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The Struggles of Being an Introvert in College

There is a lot of pressure going into college knowing you are going to be surrounded by people 24/7. This is a very common fear, but it is heightened when you tend to be more introverted and keep to yourself. There are a lot of misconceptions for some people when I talk about being an “introvert.” Many people believe that to be introverted simply means to be shy and quiet, when in fact it’s just the opposite. I can be bubbly and happy around you, just for a certain amount of time; and this is different for everyone. Merriam-Webster defines introversion as “to turn inward or in upon itself: such as to concentrate or direct upon oneself.” This definition is hit-or-miss, but puts perfect emphasis on the idea of “concentrating on yourself.” While learning about my own personality in school, I came to find out that, as an introvert, I get my energy and “recharge” when I am alone vs. with a big group of people(as an extrovert would get their energy). Here are a few things that tend to be difficult and stressful as an introvert on a campus with tens of thousands of people:

1. Parties

Now, I love hanging out and making friends and memories, but being surrounded by a million people at a frat party can stress any of us out. For introverts, this feeling can come on very strong and lead to an increased stress level making the situation we are in not so fun. It is seen as a necessity for introverts to recharge by themselves after being in a crowded area for so long.

2. Sporting Events

Boatloads of people, cheering, screaming, standing, etc. All of this hysteria can get very overwhelming sometimes for introverts. This feeling often gets confused with being anti-social or boring, but it isn’t really a feeling but more of a constant thought process thinking about oneself and how you fit into this big equation that is life. Sporting events can sometimes- but not always- be a very different type of atmosphere in comparison to how extroverts engage in these events.

3. Constant battles of wanting to be alone, but not be lonely.

Sometimes being an introvert gets a little too introspective which can make you think a little TOO much. Personally, I go through cycles of wanting to be around people and then wanting to be alone. Being alone though doesn't quite mean being alone ALL THE TIME. Like I said, it’s cyclical. Being alone means I have time to collect my thoughts and go through the introversion process of digesting the day and recharging my energy.

4. People think you are moody when you don’t want to talk, but you're just not in a socializing mood.

Sometimes I just want to stick to myself and not talk to anyone all day, but sometimes I am okay with being in a big group of people. I can’t explain it, I just need to listen to my music and walk past people sometimes, sorry ‘bout it.

5. Overthinking every situation ever.

I will literally interact with someone and not think anything of it until I lay down at night thinking about the way I said the word “chicken” or something absolutely irrelevant.

 

College is fun and I love making so many new friends, but sometimes it can be difficult because of these things. Taking a step back to breathe is natural, so if you think you are one of these people and don’t understand it, you could have introverted tendencies like many others, and that’s okay! Everyone is different in how they handle situations, and that’s just the beauty of life, to me.

I am a sophomore Communications Studies major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Political Communication!
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