It’s no secret that Isla Vista is known for its booming social scene. You could probably find a party every night of the week if you really wanted to. But with a school as social as ours, it’s important to find time to recharge your social battery.
So what is a social battery? The term social battery refers to a person’s capacity to interact with others in social settings. A full social battery will make you enthusiastic to meet others and engage in conversation. On the other hand, a depleted social battery can make you easily irritated and overwhelmed. A person’s individual social battery depends highly on their level of extroversion and introversion. For example, an extrovert will gain energy by socializing with others, while an introvert will lose energy.
Many people, including myself, are ambiverts. I love socializing and spending time with others, but oftentimes I need to take time alone to recharge my social battery so it doesn’t get too depleted. Recharging your social battery is also important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. When you are drained socially, you may find it harder to focus on your studies, get a good night’s sleep, and maintain your relationships.
I have found that especially in Isla Vista where the culture seems to go-go-go, it can be hard to find time (and places!) to recharge. When I was a first-year student, all I wanted to do was meet as many people as possible, and I thought the only way to do this was to never say no to going out. Now, as a third-year student, I live in a house of over 15 girls, so even my own bedroom can feel like a social scene. To help inspire ways to recharge your own social battery, I have noted some of my favorite tips and tricks.
The most effective method for me is simply to get outside! We are so lucky to go to school at such a beautiful location, so don’t forget to make the most of it. If you’re short for time, I’ve found taking a quick ocean dip does wonders for resetting my mind. On the other hand, if you have some time to spare, I suggest taking a walk past Devereux Beach to Sands and even beyond that to the Sandpiper Golf Course. Being outside will clear your mind naturally, and the ocean is shown to reduce stress and induce calmness.
Another favorite method of mine is finding a simple, and ideally unplugged, activity. Whether it’s coloring books, puzzles, or reading, taking the time to turn off technology and do something by yourself can be very effective in recharging your social battery.
Finally, I love to journal. Journaling not only allows you to reflect on how you are doing, but also makes the days more memorable! I want to be a college student forever, but when my graduation day inevitably comes, at least I’ll have a journal full of memories to help me reminisce.
Most importantly, know that it is okay to not be “on” at all times. Whether you’re an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, we can all get drained socially. And it’s okay to skip going out one night (I promise there will be so many more nights!). Using that time for yourself is so valuable and will definitely pay off in the long run.