A couple of months ago I wrote a letter to extroverts, from me, an introvert. I explained what an introvert is, what it shouldn’t be confused with, how it’s often devalued as a trait and what introverts definitely don’t want to be told, by extroverts or by anyone.
I tried to break down the myth about introverts being shy or unsociable. Introvert simply means that we get our energy from being on our own. We re-charge by being alone. Just like extroverts get their energy from being around people. There are also extroverted introverts and introverted extroverts but I won’t get into that now.
If you’ve been reading my blog lately you’ll know that I am currently in Hull, studying as an exchange student. I’ve been meeting a lot of other exchange students, as well as international students (difference here is that exchange students are here for a semester or a year, international students are foreigners studying a full degree here) and locals.
A lot has been organised this week and I am trying to go to as many things as I can to meet people and socialise, as well as go to everything I have to go to to get my modules and registration in order. And let me tell you, for an introvert, it’s HARD.
If you remember what I said earlier about an introvert getting energy from being alone? Well imagine you don’t have any alone time for days on end. No time to re-charge, which basically equals exhaustion.
Now I am not saying I have reached that point, because I know myself and I know my body (kinda) so I have been taking time here and there to recover, a few hours between busy mornings and evenings, or just an evening alone watching suits instead of going somewhere else.
For example, I hate going out to clubs. I think they are loud, they never have the music I like, the people there are usually not nice to talk to, drinking only makes me tired, etc etc. So I have not been out to a club once since I was here, because I know that if I go, I would not have a good time, at all.
But still, I get FOMO (fear of missing out, my mum laughed really hard when I told her that). Or at least I think I get FOMO, although I’ve learned to brush it away quite easily recently. Whilst sitting alone in my room doing something I love but also receiving countless messages, photos and videos in whatsapp group chats of others dancing, drinking and also having fun I can’t help but think:
Are we as introverts missing out on all the fun?
Obviously I am also an introvert that doesn’t like to go clubbing, but I bet you that a lot of other introverts also don’t like to go out that much – at least the people I’ve spoken to – and there are definitely more introverts than extroverts who don’t like this particular feature that seems to be compulsory during uni.
Almost everyone around me here, is going to the parties they organise, the house parties after that, they pre-drink, go to clubs and pull a sad face when I tell them I’m not going… again.
The fact is, I think it’s great that they all like clubbing, I ain’t stopping them. But even the fact that I personally hate clubbing doesn’t stop me from feeling like I’m missing out.. BIG TIME.
I get the feeling that this society is so wired in a certain way, as a student you have to like and do certain things to make you university years the best they can be. Things like going out, getting wasted and crawling into the 9am class completely hungover seem to be included in the general picture.
Someone the other day said something like “yeah, last night at the party was really good… making memories”.
Making memories that I am not part of. Because he said that, even though people were complaining about the party all day – the music was too loud, you couldn’t hear anyone, band was mwah. But still, they were making memories.
And it’s true, they were. And I missed out. Deliberately.
Because it seems that most of the people at university are full on extroverts, even if they aren’t, it seems so. They all enjoy going out and “making memories” whilst I enjoy sitting in my bed with some snacks watching suits at 9pm. Wouldn’t exactly call that “making memories”, would you?
Still, I do make memories and I’m not missing out on the fun
Because the fact is, going to that club, wouldn’t be having fun for me. So maybe I would be making memories, and probably some fun ones as well, but most likely I wouldn’t remember that night as being a good one. And I definitely wouldn’t remember the next day as being good either.
I simply have another way of making memories. I have a different idea of fun that doesn’t align with the rest of my peers. And that’s fine.
I enjoy going on day trips to cities, going to Bongo’s bingo, participating in speed-friending or a quiz – all things which I am able to do here in Hull this welcoming week. All memories that I am going to cherish forever.
So no, actually, I don’t think introverts are missing out on the fun at all, even if from an extroverted point of view – and therefore society’s point of view – it seems like we might be.
I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. I’m not being shy or afraid to step out of my comfort zone to go to the things I want to go to. (Obviously for a lot of people stepping out of their comfort zone and meeting new people is also a huge step, and I get that, I’ll probably write a post on that some day too). I’m also not letting myself get peer-pressured (in the nicest way) into doing something or going somewhere I don’t want to.
What is your opinion on this? Please let me know in the comments!
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