The Practical Guide for the Introverted FreshmanOctober 03, 2019

The term will start in March, which is more than enough for an incoming freshman. But you're an introvert (or a soon-to-be introverted freshman). Can you survive the first day? Let's differentiate shyness and introversion, so you can answer the question better.

A shy teenager doesn't want to be alone, yet he (or she) doesn't want to interact with other teenagers. Introvert teenagers enjoys solitude, which doesn't mean that he (or she) doesn't like company. Spending time with others can be emotionally draining. If you happen to be the shy one, then you must have planned your first year in the university. You're close to your family, so you could choose a university that is not far from where you live. You can't keep on calling your parents (or closest sibling) on a daily basis, though. There's no other choice but to find a club (or society) whose members have the same interests as you. This is a daunting step, but you could ask your parents who have traveled to some parts of Oz, if not the world, during their younger years. Curiosity would be one of the things that have prompted them to purchase those plane tickets, pack their belongings excitedly, and eagerly wait for the date of departure. There would be one instance that they couldn't wait, which would confuse you for a moment.

You must be excited about your chosen degree course, which should be good enough. There's no doubt about your passion for it, which would keep you going during the middle of the term and the last few months (of the term). Interacting with your coursemates would be another thing. You need to talk to a counsellor and your tutor. Don't let the pressure get to you too soon. It's a different case with an introvert.

If you're an introvert, then you must know that patience is the key to survival during your first month in the university. It might seem vague at this point, which is why you must pay attention to what you're about to read.

How Can You Find Your Way Around the University?

You must not pressure yourself to find a new friend during your first week. The period of adjustment depends on the student's personality, and it's not different to an introvert. Some are curious to wander around, which is a good thing. This is the best time to meet many people, when there are no deadlines and examinations. There are others who can't wait to get off the hall, and into their rooms. It's a normal thing to do, and there's nothing to be alarmed if this (kind of introvert) isn't open to change. You must not wait for that day when you're eager to talk to someone and you still haven't made any friends. Take your time, and always keep in mind that you only need a good mate to talk to. You can count on your tutor and/or counselor as well. It’s not about numbers, but rather the ones you can give you the time and support.

Don't underestimate the power of social media. If you want a new friend right away, then go to social media. You should know who would be your coursemates and possible flatmates. You can chat about the possibility of meeting before the start of the term, if not sharing a room or conversing in the hall frequently. Some won't do it right away while others are reluctant about finding mates on the Internet. You must not take it against them. As a matter of fact, you must keep your doors open for them. The last statement means literally and figuratively.

Feeling homesick and unhappy are perfectly normal for freshmen. Introvert must take comfort in the fact that all freshmen must go through a transitory period, which can be bumpy at times. Some rather look at it in a positive light, as they are thrilled about becoming independent (or far from the prying eyes of their parents). This first taste of freedom would lead to partying until the early morning and (the expectant) hangover. It's a good thing that introverts are wiser, and some would wonder if there's a club called Are You Not Drinking Too Much (AYNDTM). It would be best to look through the syllabus and read a book that would be studied next week or the week after next. For Literature and dual degree major students, this is the best option to follow. The coursework would be the cure to unhappiness until you meet someone in the library, if not the hall. Consider yourself lucky if there's something more, but you don't want to go too far ahead.

What Are Your Expectations?

You must connect with other students who feel the same way as you do. You might not be lucky, as you would interact with freshmen who you really don’t like later on. The goal is not to have 10 (or more) new mates at the end of your first month. One would be enough (if you have realistic expectations). You can get in touch with your tutor and/or counselor otherwise.

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