Hijabi Hot Takes: How to enjoy college as an introvert


Nadine Jallal, Opinion Writer

Growing up, students’ first exposure to college life is through the media, which often depicts the college experience as one full of parties, drugs and alcohol, late nights of fun, unplanned adventures and more. A lot of these depictions can ring true, but that experience is not accurate for all college students, nor is it desirable to all college students.

Entering college knowing nothing about the experience but the crazy stories from the media, an older sibling, a tour guide or any upperclassmen can feel daunting for introverts. 

Everything that is attractive about a college experience, according to the majority, are activities not likely to be desired by introverted students. Even in movies, introverted characters are taken out of their comfort zones and are seen to flourish after entering the social scene, which is not at all accurate to what the real desires of introverts are. For example, movies like “Geek Charming” or “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” showcase introverts being pushed to enter the social scene.

Though not advertised, introverts can have fun in college too. The biggest first step to having fun in college as an introvert is to accept that being introverted is OK and appearing as so is not the end of the world. For example, eating in the dining hall alone can be relaxing if it is not spent worrying about how it looks. Pop some headphones in, listen to music or queue a good show and enjoy the meal. Everyone else is either not paying attention or worrying about how they look eating alone as well.

Setting boundaries and listening to personal needs is the next step to enjoying being an introvert. Having to recharge a social battery and take a step back from others is okay. Having a roommate as an introvert could also pose some challenges with recharging a social battery, but it all boils down to setting boundaries. Being honest with a roommate about needing alone time will help nurture an honest and healthy relationship.

Introverts still need healthy interactions with others, but those interactions can be controlled. Joining clubs and organizations that align with personal interests creates a scheduled amount of time to spend with like-minded people. Furthermore, getting to know classmates could also create structured social interactions during class times that could fulfill the need for human interaction.

Introversion is a spectrum and what one introvert may find daunting, another could find exciting. For example, being friends with an extrovert could seem like a lot of work, but for some, it could be just what they need to step out of their comfort zones every once in a while. Being an introvert should not prohibit one from participating in some extroverted activities, such as going to a party. What is important to note, however, is that going to a party is not a commitment to be bound by. Attend a party as long as it is fun, and leave when it is not. Any activity becomes more enjoyable if the end of it can be dictated by one’s level of enjoyment. Introverts should not feel guilty for spending less time at a party or leaving early.

If an introvert is apprehensive of the uncertainty of some social activities, they could opt to attend events put on by the university. Not only does it feel safer, but it is more structured and often planned way ahead. For example, APPS puts on countless events throughout the year that cater to many different groups and are often well-planned, structured and fun.

If introverts focus on catering to their own interests and comfort levels, they are bound to meet like-minded people. Obtaining a few close friends throughout one’s college experience can create many instances of relaxed social interactions. Having a Saturday night in with a couple of friends, watching a movie or just studying in each other’s presence can be the most enjoyable aspects of an introvert’s social life in college. There is a lot to enjoy about college as an introvert. College and the experiences that come with it are dependent on personal choices, and not always catered toward extroverts.