When we see images of university students on websites or billboards, they usually consist of groups of impossibly beautiful people hanging out in groups, laughing on the grass over lunch, or getting ready for a night out.
More often than not, this isn’t far from the truth. Drinking, socialising, and partying go hand-in-hand with varsity life.
What does this mean for introverts in university? Are they, as a group, destined to battle through a series of years of uncomfortable social situations while working to get their degree?
Introverts in University
How should introverts tackle the challenges that they are likely to face in this new environment?
Work to your strengths
You may not be outgoing and gregarious, but you’re still good with people. Your quiet determination and unique insight into people’s personalities will make you a great mentor and a good friend. This is a good thing. Don’t feel like you have to be someone else to make an impact or to be accepted.
Embrace who you are and allow people to get to know the real you.
Get out of your comfort zone
Certainly, easier said than done, but there are times in our lives where we have to work a little harder to overcome a certain fear.
This goes for all of us, not just the shy and anxious. While you may not love public speaking, for example, you can still push yourself to present information to a small group. Public speaking is an important and useful tool in the workplace and comes with a host of positive facets. You may find that pushing yourself a little in important areas will gently ease the anxiety you feel about them.
Gather your tribe
Some introverts can be anti-social, but this isn’t true for the majority. Large groups of people can induce anxiety and deplete the mental and emotional reserves of some. That’s not to say that you don’t want to enjoy the company of others, right?
If this is you, then work towards gathering like-minded people together in smaller groups, enjoying more intimate social get-togethers. Do things with your small group that stimulate you and that you find interesting.
Remember, you are under no obligation to drink and party like everyone else at university. No, you have your own needs, and you are in charge of your own decisions.
Allow yourself to be you in your own unique way.