Do not mistake being an introvert with being a loner. Now as much as you could be apprehensive about starting university, it could actually be a place for you to thrive. If statistics are to be believed then our entire student population is third and a half of people who are introverts. Being an introvert does not entail that you dislike social interaction but college is hard for introverts. They are not necessarily people who are shy or who lack social skills. Susan Cain in her book titled Quiet quite simply pegs the introverts and the extroverts of the society. “Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialise enough”. For all the introverts, here is a guide to starting university.
First Week At University
The first week of university is crucial for everyone and as an introvert making friends in college could be a difficult task. One of the tips for university students to keep in mind is that it is all about making first impressions and forging friendships that last you a lifetime. You will find the socializing period to be never-ending and social interactions at universities can be difficult. In buildings, student orientation, fresher’s week, lectures and plenty bar crawls in between. Now if you are an introvert these will seem like herculean tasks. Introvert students find themselves drained and socially over-stimulated rather quickly. And if you are to participate in small talk, well then that does it for you isn’t it.
We suggest you push your boundaries a little and try to develop social interaction skills. Not like throw yourself head first into every activity but we suggest that you at least push your envelope a little bit. The key to making it through the Fresher’s Week is that you need to remember that everyone here is new at University and they are all trying to make friends. Everyone will be just as nervous as you. Every night that you decide to go out you could for the same reward yourself later. A solo movie night, maybe.
Another reason why you must not shy away from meeting new people at University is because you will meet plenty of like-minded people here and social interaction activities for students. Your university will have a wide range of clubs and societies that you can join in order to meet new people. Find more students like yourself with similar interests and likings.
Worried about the new academics?
As introverts are you worried about starting university and how well you will cope up with new professors and their teaching methods? In reality, the degree level study is actually great for you. Since you will find the focus to be hugely on the independent level of study. During lectures, you will be required to listen to the speakers to take notes. These will help later when you are working on your research or further reading on the subject. If you like you can ask questions, however, if you don’t want to, then don’t! How you study your module is entirely up to you.
If you feel sharing a flat with other students could quickly turn into a nightmare, you could be wrong! If you seek personal time more over social gatherings, well then yes this could seem like a bit too much to sign up for, for a whole year. But living with other students in the university student accommodation or private student accommodation will help you in coming out of your bubble. As an introvert living with roommates, you will meet new people as well and you will end up making memories that will last you a lifetime. If you let your flatmates see that you could crave some personal time away from them, they will get it. It’s nothing personal. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you need to be anti-social or a loner.
FOMO should not be the reason you go out!
FOMO – ‘Fear of missing out’ at university is exceptionally strong. With so much going on, so many events, plenty parties, and mixers, you might feel the need to be seen. Now as important as it is, it is not a rule set in stone. If you force yourself into going someplace that you already know you will not enjoy, maybe because it doesn’t interest you. Well, then it won’t be fun! Another useful advice for students is that do not go everywhere just because you need to be a part of the herd. Attending and being a part of things you like will actually help you meeting likeminded people and making university and the coming years bearable.
Being an introvert is not a disadvantage or something that needs to be kept hidden. You do not need to change yourself to be accepted at University. On the other hand, the university will become instrumental in helping you re-discover yourself. Becoming a public speaker to taking up leadership roles, the university can help and encourage you in pushing the envelope.
It’s almost time to pack your bags now and get ready for your next adventure!
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