An Introvert's Opinion on the First Month of College

I’m a lifelong anxious introvert who moved into college about a month and a half ago. It’s a huge change for anyone to go through, but it definitely feels more extreme for people (like me) who aren’t super outgoing. I’m not great with change and I’m really not great at making new friends. Some people say that college is supposed to be one of the best times in your life, but I’ve gotta be honest: it’s kind of mediocre so far. 

My classes are going fine, I’m not concerned about academics. It’s different from high school for sure, but I’ve adjusted to the new workload and methods of teaching pretty well. I can find my way around campus with no problems. I’m doing my laundry every week and keeping myself active.  

My biggest issue so far has been trying to adjust to the social scene. I spend a lot of time watching Netflix in my room while eating chips and salsa (Bates Motel, anyone?). I don’t spend a lot of time talking to people other than my roommate. I’ve never been surrounded by more people, yet I’ve never felt more alone.  

I can’t even count the number of people from my college that I follow on Instagram and have on Snapchat. But how many of them do I really talk to? Three daily, maybe? I have such a strong opportunity to make connections and friendships with people. I could text pretty much anyone from Ithaca and ask them to meet up for lunch and these kind people would be more than welcoming towards me. 

It isn’t that I have no opportunities to make friends or talk to people. There are people from so many different backgrounds and places in life, many of them friendly and outgoing. In all reality, they would love to meet new people and make new friends. The issue here is me.  

I tend to play it safe and stay firmly within my comfort zone. This means that if I haven’t been regularly talking to someone and being friends with them, I’m probably not going to start. I feel uncomfortable and self-conscious during literally any kind of social interaction, and always fear that I’m saying the wrong thing. This means that I tend to stay quiet to save face.  

It’s really hard when I want to reach out to someone and make new friends, but my brain prevents me from talking to new people using scare tactics. I’ll be about to talk to someone new, then this little voice in my head goes, “Why would they want to talk to you? Don’t even bother.” I have no choice but to listen, and I hate it. 

But I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone, and I’ve found that when I do, it’s not as bad as I think it’s going to be. Joining clubs has definitely forced me to get out of my room and has had the effect of giving me, new friends. The people I’ve met through HerCampus and PPGA have been nothing short of wonderful, and are kind, funny, and accepting. All of these wonderful people are unconsciously doing their part to make my transition into college easier. 

High school and college are massively different, and the time period where you switch between them is difficult for many people. If you’re a freshman who’s adjusting to college well, I’m happy for you—genuinely, I applaud your ability to make new friends and adapt to this mammoth life change well. But if you (like me) aren’t having a great time in college so far, just know you’re not alone. Get out of your comfort zone, it’ll work wonders.