Being an introvert on an extrovert campus.

Conventional thinking of college and the role of countless movies is that college is nothing but a large social party scene. Of course what movies don’t account for, is that not everyone is looking for the constant party. Now it is important to know college isn’t about drinking and parties and never studying unless that’s the kind of college experience you want. College does include studying and classes, sometimes those classes being in large lecture rooms with hundreds of students. Those large classrooms are nothing to fear unless you somehow find your self in a major of public speaking then you should be ok. There are always classes though that will include, group work, speeches and countless projects that require you to step out of your comfort zone. In a freshman year many times those professors will do the classic example of a stand-up and tell your name and something interesting about you, It’s ok to be nervous but it’s also your very first chance to push your self into something new. Although you may have always been an introvert stand up express your name and your interesting fact and sit down, and without a doubt, I can guarantee you will survive. What about the projects though? And the group work? Unless you are that one person, You never want to be the one in the group who doesn’t participate, It can seem intimidating. When a group forms by the professor or you have to create your groups, just turn and ask someone’s name. By putting your self out there and offering a personal connection to your team members, you establish a connection that may overshadow your introvert self. While it is nice to think there is a quick fix, you will still need to participate, you may not be the smartest, but you need to participate. When you know something, offer your thoughts and contribution. When you participate, you can ensure your self a good grade because it is not just you working for this grade like you would wish.

Classroom settings are the easiest way to interact and meet people, if you look at my earlier article “how to find your place to college” putting your phone down and turning to the person next to and talking will ensure you grow. Now back to where your thoughts on college all started, the social scene. Parties, tailgates, anything that brings crowds together that might make you want to retreat into your shell and hide. There is an important factor in being an introvert that can excel you to being a better you; then you ever thought possible. That skill you maintain by being the one that stays behind is that you are curious and highly inquisitive. Although you may never be the one to throw a party or do something memorable. You can allow your self to be pushed farther than you ever thought possible. Each one of these settings the best opportunity to push your self to a well-balanced college student, a contributing group member and a participant in any social setting to meet new people. There will always be debates and studies and literature out there that may say being an extrovert is better because it holds the greatest opportunity to put your self out there and excel. Susan Cain and author of the book “QUIET” speaks of her rabbi grandfather who had a church in Brooklyn; he was loved by his congregation when he passed all these people came to stand outside his apartment and mourn the great man they lost. To Susan, though he was this introverted man with books stacked higher than she was as a kid.  In this world, there are extraordinary introverts, preachers, speakers, teachers who love to share their knowledge and themselves with this world, but the way they found themselves was by being an introvert someone who locks themselves in and reads or studies and learns. Although the setting may change and you age extroverted places and people will always dominate, you must look into your self and who you are to gain strength take advantage of your shy nature and turn it into your skill. You can be whoever you want to be, just be the you that contributes to the world in your own special way.

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