Being An Introvert In A Sea Of Extroverts At College

What It's Like Being An Introvert In A Sea Of Extroverts At College

Sometimes you just really want to hide in your room for hours without any human contact.

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I like people. I like talking to people and hearing their stories and making new friends, but social interaction drains me. I need to recharge and be by myself. Introverts get their energy from being alone, not from being around people as many extroverts do. I often get anxious around large groups of people, and crowds make me nervous.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding the meaning of "introvert." Many people think that were just shy and antisocial but that's not true. I love hanging out with my friends and meeting people. However, there are days I just need to be alone. Whether that's going down to the beach alone, or just sitting in Panera typing an article.

Why is being alone such a bad thing? I don't like to eat at the dining hall alone or walk alone, because I feel judged, so when I'm finally alone it's like a breath of fresh air. In college, I never feel alone, whether it's the dorms or my classes, I'm constantly surrounded by people.

A lot of my friends are extroverts and thoroughly enjoy going out, and just generally being together. My school is very heavy on being social which is fun I do need to recharge and prefer to stay in with a good book, or research papers. It can get hard to keep up, but I've found that if I communicate it can all be worked around. I have found that compromise is the best way to getting the time you need with friends and alone.

The best ways to get some alone time are to sit there and do work alone, watch a movie, or just purely do nothing. Mediation is a good way I like to recharge. I enjoy doing yoga by myself following along to some Youtube videos. My favorite thing to do is be around animals. At home, I will pet my dogs, while at school, I'll drive to the farm and just pet the sheep or the goats. I think that I'm an animovert, someone who draws energy from animals.

So if you're an introvert in a sea of extroverts, just remember to breathe, relax, and communicate. Tell everyone that you need to be alone and take the time to do it. Your body will thank you, and your mind will thank you.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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Just Because I'm Not A Good Test Taker Doesn't Mean I'm Not Smart

Grades don't equal intelligence.

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After being in college for almost a whole year, I'm starting to realize that I am not good at taking exams... at all. Sitting in a big lecture hall with 100 plus students taking an exam stresses me out more than the exam itself. I get so nervous... so anxious that it affects the way I take my exams. I get so nervous that sometimes I freak out just reading the first question, even if I know how to do it and I have to make myself calm down before I can actually start the exam.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well in school, as most students do. I want to prove myself to my family that they're spending all this money for me to go to a great school for a reason. All that pressure can become overwhelming, though.

Just because I'm not good at taking exams doesn't mean I'm not smart. It's such an important idea to remember. Your grades don't define who you are as a person. Bad grades don't mean you're stupid. I don't do the best on some of my exams, but I know I'm smart. I know I know what I'm talking about. I study my ass off, and sometimes my grades don't reflect that, which can be so frustrating. It doesn't mean that I give up or stop putting in all the effort I can.

Just because you might not be good at taking exams doesn't mean you're not smart. I know it might be hard to think that way, but grades don't reflect your intelligence level. You know what you know. You know how much effort you put in. You know what grades you deserve and should be getting.

Don't let your exam grades determine who you are.

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