The good, the bad, and the socially exhausting: The ups and downs for introverts in college
We need to stick together, as we sit alone
College – a wonderful time for learning in new classes, exploring new cities, and meeting new people. Or if you are a introvert, discovering new Netflix shows on Friday nights under the glow of candle light and the aroma of green tea.
But seriously, college is awesome. However, it seems that many aspects of university life seems to be tailored for more extroverted types. Here are some ups and downs for introverts in college.
The rush process is terrifying and stressful for all participants, but it is especially draining for introverts. The entire concept of recruitment is completely outside of an introvert’s comfort zone. I mean, small talk and ice breakers–talk about two word horror stories.
The first days of rush consists of conversations in speed rounds. So, not only do you have to work up the energy to talk to people, but you have to make sure you are enthusiastic, funny, charming, interesting, cool and passionate. I’m exhausted just trying to process how to convey all those adjectives at once…
By the time you get to the third house, you end up saying pretty much the same stuff about yourself, dictating your major and your favorite TV shows. Yes, it's small talk, but at least it is timed, structured and one-on-one. Honestly, I think I might have blacked out around the third person for the second house, so I was on autopilot for most of it!
One of the more difficult challenges is making plans on a Friday or Saturday night. If you are like me, you probably have a lot of extroverted friends – people who thrive in large social situations and are unbothered by the crowded, loud, sweaty atmosphere of a frat party.
You love these people, but you just have different ideas of what blowing off steam looks like. As much as you want to stay home, paint your nails and watch Pride and Prejudice, sometimes you end up on the Row to hang with your friends. Weekends are a game of balance, so here is a quick guide for those situations.
As much as it sucks to have to buckle down and review for midterms or write a 12 page paper, it is also kind of relaxing to study. Okay, maybe I’m just a super nerd, but hear me out. Sitting in front of your laptop, with earbuds in is one of the few times NO ONE will bother you. It’s just you and your thoughts…and maybe some YouTube video breaks to keep you going.
This is good and bad, depending on your mood that day. I love eating alone, especially in the morning. Before I have food in my tummy and tea running through my veins, do not engage with me. So in these instances, I look forward to catching up on the daily news on Twitter.
Usually, people in dining halls are by themselves, looking at their phones. So no worries about being an odd person out, or God forbid having people come sit down next to you.
Despite popular opinion, I love big lectures. Sometimes it is nice to just blend in with the crowd and learn information without having to partake in too much interaction. You can focus in on what is being taught and not worry about talking to other people. Although, this also depends on the type of lecture and the professor.
Small classes are different. These are either hit or miss, depending on the other people in the class and the topic. If you feel comfortable and confident talking about something with a group of people– no problem. But when you are forced to work in groups or no one is offering a comment in a group discussion– yikes.
We all know you sure as hell are not going to raise your hand!
So hang in there introverts! Grab your book and your Snuggie and stay home alone like the beautiful human burrito you are. As Hermione herself Emma Watson once said. Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love.
And if anyone tells you one more time to "put yourself out there," try not to roll your eyes too hard.