In the previous post, I talked about the same thing I’m going to talk about here really, and that is, how to survive university as an introvert…or even as an extrovert, for those who are feeling unsure about university!
University’s tough but it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. You’ll still have fun and you’ll do just fine after you’re done.
When you graduate and you’re feeling a ton of anxiety, you’re right where you’re supposed to be.
Here we go!!
6) Take on leadership roles
A lot of this had to do with reading Susan Cain’s “Quiet.” That book pretty much gave me the confidence to take on the roles I was happy to take on in my fourth year.
People always think that leaders need to be charismatic, outgoing, and charming. While that certainly wasn’t my case, I knew I had something else to offer. Ideas…concepts…my passion for wanting to help improve any situation thrown at our group.
So I did my best and while I wasn’t exactly the most experienced leader compared to my predecessors, being in a leadership role for the first time in what…7 or 8 years really proved that no matter how quiet or reserved you are, you’re still capable of change.
Sure not everyone’s cut out to be a leader, I certainly wasn’t, but it forced me out of my shell and unlocked skills I never knew I was capable of doing so.
I actually miss the endless amount of messages and the overwhelming responsibilities. The purpose was so fulfilling and exciting knowing that you get to work with others and listen to what your members have to say.
It was the most stressful time but I loved it so much that come concert day, I was a bag of mixed emotions and they made it all worth it.
7) Get a job (part-time only please!)
As much as I hate to admit it, money helps. In my second and third year, I worked part-time at a McDonald’s while going to school full-time.
While it wasn’t the most glamorous job, it helped pay the school bills and we all know how those can rack up.
It was a tough balancing everything. I wanted to spend more time studying and make friends, but at the same time, those books weren’t going to buy themselves.
Looking back, here are some things that I would’ve changed:
- Spend less money on the fun stuff. For me, it was eating out and buying makeup.
- Work more days, but shorter shifts (I’d be super tired to tackle school work after an 8-hour day of being on your feet. Customer service jobs are especially tiring after a long day of dealing with rude customers.)
- I would’ve probably picked up another job and split my time between the two jobs. Somewhere quieter like a bookstore or something. It would have been nice to just talk to the books for a while 😛
One thing that I did excel in was being on good terms with people there. This kind of goes back to joining clubs at school. You all have a common purpose at work and you’ll likely be experiencing the same work pains, so this gives you the perfect common ground.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be making good friends along the way. I thank McDonald’s for introducing me to some of the best people I know.
8) Be a hermit once in a while
You should still be reachable in case there’s an emergency but one of the things I loved about living away from home is that I could take the weekend to just hide in my room and just read Buzzfeed articles without judgment.
I was very lucky that my roommates, while they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, they were never pushy about spending time together or super loud.
Once the weekend was over, I would emerge from my room a happier person because I got to do what I wanted in the safety of my own room.
Acquiring this kind of freedom makes me excited to get a place of my own someday. I get to decorate it the way I want to and live in it the way I want to.
9) Be friends with the extroverts.
I swear, whenever someone takes the time and effort to talk to me, I get scared because I know I’m outwardly boring. I don’t like flashy makeup, I wear simple clothes, and I’m generally quiet. If you get inside my mind, it’s a whole different story.
So when a more outgoing human being wants to be friends with me, sometimes I’m still shocked. In reality, if it wasn’t for my extroverted friends, I’d probably never go out much.
Embracing all kinds of people just opens you up to more friendship possibilities. I’m not saying go out there and try hard to be friends with everyone you meet! The best friendships are the ones where you don’t have to try hard to be friends and extroverts help at that.
10) Embrace your lovely introvert self.
I pretty much saved this for last because well…I didn’t embrace myself as an introvert. Only because I didn’t know what the hell was going on and because I didn’t know any better, I suffered.
I wrote this hoping that the lost introverts out there can get a piece of mind from this two-part series. I’m still in the process of embracing myself but I’m in a much better place from four years ago.
In a world that values charismatic and outgoing people, you may feel lost in the crowd as an introvert. Just remember that you’re not alone and there are others out there who feel lost as well.
I can offer you a sentimental, “It’ll get better” but I want to do more than that for you. So if you’re reading this, love yourself and revel in your ability to observe from a distance…harness your energy from peace & solitude…engage in deep conversations with a stranger…and so much more.
For sure, I’m that kid…no sorry, adult, who wishes they made more out of their university life, and even though you’re probably going to forget half the things I wrote on here, I can tell you that you’re going to be just fine. 😉
Happy Monday all!<3