College life isn’t the easiest of experiences for us introverts. But if there’s a will, there’s a way.
There are a few things as dreadful for introverts and shy types as feeling like you have nowhere to go to while in school. It’s there in grade school, and it follows you to university. As I was preparing for my freshman year of college in Ateneo, my nerves were practically running all over my body as I was entering a new environment, especially since I was taking a course none of my high school classmates took. But four years later, I managed to make it through it all.
The struggle is real for introverts when it comes to college. Higher education opens us up to a lot of unfamiliar territory. But at the same time, college can also be a few years of some of the most memorable experiences of your life. As scary as it can be, there are ways to make it through campus as an introvert. So, whether you’re a freshman or a super senior, here are some tips and tricks this introvert learned on how to survive college.
JOIN A SCHOOL ORG THAT FITS YOUR LIKES
An introvert joining a school org might seem counterintuitive, but there’s sense to it. School orgs give students the chance to do and pursue activities aligned with their interests. It makes it easier to engage in things that you like or care about. And there’s no need to get that BS Org degree, just join one or a couple of orgs that suit your hobbies.
I’m a big fan of movies, so, during my freshman year, I joined my school’s film org and stayed there for all four years of my college life. Not only was I able to meet like-minded people who I am still friends with to this day, but it also gave me an outlet to write about movies without feeling anxious about it.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping to yourself, one thing that helped me get through college was my core group of friends. Now, I’m not saying to be the Miss Congeniality of your school, but it really does help to have those bffs you can comfortably be with and talk to. The easiest way you can do this is through your blockmates, but you can also find those besties through other means like your classes or student groups. And bonus points if you already have friends enrolling in the same college as you. Whether it be to do school work together, have fun after classes, or destress after a long day, that core friend group can be your lifesaver.
HAVE YOUR QUITE PLACE ON CAMPUS
The hustle and bustle of college can get overwhelming at times. This is why it’s important to have that quiet place on campus to calm down and block out the noise. For me, the Rizal Library was my go-to spot whenever I had free time after my classes. It was a euphoric feeling whenever I got to grab a chair, catch up on some readings, watch a movie, or just take a nap. Consider your quiet place that safe space to decompress from everything that life throws at you, not to mention it’s generally good for your mental health when your social battery runs low.
Peer pressure is real, especially when it comes to school settings. But pretending to be somebody that you’re not in college is not the vibe. The university is the last place to act out a fake personality. You will meet so many people from all walks of life and with all kinds of personalities. One of the things I appreciated during my time in Ateneo was how people were free to be who they were and live their lives how they wanted. So, let your flag fly, and don’t feel the need to fit in.
CHOOSE YOUR SOCIAL EVENTS
From school events to barkada inumans after class, college can open the doors for you to all kinds of social events. But just because you’re invited to something doesn’t mean you should force yourself to go, especially if you don’t want to. The last thing you want is to be a fly on the wall as you awkwardly shift between the crowd and stand in the corner.
At the same time, there’s also fun to be had and memories to be made at some events, especially if you go with people you know. Whether it be an org event or block hangout, find that balance of which events you want to attend so you don’t end up regretting or depleting your social battery.
TAKE CLASSES WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW
The absolute dread and ensuing heart palpitations of realizing that you’re taking a class without anyone you know is enough to get you to drop the class. Any introvert knows that the words “group project” can send shivers down the spine and the succeding struggle to be part of a group, especially when you don’t know anyone.
So, it’s always best to ask and coordinate your schedule with your barkada, blockmates, and friends. Before enrollment, enlistment, and registration start, consult with the people you want to be classmates with on what feasible classes you can take together. You will feel as if you won the lottery when you share your schedule with your friends and realize that you have some classes together.
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