What It's Like 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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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Advice, In 5 Steps, For The Incoming College Freshman

Hopefully someone will find this useful.

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A few days ago, a friend of mine texted me and asked advice for his "first venture into the real world." There's not much advice that I can give because, at this part of my life, I've pretty much winging everything I do.

However, there are a few things that I can say that stand true to my experiences thus far.

First, when you get your schedule and you have time between moving in and organizing your life, find your classes!

You definitely never want to be caught off-guard and be that freshman that doesn't know what they're doing or where they're going. Find your classes! I recommend doing it in order so that you can get used to walking the paths. Remember to do it for both semesters, even if you think you know where everything is! Trust me, it'll still give you a little pause.

Second, go through the syllabus when class starts and find important due dates and write them down!

I know it sounds stupid or like a no-brainer, but trust me...you're going to need that planner more than you think you will. Going hand-in-hand with that, make sure to keep up with these dates and your planner! It's no use to you if you write it all down and then forget it.

Third, have fun but keep in mind what you're there to do.

Always make time for your clubs, friends, and just favorite things in life... which I'm sure is not your math or biology class. Go hang out with people, decorate your room, binge watch an entire season of your favorite T.V. show on Netflix! Do anything other than stress but don't forget that those due dates are very real. You originally came to get an education. Get it! But don't kill yourself over it.

Fourth, there are little tips you can use to help yourself out in your classes...learn them!

At the beginning of the year, I knew no one. I wasn't from the state and when everyone seemed to have gone to high school together, I was alone. I knew I was going to need friends and so I made it a goal to know and be friends with at least one person in each class and to actually get to know my professors, not just go to class and do the work and leave. It benefitted me in the long run because it meant that I had someone to send me the notes if I was late or couldn't make it to class. When you know the professors and show your interest in the subject, they're more likely to help you out if you need it. It was a simple step but helped so much. Find what works for you, and use your resources.

Lastly, don't let life get you when you aren't looking...

There are so many other things you will learn that aren't listed but some things are better learned personally. Don't let yourself get caught up in the new experiences, the new lifestyle and the new friends that you've acquired. Everything goes so fast, it'll be gone before you know it.

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