It’s another Friday night. Everyone on social media is getting ready to go out for the night. The following morning you know you are going to hear all about the crazy events that unfolded. The part of your brain that wants to make other people happy is telling you to go out. You keep hearing “college is the best time of your life” repeatedly in your head. But then the part of your brain that knows you best is begging you not to go. You know that what you really want to do is have a relaxing night in and recover from the past week. If you have ever been in a situation like this, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Being an introvert in college is hard. You constantly feel FOMO, you never feel like you are enjoying your time here enough, and you feel like something is wrong with you because partying just isn’t your thing. All you ever hear about college is how it is supposed to be the best time of your life. Your one aunt is always reminding you how much fun she had in college with her sorority sisters and your uncle never lets you forget about his glory days at the frat. You grow up with the expectation that the only way to have fun in college is to constantly be surrounded by a massive group of people, constantly be talking to someone or getting ready to go out to the bars. What you don’t hear is that college is different for everyone. Extroverts tend to be a little louder, they drown out the experiences of introverts who have gone through exactly what you might be going through, but that doesn’t mean your experience is any less valid.
Your college experience can be exactly what you want it to be. Don’t try to make it fit a certain mold that people who are nothing like you made. College can be just as fun if you spend more quiet nights with the girls than you spend running around Midtown. Try to figure out what fills your cup and do exactly that. Don’t live your life trying to meet the expectations of people who barely know you. Spend a night in your bed watching your favorite show. Take a Saturday for self-care by yourself or with your closest friends. You don’t have to fear missing out when you finally let yourself come to terms with doing the things that you enjoy.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Some nights, the most fun thing is to dress up with the girls and go out. But it just doesn’t have to be every weekend. Despite what social media and popular culture might have you think, that’s not necessarily the norm. And even if it was, so what? You know yourself better than anyone else and you can identify the things you enjoy better than any weird aunt or 2000s movie ever could. So, from one introvert in college to the next, please enjoy your night in bed, talking to no one and recharging in the silence that is so hard to come by in college.