Starting university can be a major event for people but let’s be honest, majority of the kids sign up just to experience the party life right?
Being an introvert, my first day of university was a mixture of feelings. Though I felt super excited to enter a whole new world, I was also dreading the whole experience altogether. Let’s not forget the discomfort and doubt about meeting new people, or even interacting with them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hate people, it’s just that I can’t stand most of them.
It was like the first day of school all over again. The thought of it made me nauseous but I busied myself by preparing for my university life by buying pencils, bookmarks and sticky notes because I take my education seriously!
Now let’s get you moving towards a stress free transition from school to college life.
1. First of all, enroll into a university close to home, where you can live rent free.
Mommy’s food while I study?! Heck yeah!
Be realistic, you have already learned to master the art of tolerating the people under that roof. Leaving the nest, albeit liberating, can be the most daunting experience because as introverts, we live off the security blanket of a comfort zone.
2. Choose wisely, especially when you decide where to sit.
Entering a lecture hall full of people staring you down can be quite intimidating. This idea gives me a little, no, wait, a lot of anxiety. Thus, I try to make it a point to reach lecture halls earlier than the crowd so I can have the option to choose my seat for the remaining of the semester. According to a few blogs that I read (skimmed through), they emphasized on choosing a row right in the front where you can concentrate on the lecture. To that, I say, “ummm NO!”. I think the best place to sit is right at the back, close to the door. That’s your exit strategy!
3. Cross your boundaries – well, sometimes.
During my first week of university, we were required to be in groups of 4-5 students, for an assignment. That meant, I had to smile and make eye contact, as my insides cringed. I tried. But it felt like I was back in school, where you are always the last child to be picked for any sport or activity. However, this time, I did not get picked at all! I had to send an email to my professor, who forced one of the groups to take me in their little handpicked group. Long story short, even with their obvious expressions of disdain, I managed to win their hearts with…with..wait, I didn’t. Sometimes it’s easier to step outside the comfort zone for a bit, get the job done, and get back to being your introvert self.
4. Adventure, Books and Secret Lairs
With the obvious free time (between classes), sometimes you are strapped in for some awkward run-ins and the fear of standing out as a loner. Don’t be afraid to explore the campus for secret lairs under the chemistry lab or that creepy room in the library. Adventure aside, you may even discover your very own private spot to chill with your favorite book.
5. Fill Those Weekly/Monthly Planners
Make sure you are aware of your next class and assignments. Although this should have been my very first point, I made an executive decision not to give it that much importance. Your weekly planners (not just for decorative purposes) will help you organize and stay on top of your game. Joining university, I had trouble keeping up until I started planning and prioritizing. This will aid in saving you time during the week, to either Netflix or just simply crawl under a blanket.
6. Social abodes
Cafeterias, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores are crowded. Avoid! Enough said!
If you are are a stationery addict like us, then this just may be the one thing you are already blowing your little fortune on but such is life, we can never have enough stationery.
8. Social Clubs
Although I never went to any of the on-campus clubs, it can actually be a good place to find new hobbies. Staying indoors at all times isn’t healthy either. We’re introverts, not losers! We love independence in a controlled environment. We might be weird, yes, but not completely unreasonable. Truth be told, we all need a social life to thrive emotionally and social clubs may just be the right place to find like minded people.
9. Always give yourself a break
If any of this ever gets overwhelming, go to your secret place. Whether it’s a physical or mental space, where you relax. Go there. In fact, take frequent trips there. All this stimulation can get astoundingly overpowering at times. So cancel those plans and pick a book. Switch that phone off. Enjoy!!
10. Don’t be Afraid
Again, easier said than done but there is no harm in trying. This does not just apply to introverts but people from all walks of life. You get to see a whole new world apart from the one that you are living in and it is almost as exciting as…as, well, it’s not THAT exciting!
Lastly, I have not forgotten my extrovert buddies. Except for number 7, follow the list and do the exact opposite, you will be good to go. Awesome ambiverts, take your pick to what suits you best. As for me…