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Being an Introvert in College

Posted on 11/3/2017 1:16:50 PM by Julia Cattani

When you go to college, this is your chance to reinvent yourself, to become the person you always wanted to be. That’s how most people feel, whether they go to a college close to their hometown or not. This is the time when you’re put into a new environment, where people don’t have preconceived notions of who they expect you to be, and you can be whoever you want to be.

Many people think, “I’m going to be so outgoing, I’m going to have so many friends,” but ultimately, you find a few people who you become close to, spend all your free time with them, and stay the exact same as you were before you went to college. This is not a bad thing. Being yourself is the best thing that you could possibly be, because you don’t have to be too careful to keep appearances up, you don’t have to overly try to impress others, and you don’t have to commit to things that you don’t want to do. You just get to be yourself.

In high school, I didn’t have many friends. When I was choosing a college, I ultimately chose to go somewhere far away from home so that I could get a new start, meet new people, and become the person I always wanted to be: someone with a lot of friends, who felt important and needed. Fast-forward two years, and I couldn’t keep up with myself. I never said “no” to any opportunities thrown my way, for fear of disappointing people. I took on way too many responsibilities, and didn’t have any alone time to decompress. I got offended any time my friends hung out and I wasn’t invited. I became someone new, but it wasn’t who I wanted to be. 

Fast-forward another two years, and I’m in my senior year at Cabrini University (after transferring), where I commute from home, where I live with my parents, my sister, and my dog. I have a handful of friends, who I love and adore, and I spend my free time working on my assignments and going to work. I am an introvert.  I’ve always been an introvert, but heading into my freshman year of college, I thought I needed to be someone else. Someone exciting and fun, someone who wasn’t afraid to take chances and risks, but that’s just not me.

If you are an introvert now, and you’re scared or nervous about going into college, just know that it’s okay to be yourself. You will cause more stress to yourself trying to be someone else, when you can enjoy college just being you. I have never been happier than I am now, now that I am keeping my priorities straight, focusing on my academics, and saying “no” to excessive opportunities that will not benefit me now or in the future. I take on opportunities that expand my résumé and make me more marketable after graduation, and I say “yes” to taking a break from studying to get lunch with friends, because being social is important. Don’t feel like you have to impress anyone but yourself, because ultimately, you’re the one who needs to look back and be proud of your life and accomplishments.