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.
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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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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Fighting to Reach what i believe in will be worthwhile, in the end

To dreams worth having, to obstacles of all sizes, and to the finish line that might never come yet forever keeps me going.

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Dear Life Goals,

Alright, look.

Being armed with the ability to, you know, more or less read the English language, I can see the word "life" plastered up there in your title. "Life," huh? Four unmistakable letters spelling out years and years and years of simply biding my time, hanging out, waiting. A quite literal life sentence, as it were, goading me, pressuring me, waiting on me to pick up the slack and pull myself to the end through struggles, heartache, aches and pains, misery, frequent hopelessness, unexpected trials, personal flaws. Sounds like a dream, that journey does.

I just…I've got to ask you. Are you positive - as in beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt positive - that the timeline can't quicken its pace to my doorstep, arms outstretched and ready to draw me into the overwhelming excitement of seeing all my dreams realized in the blink of an eye? Are you sure that I can't skip the buildup, passing go and collecting my life's worth without all the years and years and years standing in front of me?

Yeah. I figured.

Because you wouldn't be life goals if you didn't take time, would you? You wouldn't be life goals if you didn't push me through a lifetime, providing me with the hope and motivation that one day, I might look back on my timeline and have one last chance to smile, at peace with my eyes closed. More than that, more than definition, you wouldn't be a life goal worth having if you weren't the culmination of my work in this world, the result of my determination, what I've reaped from what I've sown. If I can chase my purpose through you, then what is the point of the purposeless life that I would live after you're gone?

I can't help but ask if I can bypass the extra steps and jump straight to the end. My impatience rivals that of toddlers and probably wins out more times than not. I've never been a big fan of waiting. But playing the long game is the only way to win. There isn't one path to the end or only one outcome, yet there are countless victories to be had. The short game, a straight shot to a simple prize, isn't why I'm here, is it? I want to be proud of what I do with my life, proud that I had the courage to chase my dreams through a mountain of mistakes and failures.

I know, I know, I'm sorry I keep bothering. Heh, I just can't help but check the status percentage from time to time, even though I know it hasn't changed. I want to see results, and that desire pushes me to invest more of my time, my energy, and myself into making what I've been dreaming of happen. I know it'll take time, but fighting to reach what I believe in will be more than worthwhile, in the end. I hope to end my last chapter knowing I fought through a lifetime for you. Then honestly, I'll have reached you no matter what my finale looks like.

Until next time we talk, I hope you'll continue to remind me that dreams don't come a dime a dozen. I hope you'll help me to have faith in myself and that you'll keep me going even if my utterly unreasonable impatience would have me giving up and hiding my life away in couch potato statuses and empty Dorito bags.

Thanks again,

A girl who's working on it

Cover Image Credit:

Pixabay

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