The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The society that we live in today expects that everyone will want to see everyone, and that we'll fill the void in our lives with meaningless social interactions only to hope that something more comes out of it. For some people, making new friends and gaining new experiences is worth all of the effort that comes with it; but, for me, a newly self-claimed introvert, the mere act of going out with someone or trying to create a connection that you don’t know exists is terrifying.
And that’s okay.
With the COVID pandemic, so many of us have been yearning for human connection, and to “get back to normal.” Yet two years in, we are no longer the same. Two years of solitude and self-reflection has changed who we are. My once extroverted, involved, enthusiastic self, has now developed into an introverted and comfortable human.
Being away from your peers for nearly two years forces you to become more okay with yourself, and more okay with sitting in your own thoughts. But what comes with it is the dreaded FOMO and the constant thoughts of “am I doing enough?” or “how is everyone going back to normal when I’m still stuck here, lonely and friendless?”
“Post” pandemic, everyone is living it up in their on-campus college lives — they are posting the joys of making new friends and having the true “college experience,” so the FOMO grows simultaneously with the anxiety of the introverts.
This may be obvious to some, but it was not and still is not to me:
It is okay to sit at home on a Friday night and enjoy yourself.
It is okay to avoid social situations that make you uncomfortable, be it due to COVID or anxiety.
It is okay that you don’t have a picture to post or a new college best friend.
It is okay to take your time.
You are not alone in feeling lost or left behind. Two years of very little social interaction takes its toll on everyone, it’s just a matter of who hides it better. I’ve come to love spending time with myself, with my loved ones, and with my thoughts. Sometimes the peace and the motions of life are all you need to have a great day. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting yourself to be something you are not. Acknowledge your introverted self and find what works for you.