A hand holding a mug that reads 'busy introverting'.

March 11, 2020, by UoN School of English

The Friendly Introvert

On a large campus, it is very easy to get swallowed up by the crowd. However, part of the university experience is getting out there and meeting new people. Not only is making connections important in making the campus feel more like a home, it is also an important skill to develop for your budding career. People tend to throw around the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ in a way that helps you understand or define yourself. But this can also be very limiting when it comes to what you think you are capable of.

Here are just a few tips for those of you who might feel a little intimidated by the idea of meeting new people.

1. Fake it till you make it

We are all victims of getting lost in our own heads and spiralling through our thoughts. When it comes to socialising, anyone can get a little self-conscious. This is a good thing, because it means that we care. But sometimes this can get in the way.

So why not try pretending not to care so much? Next time you feel yourself spiralling, remind yourself that you have power over your own mind, and envision yourself with the confidence of someone you admire, whether that be a friend, relative, celebrity or fictional character.

2. Sit next to people in lectures

Since the dawn of time, choosing where to sit has been a greater issue than it ever should be. It can feel awkward tying to pick a seat. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and sit next to someone new, or who you might not know that well. If it feels uncomfortable, remember to ‘fake it til you make it’. It is likely that they will be in the same boat as you.

3. Societies

One of the greatest perks of university is the societies. The options available are ridiculously extensive; there is something for everyone. Even if you are unsure, just try going to something new and talking to the people there. You will at least have that society in common, and probably much more.

4. Say ‘yes’!

While a cup of tea and a Netflix binge watch can be tempting, it is very important to go out into the world and make new experiences. The next time you get invited to something, say ‘yes’!

5. Make time for you

Not to contradict all my previous point, but it is worth keeping in mind that you do not have to push yourself at all times. Remember to give yourself a break, and make time to spend some quality time with yourself. In the wise words of Hannah Montana, “you get the best of both worlds!”

Nina Shasha is an English student at the University of Nottingham.

Image credit: Elena Koycheva
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