What It's Really Like Being An Introvert In College

What It's Really Like Being An Introvert In College

I don't want any human interaction today.

I walk into a room, and everyone is staring. They're not staring at me because I did something... they're staring at me because I am also a new shape with different eyes, a nose, and a mouth, like them.

The mind of an introvert can make everything seem like a problem.

When I walk into a room full of people, my mind goes haywire.

"Are they judging me?"

"Are they judging me for what I am wearing?"

"Why are they looking at me?"

"Did I mess up on my makeup?"

"Is there something on my face?"

"Do I look sad?"

"Do I look tired?"

"Did someone overhear me say something and I'm being judged for what I said?"

"I don't want any human interaction today."

By this point in school, professors that I've had for a majority of my college career all know I despise getting called on. Ninety-five percent of the time, I don't know the answer. The times I have gotten called on, my face turns tomato red, I feel nervous and shaky, and I trip on my words. The spotlight is on me and I wish it would move in a different direction.

When I walk out of the classroom, I'm either the first person or the last person.

When I am walking around campus to my next class, students and cars are rushing past me. I am looking down at my phone for three different reasons: I don't want to zone out and accidentally make awkward eye contact with anyone, I don't feel like talking and want to evaluate in my mind how my day has been going so far, or if I see someone who I don't talk to/get along with.

When I walk into the dining hall, I have to constantly remind myself to remain calm. Students are walking in so many different directions for food and drink that sometimes I forget how to walk properly in there. Sometimes I will almost bump into someone and feel uncomfortable afterward. After that, I really don't want any human interaction.

Surprisingly, if you drop me in a large crowd, I would be fine. Usually, that's an introvert's worst nightmare, but for me, I don't mind because I no longer feel alone. But it can be different when you have social anxiety and you forgot to get ketchup after sitting down. I pray that I'm not being stared at as I awkwardly get up from my chair after debating with myself for 10 minutes if I really needed that ketchup or not.

If I have to get up and get something, I avoid all eye contact as much as possible by either not looking up, or by looking straight ahead. I've gotten better over the years and gained more confidence with getting up by myself in front of a crowd, however, the anxiety is still planted inside of me.

When I am waiting for someone in a building on campus, I look down at my phone. I look at emails because it's the only thing trying to engage with me at all times of the day.

When I am working out, I do my best to focus on myself and not the others around me. This is the time I really don't want any human interaction unless I am with my friends. My music is loud, and my mouth is shut. Working out is my time. The time I'm the quietest.

Only not as quiet when I am sitting down in a room with a group full of people. This group of people could even be my friends. As I'm sitting next to everyone, my mind is trying to process all of the conversations so I can think of what to say next, except by the time I've thought of something, the subject has already changed. Sometimes, I don't have a second to speak because I'm too late.

When I am at a party, I know I will never be the most outgoing person there. I'll be with my group of friends, but I'll never be the person to go up to anyone else I don't know and start a conversation. When I'm at a party, my eyes will be looking in all different directions to see who's here, and what they're doing — not in a judging way.

Being an introvert isn't necessarily a bad thing, or at least what people make it out to be. It can be hard for sure, but it's something that I've had to accept, because I'll always be like this. I can improve to be more talkative and outgoing.

But I know I'll always be the shy girl.

Cover Image Credit: Jordan Battey

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You Really Need To Know These 5 Facts If You're Even Thinking Of Moving To NYC

It's crazy, fast, and LOUD.

Moving to New York City is a wild ride. In some ways you can know what to expect, but truth be told it'll all still be quite the surprise and shock when you settle in. Here are so things I experienced moving here and some tips of what to expect:

1. The commute is REAL.

Decide where to live - Manhattan/ Brooklyn / Queens / Bronx Manhattan will be more expensive and less space but your commute will probably be 30 min or less. Living the outer boroughs will be cheaper (still expensive though, don't get me wrong) and have more space, but also your commute will likely be 1-2 hours. Keep that in mind.

2. The city moves FAST.


I know we've all heard this, but wow does it still really hit you the first day you're living here. It will take a few days to adjust to the place, but for the beginning just try to stay to the side and out of anyone's way.



3. The city is loud AF


Also another thing you've heard, but a whole new ball game experiencing it. The good news? You WILL get used to it. I remember being so in shock by the sound, the sirens and honks at the beginning but now I will be on the phone with my parents and they will say 'oh haha there's the New York sirens" and I'll realize I didn't even hear the siren.



4. Everything looks the SAME.


As in, when walking anywhere all the streets and street corners look the same and you will definitely find yourself going the wrong direction for a little. Accept that this is normal and constantly make sure you are headed the right way by looking to see if the street numbers are going up or down and landmarks. A tip that really helped me was using the compass feature of the maps app. If I knew I needed to head to 14th st and I'm on 20th, I would locate myself on the map, enable the compass and then point around me until it was pointed towards the direction I needed to go on the map. I'm telling you guys, this SAVED ME countless times.



5. Make sure to check to subway signs for 'Downtown and Brooklyn' vs 'Uptown and the Bronx'


Usually this is the only REAL direction you are given with the subway so it's important you envision where exactly you are going in the city, uptown or downtown before you swipe that metro card. Another confusing thing- bigger subway stations will have you swipe at one place and then go towards uptown or downtown once inside.

Smaller stations will usually have uptown and downtown stations separately and you'll have to cross the street to get to the other one. So don't just see the station and swipe your card before realizing you need to leave and go across the street to get to the right station. Of course if you do do it, it's fine because literally everyone has done the same thing.


Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Living With An Eating Disorder In A Social Media World

Where pictures of food are everywhere.

Though each individual's experience is different from others', for anyone who does, living with an eating disorder is difficult. It's like there's this creature sitting in the corner of your room, taunting you. When hunger kicks in, its voice gets louder in your ear, either telling you how fat you are, or about how fat you could get if you indulge. Food consumes (no pun intended) your thoughts 24/7, and in some cases, so do caloric counts.

I have lived with an eating disorder, on and off, for 10+ years. A common misconception about them is that there are only two disorders- anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The truth is, there are many different types, some undefined or unnamed. Dealing with it is just as grueling as dealing with any other mental illness. Therapists, nutritionists, counselors, and your own willpower, play a major role in recovering, and sometimes those are not even successful.

However, the struggle may become more prominent when on social media. Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and even Facebook, allow others to share pictures of their aesthetically pleasing meals. For those of us who suffer with eating disorders, that elusive voice suddenly starts screaming at us to turn it off! X out that tab! Being surrounded by beautiful photos of colorful, interesting, no doubt high in calories food is the last thing we need. Then, counter that with the selfies that our beautiful, fit, healthy friends post to Instagram, and those of us with hypheragia are once again reminded how fat we (think we) are, to stop staring at the foodporn, and not cave into our appetites. It's obviously not a healthy lifestyle, and being reminded of it on social media isn't helpful either.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, around 25 percent of college students suffer from eating disorders. 25 percent. That is a remarkably high number, and add to that the stresses of homework and extracurricular activities, it's a wonder that not all students collapse from anxiety. And fortunate that that percentage is not even higher.

If you suffer with an eating disorder, call the NEDA Helpline toll free at 1-800-931-2237 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST Monday-Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. EST. Stay strong, you can beat this.


Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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