The purpose of going to university is predominantly to get a degree, or a qualification and learning experience to further your education. In addition to this, the concept of going to university is often showcased as an opportunity for young adults to meet new people, make friends, socialise and discover themselves. It’s an experience which to extroverted students can appear exciting and positive, but to some of us more introverted students, this sounds like a nightmare. You don’t have to pick a side, extrovert or introvert. It’s not as black and white as it seems; you don’t have to be either super sociable 24/7 or else hide in your room alone. You might like to go out and meet people, but in pubs as opposed to nightclubs. You might like the idea of joining a society, just not one that only hosts drinking socials every week. You might enjoy the comfort of your cosy halls flat without the need to socialise every night with your flatmates. Forget about FOMO, university can be a different experience from one person to the next and you don’t need to define your personality for it to be enjoyable. The choices you choose and the memories you make will be the best university experience for you and your individual needs. Today let’s look at some tips for an introvert’s guide to university!
How do I know if I am an introvert?
A person typically identifies or is referred to as an introvert if their personality tends to find peace and enjoyment from within, as opposed to what is going on around them externally. You can discover your personality type by completing the Myers Briggs personality test which can help to give you perspective on how you prefer to spend your time, or just reflect on your passions and hobbies as they usually can shape an idea of who you are as a person.
As author Susan Cain explains, “Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialise enough”. Knowing if you are more introverted or extroverted can help you to understand how best to recharge, which can help you to navigate university better as a result.
Attend open days and listen to your intuition!
If you’re an introvert who is thinking about going to university, I highly recommend attending open days for your offers to get a feel for the campus and whether you feel comfortable in the environment. Feeling comfortable in your surroundings is an important factor for introverted students as it needs to be somewhere that you feel safe and relaxed in. Going to open days will help you to envision what life living here could be like. I recommend trusting and listening to your intuition during this experience, as ultimately you are the only person who knows what you are feeling and what is right for you.
Push yourself and learn your limits
Introversion is considered to be a spectrum and not all introverted students are shy or hate socialising. The best way to learn more about yourself and understand how you work best is to push yourself at times when you might feel ready to hide away or dip out. If you’ve been asked to join some course mates for a library study session but feel you prefer to study alone, why not compromise and try something new for just an hour? Pushing yourself will help you to discover your limits, particularly in terms of socialisation and commitment.
An introvert’s guide to university: Joining Societies
With over 1/3 of students identifying as introverts, it makes sense that there are a wide range of societies available to join at university which are introvert friendly. Societies and groups can include:
- Creative Writing Society
- Yoga Society
- Film Society
- Arts & Crafts Society
- Knitting/Crochet Society
- Allotment Society
- Photography Society
- Video Game Society
Introvert-friendly societies can be a great space to make new friends who are like-minded and have things in common with you. The good thing is that you can try out various societies during freshers week to get a feel for the environment and determine which is most suitable for you.
An introvert’s guide to university: Study Tips
As an introverted student, I found study challenging because I was limited on the study methods I could engage with by myself. I didn’t find working in study groups with my course mates beneficial as it felt too much of a distraction and I would compare my learning ability to others constantly. I realised however that preferring to isolate myself during revision didn’t mean I had to limit myself on the learning resources available to me. I started using the Jamworks app during my lectures which automatically recorded the session and made informative notes of the relevant information discussed in slides and by my lecturer. The Jamworks app uses AI to not only convert the lecture recording into a transcription, but to also provide summaries and flashcards for alternative revision styles. The feature of the Jamworks app which I found most helpful as an introverted student is the Jam AI chatbot which is available for students to ask any questions on information relating to the lecture content. This is a great tool if you often miss out on important information because you feel uncomfortable asking questions during class!
Book 1-1 sessions with your tutor
Following on from study methods, you can improve your learning experience as an introverted student at university by making the effort to book 1-1 sessions with your tutor or lecturer in a subject/module that you need help and guidance with. If you struggle with full attendance, asking questions or maintaining focus during lectures it is important to stay on top of your revision and make the most of the help available to you in order to achieve your best work.
How to manage shared living as an introvert
Sharing a living space as an introvert has to be one of the most unappealing factors of attending university. Fortunately there are options and alterations that can be implemented to make this experience more enjoyable for you. You can opt to request having your own room with an ensuite bathroom to give yourself a sense of privacy and security. Additionally, some universities offer studio accommodation rooms which include independent cooking facilities. If you’re on a budget and are sharing living spaces with other students, I recommend communicating with them early on to break any tension or awkwardness and voice your preferences so that they can be respectful of your personal space. When progressing to living in a shared house off-campus, try to live with people that you know have similar living styles to you so that you are in a more familiar and suitable environment.
Universities across the world bring together a diverse range of students who break out beyond the stereotyped boxes that we often try to put students in. There are more students in the same boat as you than you may realise and it’s important that we open discussion around having different experiences to make introverted students feel more welcome and accepted at university. This introvert’s guide to university can be the key to making the most of your experience and learning opportunities.
Achieve study success as an introvert at university – Click here to get started with a Jamworks Pro subscription today!