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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Pastimes reimagined 

While some of us would enjoy nothing more than being known as the, “it” girl, others would rather take time for themselves. It’s a challenge to find the balance between these and if you’re an extrovert, hoping to try out an introvert’s pastimes or vice versa, I’m hoping this article will appeal to you. After starting the book, “Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes” by Jessica Pan, I have been grappling back and forth with myself trying to decide if I am more of an introvert or an extrovert. After a solid thirty pages, I have concluded that I am neither and I am both. If you know what book I’m talking about, then you have to read it because so far it is even better than you think it is, and if you don’t know what book I’m talking about, you still have to get your hands on it. The author walks us through her experiences as an introvert going far beyond her comfort zone in daily situations and experiences so much more by doing so than she ever thought possible, just by talking to the person next to her on the bus or by complimenting the person in front of her in the grocery store. There are moments in the book when Pan admits outrageous confessions such as pretending to be a tourist from another country so she doesn’t have to make small talk with a stranger next to her at the bar or screaming and crying out of pain and fear when her college roommates planned a surprise birthday party for her. I have never had any of these types of experiences which leads me to believe I can’t possibly be an introvert, but there have been countless moments recently where I close up and don’t see myself as an extrovert, either. Keep reading for a list of hobbies and interests that I have rediscovered. They demonstrate my introvert qualities and they combat the single staple hobby of an extrovert: interacting with people. 

Movie and tv show marathons 

These are things that everyone needs more of. Before this year and especially prior to Covid, I was afraid of being alone. I still struggle a lot with being on my own and not having family or friends close by, but I have gotten immensely more comfortable with it recently. This is the introvert side of me at its finest. There are those days when truly nothing beats getting under all your warm blankets in your own cozy space with a mug of tea or hot cocoa in hand and your biggest worry is what movie to watch for the night and where to find it. Someday soon, I bet a study will come out that we humans need at least three days out of the week to spend on ourselves in situations very much like the one I just described. Doctors will compare the abilities of a go-getter Harvard college student who worked full time and the brain of an individual who is still working out what they’re going to do with their life. I bet what they’ll find is that people who take that time away from the countless obligations and worries they have for even an hour or two a day are not only also growing just as much as the full-time employee and student, but also that they are more comfortable with themselves, with not constantly having a dire need to be doing something and most importantly they know what it means to take care of themselves. 

Working out 

How many times have our parents encouraged us to sign up for an intramural sports team to find a student organization on campus like a self-defense club or a competitive dance league? Everyone says maintaining your physical fitness is one of the best ways to feel yourself. I couldn’t agree more. One of the best feelings in the world is walking out of the gym knowing you put your all into whatever makes you feel like you’re at your best. Recently, I have started looking at going to the gym as an opportunity to grow in more ways than just muscle. Growing mentally in strength is just as important to me as it is to grow physically in strength. Each visit is another opportunity to add onto what you built the last time you thought about your physical or mental health. More on the physical side of things, it just feels good to no longer need the lighter set of dumbbells because you’ve worked your way up to heavier ones and it feels good to be able to finish a set a little bit more confidently than you did the last time around. While there will always be other ways to spend the day than going for a run or a swim, the rewards infinitely outweigh the struggles. 

Succulents and greenery 

While I currently only have a baby cactus as my other two plants tragically took a fall during move-out/move-in week, I hope to own more succulents in the future. Word on the street is that having a plant improves mental health and boosts your daily mood, so you can bet more greenery will be gradually making its way into my life because I could use all the positivity I can get. Some people are really into designing succulent pots and habitats and have shelves upon shelves of cacti, hawthorns, mother of pearls, you name it. This is how I want to be. I want to be that lady on your street whose entire front window is overflowing with green plants and blooming flowers. Someday, hopefully, I will get to this point and my plants will live past three months of me buying them. 


Before these last few months, I never thought twice about opening Youtube for chapter summaries of “1984” or for conspiracy theories of extraterrestrial life on earth and evidence of it. My eyes have recently been opened to the abyss of possibilities that lies underneath the enormous umbrella of the red and white icon and just how swallowed up in it you can get. For example, I discovered the other day that having Youtube music videos going in the background while cleaning your room or doing busy work is quite a dangerous game to play. You can start with “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran and end on the 2009 music video of, “Beauty and A Beat” by Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. But music is only one side of Youtube. Think of the craziest thing you could capture on video and this app has it. Although it originally began last year, I have a newfound fascination with dance workouts. Growing up, I loved the Wii game “Just Dance” and there are numerous videos that I can dance along with for only ten to fifteen minutes and get some extra cardio into my day. The other day I watched multiple mock 2022 NFL drafts and I learned a lot about prospects, stats and what the draft could look like this year in terms of trades. These are just a few examples of the hidden gems that I’ve discovered. Other avenues for exploration through Youtube are makeup, self-care and hair tutorials, recipes and current events and pop culture compilations.  

I have never been more determined to make the most out of my day than I have been the last couple of weeks. These are new pathways that have stimulated my enjoyment out of the day in either big or small ways that I will continue exploring. I hope that by reading this article, you are inspired to find new pockets of joy in the same way I have. If you’re at all like me, being an introvert doesn’t need to have a negative connotation to it when you find ways to make yourself feel most alive and happy. Being the extroverted, “pick me” girl who doesn’t have time to pamper herself or find a new interest is exhausting and frankly overrated. Being her all the time, at least.  

Isabel Fernandez

Wisconsin '22

UW-Madison Senior, Creative Writing and Spanish major Hometown: Waukesha, WI