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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

There’s no denying it—UCSB is an extremely social university. During the school week, clubs and organizations set up camp outside the Arbor to recruit new members, while friends meet inside the library for group study sessions.

Extroverts often thrive in UCSB’s social environment, while adjusting to UCSB as an introvert might take a little more work; such an open and chatty culture can make you feel stressed, lonely, or overwhelmed. To help introverts manage these feelings, here are a few of my survival tips for introverted Gauchos.

Firstly, I think it’s important to respect your need for alone time. While your extroverted friends may be able to stay out all weekend hopping from event to event, it’s okay to not feel the same. In my experience, making sure to find time and places to recharge your social battery is crucial. Quiet corners of campus include the lawn by the UCSB Faculty Club and the picnic tables between Broida Hall and Webb Hall. 

Isla Vista also has plenty of places to go if you’re in need of wind-down time. I frequently take walks from Manzanita Village to Campus Point, and from the end of Del Playa Drive to Sands Beach. While these trails are occasionally crowded, they’re often quiet and allow for a few minutes of relaxation before moving on with your day. Other quiet parts of Isla Vista include Pelican Park and Camino Pescadero Park, both of which are along Del Playa Drive—just don’t go here on a Friday or Saturday night!

Although it’s sometimes hard to come by, I’ve found that it is of utmost importance to find places where you can rest after a long few hours or days of socializing. Wherever or whenever you decide to go, make sure that you don’t put yourself down for prioritizing your need for alone time. 

This is especially important because it can be easy for introverted Gauchos to feel that they are missing out on fun college experiences. While they are recharging at home, they may encounter some fairly intense fear of missing out (FOMO), as their extroverted roommates and friends head to another party or event. 

FOMO is a pretty awful feeling, but it’s surprisingly common. According to Time Magazine, three-quarters of young adults confess to having experienced FOMO at one time or another. Since it’s such a widespread phenomenon, it’s important to know how to cope with it when it arises. 

While it may be easier said than done, experts suggest simply focusing on yourself in times of distress. Don’t stalk your acquaintances’ social media pages to see what they’re up to. Instead, pay attention to your real life and the things that make you happy. It’s also useful to express thankfulness, whether outwardly or simply in your head. When someone focuses on gratitude, they are less likely to experience negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, or envy.

All this being said, I think it’s still necessary for introverts to have social interactions, even if these are less frequent than those of their extroverted peers. At a large university like UCSB, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and have difficulty meeting authentic friends and forming solid plans with them. 

Luckily for shy Gauchos, UCSB offers plenty of organized social events where students can meet and get to know each other. For those living in campus housing, RAs frequently host activities where residents can make arts and crafts, eat snacks, or watch movies together. Flyers for these events are typically posted on social media and around the residence halls.

For those who aren’t living in campus housing, UCSB has a wide variety of clubs and organizations to join. Some of these organizations table outside of the UCSB library, where representatives can tell students about their group’s members, goals, and activities. But for a complete list of clubs at UCSB, students can check Shoreline, where they can find descriptions of each club, get in contact with club officers, and request to join. 

There are many opportunities to meet new people and make friends at UCSB, even for more reserved folks. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged about your social life—respect your needs, branch out when you feel like it, and stay attuned to what matters most to you. In other words, I believe you should be kind to yourself and make the most of your college experience, whatever that means to you.

Kendall is a third-year Communication student at UCSB and an editorial intern for Her Campus UCSB. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually either doing yoga, getting coffee, or planning her future travels.