Posted On September 1, 2014 By In Advice For Men, Lifestyle, Manzone

Coping With College as an Introvert


I’m going to start out by being completely honest: I really would rather spend the rest of my life in the wilderness and only see good friends and family for the rest of my life rather than having to interact with the average human being every day for the rest of my life.  That’s just how I am.  I love my alone time and I enjoy having some peace and quiet to think to myself and not have to worry about the world around me.  That may be selfish, but it’s me and it’s the way that I think.

Our mental hardwiring is something that is extremely hard for us to overcome.  Things are just easier when we don’t face our fears and try new things.  That’s actually the safest and most stable life possible.  If someone chooses to never challenge the outer limits of their comfort zone over the course of their life, chances are that they will probably have little to no instability in their life other than the normal stuff that hits us all, like deaths of loved ones, sickness, etc.  When presented in that light, a life lived as such sounds almost attractive to some.  Imagine not having to worry about job security and whether you’re going to be able to pay rent in a world where so many people are being ambitious and planning on more money in the future.  Imagine just being able to stay in the same job until you absolutely have to retire and making just the right amount of money to get you through life, with a little extra to save on the side, and just living life and loving it where you’re at?

I’ve had to learn that that’s not the way to live life if you want to enjoy yourself.  Especially if you’re in college.

College is an experience unlike any other.  It’s a place where young people come together to experience life on their own for the first time in their life, and they all share the entire story.  As much as you may try to deny it, every time you wake up in the morning you begin a new chapter of a book that is being written about your life, whether you’re like me and you’re actually starting to compile that information on your own because you’re a little bit egotistical or not.  If you’re not physically capturing your life on a page or in a computer, then your mind is doing it for you.  Your mind is starting to develop habits and patterns that will repeat for the rest of your life, especially in this time when you’re as impressionable as you’ll ever be.  This is the time to challenge everything that you’ve ever known to be true.  If you thought that you were a weirdo in high school, then throw those thoughts out the door the second that you arrive on campus.  Nobody cares what you did in high school when you get to college unless the conversation that is happening is already about high school, which can happen sometimes.

The best way to approach the situation of being a new kid on campus – whether that’s being a freshman or a transfer student – is to break out of your shell as best you can and try to meet people whenever you can.  Try new things and meet people while you can, because the adrenaline of being on campus and experiencing everything will soon wear off and it’s going to get harder fight your natural tendencies.

I can’t admit to know everything and have a foolproof method to cure tendencies toward introversion.  Being completely honest once again, I’m still fighting those tendencies.  As I write this, my new friends from college are downstairs having fun and kicking it, while I’m upstairs “doing homework” because I would rather be alone right now.

Alone time is important to me, and I know that it’s probably important to someone reading this article with some sort of interest.  The fact is, who you are is not going to change.  You’re going to be totally fine with being alone when your friends go out on weekends sometimes, just because things seem to be a little overwhelming at the moment or you just need some seclusion.  Don’t go do something that you’re not going to enjoy just because you’re trying to be a little more extroverted or show the world that you’re “fun”.  Nobody cares about that when you graduate.  Do you, have fun, meet people, and don’t ever give up on the things that you really want to accomplish because while our friends are out partying, we’re doing (somewhat) productive stuff and bettering ourselves to become someone’s boss one day.

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Corben is a 20-year-old Twitter addict that hates Facebook now that his parents - and grandparents - are on it. He classifies himself politically as a Libertarian and actually runs a (small) political blog with his friend from high school, which can be viewed here. He enjoys rap music, porters, Parks and Recreation, and lacrosse. Someday he hopes to retire to the woods somewhere in eastern Tennessee to live out the rest of his days in peace, but for now living with his parents while they pay for college is just going to have to do.