Everyone's different. Some of us are social butterflies, whereas others prefer the company of themselves and a good book. Introverts fall into that second category. If you’re introverted, the idea of going to uni can be daunting. With freshers’ week, student parties, group projects, and other social events, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed.
Nonetheless, you shouldn’t let these fears dissuade you from embarking on a life-changing journey. Here are some tips that will help you get through university as an introvert:
1. Make a close friend and stick together
It’s understandable to avoid the social pressures of being in a massive friendship group when you first start university. To avoid this, you could start by just making one or two close friends from your halls, course, or society. Reach out to like-minded people who will understand if you want to keep your circle relatively small. It’s about quality, not quantity.
2. Talk to your tutors about group work and presentations
Oral exams and presentations where you speak in front of the class can be really stressful when you’re an introvert. If you find yourself booked in to do one, don't panic. Tell your tutor about your concerns and how you feel about public speaking. They find you a solution that works, whether that means presenting in front of a smaller audience or a one-to-one environment.
The best way to deal with public presentations is to be perfectly prepared. Bring some notes along in case you find yourself struggling.
3. Don’t feel pressured into attending social events
Going to nightclubs, bars, and house parties is a big part of student life for many of us. Just remember that you’re not obliged to attend them if you don’t feel up to it. You shouldn’t feel pressured into stressful social situations to fit in. Just be yourself, do what you like and go to parties when you feel like it. Keep things on your terms.
4. See if you can work with people you know for group projects
When group work is unavoidable, ask your tutor if you can pick your team. To avoid sacrificing potential marks, consider the skills and abilities of the people you know, and select your group accordingly. Stay positive and avoid working with anyone you could envision coming into conflict with to mitigate stress.
5. Accept yourself
Being an introvert can be challenging at times, but there are plenty of advantages to it too. Introverts make great listeners and empathetic friends. Know your strengths and how to apply them during your studies. Self-acceptance will keep you true to yourself and help you to make true friends for life.
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