Social introvert. You may think that those two words completely contradict one another, like an oxymoron. When you look into what an introvert really is you might find yourself relating to a social introvert or extroverted introvert more than you originally thought.

The best way anyone has described the difference between introverts and extrovert to me is that introverts get their energy from being alone, while extroverts get their energy from being around other people. Notice how this has nothing to do with if you are shy or outgoing. No one can expect you to be "on" all the time, but it is important for you to know where you get your energy from and make sure you set aside time to recharge.

For anyone, the introvert or the extrovert, it is important that you know where your energy comes from so you know how to refuel yourself.

I think this is especially true for college students. If you don't know where your energy comes from or have misclassified yourself you might be wearing yourself down and expending unnecessary energy.

I feel that the social introverts are often misidentified. People often assume that social introverts are extroverts from what they see on the outside. What they often don't see is the toll social events can have on social introverts. People usually don't see the recharging process on a social introvert (you know, since they like being alone... makes sense). Social introverts often seek out highly social events, even when they know the toll it is going to take on them. They enjoy the company, it is just about finding the right balance between the two.

I love talking with people but I am not as likely to talk to anyone I come across because I get my energy from being alone. I like having meaningful conversations with people rather than a constant small talk throughout the day. I value smaller gatherings with a few close friends over large parties with lots of people. It is almost like being selectively social. Spending time with some people is almost as fulfilling as spending time alone while spending time with others drains everything from me.

My best advice for you is to find your happy medium.

Figure out where you get your energy from (and I mean being alone or with people, not your favorite espresso drink) and how often you need to return to that state to "recharge". Discover what your limit is with how much time you can spend exerting a lot of social energy. You may find some social events actually give you more energy than you might of originally thought!