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.