Breathe in, breathe out.
Happy two weeks into the new school year!
Being a sophomore now, I feel significantly older and wiser than my old freshman self. The key changes between last year and this year: I know what I’m doing with my life much better now, I talk more, and I have a lot more friends. Whew. Glad those concerns are out the window.
But the biggest thing that has changed, I think, is that I’ve embraced the one facet of my personality that I so neglected last year- my introvert.
Breathe in, breathe out. Look around.
It’s not that I don’t like being social. It’s just that sometimes, I need the noise to stop. I crave the quiescence of early mornings in the gym and finally empty classrooms and stolen moments in my dorm. I like looking out at fresh-cut grass and sprinklers and really
seeing the vibrancy of the scene. I like feeling the music pounding through my earbuds, invigorating me, speaking to me, unfettered and unfiltered. I like it when the noises slow and stop and I can appreciate the quiet background power of the world.
But it’s hard to be an introvert in college- or anywhere, really. Most people like the noise. Most people gain strength from the strength of others, not “the world”. (What a Romantic sentiment we introverts have. In Brit Lit the other day, we read about how Wordsworth said you could be passive, just chillin’, in nature, and wisdom would be showered on you.)
My college experience last year was characterized by being around people, but not people who were my close friends. I hated group studying with people I hardly knew. At the same time, I didn’t want to be a loser and study by myself (BY THE WAY: the fear of studying by yourself is an *extremely* freshman sentiment. As in, no one other than you cares). Being an introvert and enjoying loneliness are vastly different statements, and I didn’t know how to balance my inner needs with my desire to forge deep connections.
Breathe in, breathe out. Look around. Let the world revolve.
Nothing really significant happened to make this sentiment change: I just eventually forged a few deep connections, people whose presence I could enjoy in silence without feeling lonely, and I got MUCH busier. I now schedule “RELAX” in my calendar so that I have time to unwind by myself, even after a day filled with meeting others.
I also realized that there were many more people like me than I realized- extroverts just tend to be a little louder so you think they are all that there is, but there are plenty of people who like being a little more quiet. There are also people who
appreciate people who are introverted for their understanding and compassion in a silent way.
We’re multi-faceted people, really, caught in a web of wanting to be social, and not wanting to be lonely, and wanting to be outgoing, but wanting the noises to stop, but still needing others because how would we function without other people?
But it’s okay. Give it time. Breathe in, breathe out. Look around. Let the world revolve. You are here, you are steady, and you are fine.