Too shy for uni? Never!
So being introverted at university isn’t easy. It feels like everyone’s out having the time of their lives, while you are happier with your own company and a cup of tea. It’s not always a bad thing! Introverts can enjoy going out, but can feel recharged and at their happiest when alone or with a very small group of people. You’ve just got to remember that everyone enjoys different things, and if partying and meeting lots of people is your thing, then go for it, but the same should be said for people who’d prefer quieter situations or just like a bit of alone time. That’s where the unofficial introverts of UoN came in handy! A very clever group of people from the new student’s Facebook page decided that the more extroverted people shouldn’t be the only ones with opportunities to meet up and find new people. So, they created a Facebook page where everyone who considered themselves an introvert could introduce themselves and chat with each other. This group slowly developed into another Facebook group called SoberSquad for people who don’t drink or don’t go out/drink very often, but still welcomes anyone with an open mind!
This group has actually now become a society, which offers movie nights, picnics, meet ups and lots of other activities! Knowing that there were other people who felt the same about social gatherings and drinking was a big comfort to me when starting uni, because I was worried about being the only one who preferred pizza to parties!
You will always get people who don’t really understand what being introverted means which can make life difficult, but for every person who doesn’t understand, I can guarantee there is at least one person who does, and it’s even more likely that there are people who feel the same on your course! Once you start talking to people you realise that it is actually more common than you think, and a lot of people feel nervous or uncomfortable in similar situations to you. Just because you prefer being in to being out doesn’t make you strange or an outcast, it makes you just as interesting as everyone else!
Although we all have the similar trait of being introverted, everyone I have met from SoberSquad has been so different and trust me, if you think you won’t meet anyone who has a similar hobby/favourite TV show/ film to you, you are probably going to meet them through SoberSquad because there are so many people from different places and different backgrounds that it’s highly likely you will find someone you click with. Another bonus is that you don’t actually have to go out and meet up! There can be some days where you really just don’t feel like doing anything, but the friends you meet at uni will probably be more understanding than those you’ve had previously because we are all in the same boat.
Introvert is just an umbrella term. It doesn’t put you in a theoretical box, it doesn’t allow you to be labelled,it is purely a description of one of your personality traits. You can have a good sense of humour and be introverted, you can enjoy heavy metal concerts and be introverted, and you can love drama, and still be introverted. Yep, believe it or not, identifying as an introvert doesn’t make you boring and doesn’t make you any less important as someone who sees themselves as extroverted.
I think it’s important to remember that whether we are introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between, first and foremost we are all people, who are going through a pretty big thing at uni and we should all support and respect each other because the chances are, there is someone who feels the exact same as you!
Katie Wilson — BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies student