The concept of introversion has gained more attention in the public eye over recent years, thanks to people like author Susan Cain. In a 2012 TED talk that went viral, Cain discusses the unique attributes of introverts and dispels some common myths and stereotypes associated with introversion. For example, contrary to popular belief, introverts aren’t automatically shy or withdrawn. The basic definition of an introvert is someone who gains energy from themselves rather than from interactions with other people.
College can be a difficult time for anyone, but especially for introverts. Between the constant social activities, packed schedules, and part-time jobs (not to mention actual classes and homework), it can be hard for introverts to find time to be by themselves to recharge. As an introvert myself, I struggled in college with being too busy to take a break from my hectic schedule. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that taking time to recharge and also trying new things helped me to expand my comfort zone and embrace being an introvert. With a little work, introverts can enjoy the one-of-a-kind atmosphere that college provides, and stay sane at the same time.
1. It’s Okay to Say No to a Social Event
Listen to your body when it tells you that you need to recharge. If you’re constantly tired and feel disengaged with what’s going on around you, it’s probably time to take a break from the constant socializing. Sometimes a lazy weekend night with some terrible reality tv is all you need to gear up for the next week. However…
2. Fight the Temptation to Become a Hermit
While alone time is vital for your well-being, there can always be too much of a good thing. If you’ve been sitting in your room alone doing homework all day, try to force yourself to get out and be active. Meet up with some friends, or even just change studying locations to a more populated area. Being around other people on a consistent basis (even for limited amounts of time) is important for everyone.
3. You Are The Only Person In Charge of Your Schedule
The opportunities that college offers are endless, and it can be easy to say yes to everything that happens to come your way. People will keep asking you to join more clubs or take on more hours at work, but the only person who can make sure you have time to recharge is you. Have fun and work hard in college, but realize that you will be your healthiest self if you have time to decompress. Learn to say no (nicely, of course), and leave some free time in your schedule to read a book or pursue a creative outlet.
4. Push Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you’re overwhelmed by the constant socializing and numerous opportunities in college, it’s easy to become stuck in the rut of your comfort zone. However, this is the only time in your life that you’ll have a chance to try many different things so easily. Check out a new club or sport, or audition for a play. Doing something that deviates from your ordinary schedule (even if you don’t end up enjoying it) will broaden your horizons and expose you to new ideas.
5. Giving Yourself Alone Time Will Make You a Healthier Person
Because introverts draw energy from time spent alone or in low-key environments, they can become exhausted if they’re constantly on-the-run. If you’re an introvert, forcing yourself away from your busy schedule for a few hours will actually make you healthier, which in turn can improve your school performance, social life, and relationships. I love to read, and I wish I had consistently kept up with it during my years at school. I probably would’ve been happier and less stressed if I had carved out a little time during my day to read a good novel or doodle in a notebook. Keep reading, playing an instrument, or discovering new music; whatever brings you a sense of peace within the hectic college environment.