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From Isolation to Constant Socialization: Life After COVID-19

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Life after COVID-19, or at least life past the largest hurdle of the virus, has been spent relearning how to do many things. From readjusting your school study habits to finally landing a new job after a year-and-a-half wait, everyone has been finding their new norm. However, something I didn’t expect to be so hard was socializing.

After all this time, you would think that socializing with other people would be the easiest and most natural thing, as it’s the one part of our lives that was limited for so long. Instead, I’ve found myself struggling to connect back to being an extrovert who knows what to say and how to converse with people. I find myself awkwardly searching for the right words or how to talk at all, which is something I never had an issue with before. The worst part is that it feels like everyone else is readjusting perfectly and that I’m the only one lost in this space of not knowing how to be social.

Staying home for the last year and a half for my freshman year of college was already a tough decision, but I never realized how much it impacted my social life and skills. I’ve gone from being in the company of just my family and a few friends to being with thousands of strangers my own age almost daily. Naturally, I grew into a homebody who comfortably interacted with the people I have known my whole life. I was never meeting anyone new or having to really put myself out there. On top of this all, I went to a high school where almost everyone knew each other since preschool, so I have always been relaxed in my social environment. Now, it’s the polar opposite because I’m always meeting new people and also living with a random person — meaning it feels like I’m almost never alone. 

I’ve been facing even more social anxiety surrounding new situations than ever before, and have been reverting into my shell to avoid the feelings it gives me. There’s just such a pressure to always say the right thing and be the person others want to be around, and at times I can’t handle that. It is quite honestly just overwhelming. It feels like I’ve gone from zero to 100 in a matter of days, and it wasn’t something I expected myself to accommodate to. I’ve always loved meeting new people and talking about anything and everything, but now I feel drained so quickly

I’m still attempting to find the solution to this, but I think the answer lies in finding the perfect medium of socializing and immersing myself back into it, while also remaining comfortable with being alone. I need to find my own schedule that I can handle, and not feel like I’m missing out when I know I need time alone. I think it’s extremely important to give yourself time and be okay with not always being a social butterfly. I don’t think I’ll be that same extrovert I was before COVID hit, but I’m also glad that I’m finding this new person, too.

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Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst