Love your introvert

by Jemya Lucas

College is an exciting experience in life, especially for those who are more outgoing, but it can be nerve-racking for introverts when it comes to socializing. As introverts, it is not always easy to come out of your shell even on a small campus with approximately 1,000 students.

Along with being an introvert, being a commuter student can affect a student’s ability to engage with others because commuters typically go to class and go back home. The Collegian asked its executive editor and introverted GC student, Breanna Adamick, if she thought being a commuter student made it harder to engage with other students.

“Being a commuter student can certainly have its challenges, and I do think interacting and getting to know peers is one of those challenges,” Adamcik said. “Sometimes events and activities happen at times that are inconvenient with my schedule, especially having to commute to campus, and that can make it difficult to socialize and get to know people.”

The Collegian: What’s it like being an introvert in college?

Adamick: “College life and long days of school can be exhausting in general, but particularly as an introvert. When I have breaks between meetings and classes and I’m feeling tired and somewhat anxious, I try to alleviate that by finding a quiet place to reset and have a bit of solitude.”

TC: Is there anything that you struggle with as an introvert?

Adamick: “As an introvert, sometimes I struggle with speaking in front of groups or to people I do not know very well. College and being more independent has helped me start to overcome that, but it can definitely still be daunting at times. I have also had to really push myself to socialize and do fun things on campus, because I want to engage and meet new people, but it can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are on your own.”

The Collegian also posed the same questions to its webmaster, Xypher Pino. He is not a commuter student; however, he is an introvert and understands the social challenges introverts can have in college.

TC: Do you think being a commuter student makes it harder to engage with other people?

Pino: “I am not a commuter student, but I can definitely see how hard it will be to engage with other people on campus. Unless you are part of a club or involved in sports, it would be hard to really engage with others, especially as an introvert. There really isn’t any opportunity for you to talk to others as a commuter student because all you essentially do is go to class and go home. Other than conversations you have with the people in your class, it can be impossible to really get to know others.”

TC: What’s it like for you being an introvert in college?

Pino: “Being an introvert in such a small college where everyone essentially knows each other is definitely an interesting experience. I think the close-knitted community that we have has forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I have met and connected with many professors and have gotten to know many other students, something that I most likely would not have experienced had I gone to a bigger school. Occasionally, I even find myself being energized by certain conversations I have with others, which is something that I rarely experienced before GC. I think GC has helped me with getting myself out there and it has really impacted me in such a positive way!”

TC: Is there anything that you struggle with as an introvert?

Pino: “I think the main thing I struggle with is having others understand that just because I don’t feel like talking with them, doesn’t mean I dislike them. Sometimes, I don’t have the energy to talk to others and I just want time to myself. A lot of my friends don’t really understand that and it is a little frustrating to deal with. I feel like I come across as rude because of this when I don’t intend to do that whatsoever. That is definitely the number one thing I struggle with.”

On behalf of The Collegian, I inter- viewed other introverted students and asked them about their struggles and experiences. I, myself, have my own struggles as an introvert as well. I have a mild case of social anxiety. I get uncomfortable quickly in big crowds, and sometimes my voice trembles when speaking in front of people I do not know that well. Even coming into class a few minutes late makes me cringe because there are always those people who look at you until you sit down at your desk. Unfortunately, there was recently a time where I wished I was different and not born the way I am. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I was born how I was meant to be, and I should not change how I was made.

If any of our stories and struggles resonate, you may commonly get perceived as standoffish, unfriendly or stuck up because you are more of a reserved type of person; but you know within yourself that is not what you identify as. There may have even been a time in life where you felt inadequate compared to those around you and wished you were born more outgoing and extroverted like other people.

Engaging in campus life by joining clubs and activities could open the door to new friendships and help you develop social skills, but first you need to accept yourself for how you are. To any students that wished they were born outgoing and not so shy, do not think that way. Everybody is different and they were made to be how they are. Sometimes we get caught up comparing ourselves to others and wishing we were more like them instead of appreciating ourselves for the unique beings we already are. Celebrate your introvert and do not change just to fit in with society. There are tons of introverts in the world and even at Greensboro College. You are not alone. Love yourself.

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