College is portrayed as the best four years of your life where you’re constantly meeting new people, being best friends with everyone and going out four nights a week. Movies and books definitely romanticize this portrayal, and I can confidently say college has been such a fun part of my life so far. I have met new people and enjoyed going out, but as an introvert, it can be hard to look at those movies and books and wonder why every part of my life does not align with the “college life” they describe. Here are some ways to not only navigate college as an introvert but also some friendly reminders on how to make your college experience just as amazing as the books and movies, in your own way.
Know your limits.
Pushing yourself to get involved, stepping out of your comfort zone and making new friends is definitely an important step in getting the most out of your college experience. With this said, keep your limits in mind and how much your social battery can handle. Say “yes” to experiences and events you actually want to go to, but don’t be afraid to miss out on going to the fraternities one Friday night because you need to recharge. Knowing what you can handle is an important aspect of taking care of yourself and your own happiness.
Find people who understand you.
Something I’ve found very helpful in college is to surround yourself with people who understand that your social battery may drain faster than other people, and it’s not a bad thing! I have friends who are such extroverts and could be seen as the exact opposite of me, but they understand that I need time to recharge by myself and it has nothing to do with them.
Don’t be afraid to vocalize your needs.
This tip is one of the hardest for me to follow, but it is so important to vocalize to others when you need to recharge, spend time alone or take a break from the chaos some people thrive off of. Not all of your friends have the social awareness to recognize when you are losing altitude in a social setting and therefore it is your job to tell them. This can be done in a very nice way, and hopefully they understand where you’re coming from.
It’s not a bad thing.
Being introverted can often be misunderstood as rude and rooted in your insecurities, but a lot of times it is not that way at all. Some people will judge and misread you for being quiet and preferring to spend time alone, or respectfully declining to go out four nights a week but know that this is just an assumption they have made and does not mean it defines you. It may just mean they are choosing to not understand you.
Use it to your advantage.
For me, it took a long time to realize that there are so many people out there who struggle with being alone. This is not a bad thing, but learning how to be content with spending time with only yourself is such a useful life skill that a ton of college-aged people have yet to master. Having this mindset of being an introvert is a huge strength that will help you radiate confidence in who you are and appreciate the way you were meant to be.