework with. It took me a while to learn that it’s okay to say no to people every now and again and to do what’s best for me. 

I remember at the beginning of my freshman year my family and hometown friends would constantly ask me who I was with. They had the best of intentions and really wanted to make sure I was making friends, but I always started to feel a little bad when I was alone. I was making friends and got settled in pretty quickly, but I always felt like I needed to be around people. This leads me to spend almost every waking hour around my friends and I started to feel more and more drained as each day went by. If spending a couple of hours alone is what you need to be happy, then it should be obvious that you should take that time. This wasn’t obvious for me. I found that taking the time to be by myself has improved my own mental health and even my relationships with my friends. It was hard to learn how to do what was best for me, but balancing these social interactions was the best thing I've learned since the start of college. 

At the end of the day, you need to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to do what will make you the happiest, even if that means being alone every now and then! 

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!