How To Be An Introvert At A Party School

By Megan Nutt on February 16, 2015

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I’m from a pretty small town. When I say small, I mean that my high school consisted of around 150 students. Total. Being an introvert was not a difficult lifestyle to live back then, since more often than not there was nothing going on within a twenty mile radius. Even after graduating high school, I spent my first year and a half commuting to the local community college.

Transferring to a large university my junior year was a big change for me. All of a sudden, I was living in a world where I hadn’t grown up with the people around me. There were thousands of students on campus who seemed to always be going out partying, while my roommate and I sat in our room doing homework and watching Netflix.

As the first semester ended, I eventually started to figure out how to balance what many consider a “normal” college experience with my introverted-ness. Living by these few guidelines helped me survive and enjoy the past year and a half of college life:

1. Find friends who share your idea of a good time

Whether it’s watching “Friends” on Netflix, grabbing coffee at Starbucks while talking about all of the drama going on in your lives or going out to the bars, you need to establish a friend group who will understand how you handle social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you are socially awkward, but that you need time alone to recharge after spending time with people.

A good friend group will understand this fact. Once you go out one night, you may feel ready to go out again the next night, or you may need to spend your free time doing something else. You shouldn’t feel pressured to go out just because your friends expect you to, and the best friends will respect your need to recharge.

2. Get a Job: You get paid for being social

For some students, their parents provide extra money for shopping, food and those little extra necessities that always seem to come up when you’re away at school. Just to clarify here, I am putting absolutely no criticism on those students. However, I have always had to work to make money to spend in anyway.

But for the purposes of this advice, it is helpful to an introvert to get a job, no matter the financial situation they are in. You have the chance to make some friends and establish relationships while not having to put forth too much extra energy to meet people, or put yourself in too many uncomfortable situations. Plus, you’re getting paid the whole time.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to the person next to you

I’m not saying you should start talking to random strangers around you, but your classmates who sit near you can become invaluable friends. As an introvert, it is really easy to not enjoy the idea of starting to talk to someone who doesn’t know you as well as your other friends. If the class is more focused towards your major, the likelihood is you will have some common interests to establish some basic conversational groundwork. After that, you can find out if you have other similar interests outside of the classroom.

4. Find the bar that’s right for you

This tip is possibly the most important thing when you’re an introvert. There are many different bars on campus that each offer their own atmosphere. Personally, I recommend a bar that offers a quieter environment, such as White Horse, Legends or Murphy’s.

These bars allow you and your friends to have your own environment, as opposed to bars such as Joe’s where you feel more crowded and surrounded by people. Whether you are drinking or not, feeling comfortable where you go is going to make you happier while going out.

If you follow these four tips, your experience as an introvert at a party school will be a lot more pleasant than my first few months at a big university. What is most important is making sure you feel as comfortable as you can in any social situation you end up in, and any social situation will feel less like work!

Senior in English and Literature. All around geek and Whovian.

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