Hello, friends! As you may have noticed – ever since leaving school and moving to New York I’ve been shying a bit away from ‘college blogging.’ I got my start as a college blogger, and the college blog community will always be so close to my heart.
But, as life goes, I’m moving on. College was a great adventure, but I’m moving on to bigger adventures now, and it is more relevant for me to talk about how to live in the city or manage your money.
I know I’m still going to get a lot of traffic to old college posts so I thought every month I could feature a guest blogger talking about some aspect of college!
Today I am featuring Rachel of Way of the Worrier and she’s talking all about handling college as an introvert!
Before going away to college, I had plenty of concerns, but one thing that never occurred to me was how I’d handle my introversion once I was living in the close quarters of a dorm.
I go to a small liberal arts college (about 2500 students), and I honestly can’t imagine what a big school or state university would be like. Perhaps it would be easier to find quiet little nooks and crannies around campus simply because the campus would be so much bigger? Whether you go to a huge university or a small school like me; if you’re an introvert at college, then I’m sure there are times when you have found yourself overwhelmed by being surrounded by your peers 24/7 and not always having your own space or time.
I’m a second semester senior at the moment (accepting your prayers and/or donations) and I have my own bedroom for the first time since starting college. However, I share the apartment with three other girls and the walls are pretty thin so sometimes the apartment feels like one big room. Still, having my own space is a major improvement over life in the dorms, where I remember sometimes feeling like I didn’t have room to breathe or think. So I’ve gathered up some tips for all the introverts out there—and any extra- or ambiverts who need some “me-time.”
Going to the gym or going out for a walk or run can be a great way to carve out time for yourself.
Even if you’re in the campus gym with a hundred other students, people are way too busy sweating their butts off to make much conversation. You can be alone with your thoughts if you want, or you can put earbuds in and blast music, a podcast, or an audiobook.
It’s not weird to eat alone.
People might be too scared to eat by themselves for the first couple weeks, but once the initial freshman discomfort wears off, you’ll find that lots of people eat with only their laptop or textbook keeping them company. Non-cafeteria settings are the most popular for solo dining (think the campus coffee shop or a student lounge), but plenty of people eat by themselves in the dining hall too, especially at breakfast. Some might be eating alone because they have work to get done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat alone just because you want some downtime.
A quieter part of the library can be your oasis.
Most campus libraries have areas with different levels of quietness. If you don’t want to be distracted by other people talking while you’re trying to do work—or even just chill out—the quiet sections of your library may be your best bet.
Do separate things—together.
When my most introverted roommate and I are the only two in the apartment, we tend to both end up in the same room doing our own things. We’ll both be on our laptops or one of us will be watching TV while the other cooks something. She refers to it as being “antisocial in the same room.” And it’s great.
Don’t feel like you have to go out every Friday and Saturday night.
I’m not saying you should never try going out. If your friend is having a birthday party, you should probably go. And if your friend wants a wingman or wingwoman, you might want to fill that role occasionally. But if one weekend you want to stay in and watch Netflix or pen the next bestseller, do that too. Recruit some of your friends to stay in with you and have a movie night. You can watch a cheesy Hallmark movie and play a drinking game if your friends need persuasion—assuming all parties are 21, of course.
College is definitely not an easy time to be an introvert, but it also doesn’t have to be painful. With a little bit of effort and thought, you can carve out some alone time to recharge your batteries and pursue your own interests.