Speaking out on speaking up

Navigating college life as an introvert

By on February 1, 2017

I’m an introvert living in an extrovert’s world.

Half of all people are introverts, according to quora.com. This might seem off, but if we think about it, extroverts are easier to spot than introverts.

They’re energetic. They fuel the party, while introverts skip out on most parties because we would rather hang with our dogs.

This is commonly mistaken for being  lame.

But let me stand up for the introvert community and tell you, we introverts are not lame.

Speaking of, we are also not shy or awkward. It takes us a few seconds to comprehend your, hihowareyou?Ilikeyoursweaterwhereisitfrom?, small hallway chit-chat, but we will answer you after the gears in our mind are warmed up.

We need to think. A lot. We think about which way we are going to say hi before we say it. We think about the question you just asked and formulate five different responses before we answer.

We are quiet, BUT only in times when we feel overwhelmed.

I’m loud when I’m happy, when pizza is around me and when I get to pet a cute dog. But I can be just as quiet when I’m in a room full of loud people.

I need time to recharge my battery. I’m not being anti-social when I put my headphones in and listen to music as I’m walking. Or when I get into bed after a long day and read instead of watching a movie with everyone else.

I get just as tired of talking all day as I do after running a mile.

We struggle a lot with finding balance throughout the day between spending time with other people and ourselves.

This  is especially hard in college.

The word “college” can be terrifying on its own. For an introvert, it means so much more than the late night cram sessions.

College is where we learn to live with five, six, even seven other people and where introverts feel the never-ending cycle of small talk.

As college students, we go through our day passing friend after friend in the hallway, getting lunch as a group, going to meetings, classes and then arriving back in our safe havens of a dorm only to encounter more people, ready to hear about our day.

This is a nightmare and yet a reality. But I’ve learned that this all just means we need to make time for ourselves and no one else.

Maybe that means you listen to music between classes and ignore the outside world.

Or you allow yourself to take a few minutes each day to curl up in your bed and read.

Whatever it is that helps you recharge, do it.

Introverts are powerful people and we can do so much, but only if we take care of ourselves and ignore the judgement we get from those who just simply don’t understand.

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About Amanda Perelli

Opinion Editor
Journalism Major
Class of 2019