Life as an Introverted-Extrovert

I’ve always enjoyed being alone. From the time I was little, I would be that kid you saw playing by themselves on the playground. It never really bothered me. Even going into high school, I had an amazing group of friends, but if there was a night where no one was available to do anything, I took it to my full advantage. Netflix and face masks, here I come. But as time always tells, it came to a point where my introverted side was beginning to do me more harm than good. My junior year of high school, I started to see a shift in the people around me. They were beginning to branch out and make new friends outside our friend group. I never had an issue with my friends meeting new people, but this time I felt like I was left in the dust.

I have always been the person that is happiest with two or three best friends, I never felt I needed a group with ten people. In my eyes, the smaller the better. Having that mentality for so long was holding me back from making new friends and allowing other people to see who I really was. So, I decided to make a change. Going into my senior year, it was my goal to become more social and meet new people. I went in at full force. I started going to sporting events and hanging out in larger group settings. I didn’t realize how isolated I had kept myself until one night when I was with a new group of people and someone said, “Whoa! Regan what are you doing here?!” That moment reassured me that pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone was well worth it. I didn’t want to be remembered as “the girl who never talked to anyone” once I graduated, and if I hadn’t made a change, I would’ve been. Now with saying all that, I never lost sight of who I was to my core: an introvert.

Even with my new found social life, I never forgot to make time for myself. Being able to feel comfortable with yourself and creating alone time is so important for all of our sanities, even full-on extroverts. Now, with a month of college under my belt, I can stand true to that. In college, your social life is going to explode. Within the first few weeks, you are meeting so many different people from your classes, to just sparking up a conversation with the person standing next to you at your local bagel shop. Going into college I had this idea in my head that I was going to be going out every weekend. As much as I wanted to believe it, I knew it wasn’t going to be realistic for me at some point. That point ended up being my first Saturday here, deciding to stay in and watch Jane the Virgin while my new-found friends went out on the town. But there wasn’t a single part of me that had any kind of FOMO about it. I think that my sense of independence, and never feeling like I needed to have people around me to be happy really helped with my transition. I never feel lonely when I’m in my room while my roommate isn’t here, or when I’m walking to class by myself. I cherish my alone time. It allows me to reflect on what is going on in my life and be still with myself. So, for all of you introverts out there, don’t feel ashamed for who you are because of what standards society sets for us, because in my eyes, we’re actually ahead of the game.