It took until the second year of university for me to properly come to terms with what it meant to be an introvert, and what it meant for me. I should begin by stating that, being introvert means something different to everyone, and by no means is this a one size fits all post. Hopefully, you’re able to take something away from this that helps you!
The most important fact is that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. Something that took me a while to completely understand. For me, personally, I really enjoy being alone and working. Going for at least several hours at a time, completely wrapped up in my own world. Till today, I can’t tell you why, but I used to think that this made me boring? Which couldn’t be farther from the truth and the fact that I couldn’t see was a huge problem.
In my ignorance, I thought it would be best to try and completely change who I was, in an ill-advised attempt to be more of the “typical student.” Of course, the results weren’t the best. I would constantly put myself situations where I wouldn’t enjoy myself, but “it was the student thing to do,” so I went along with it. As a result, I was less happy, and was constantly socially exhausted, and for all the unnecessary changes that I made to my personality… I was in no better position.
The summer past summer, however, I decided to go back to doing what every person is best at. Being Myself. In an unapologetic manner. In no time at all I was feeling happier, far more fulfilled and believe it or not, I didn’t lose any of my friends or suddenly become the world’s most boring man. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, or just doing what you know makes you happy. If you enjoy something, why deprive yourself of it to impressive people who most likely don’t care?
There’s no shame in taking a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed. A night in with a movie and some snacks is just as fun as going out to a club. I have come to terms with the fact that there is a significant difference between stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to completely change your personality to “fit in.”
I definitely could have used this when I was at university. I found it so difficult as an introvert and group discussions and seminars were so stressful because of it. Thankfully 7 years of retail work has given me a little more confidence, but I still struggle in new situations quite a lot!
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