Introversion and Dorm Life
When I went off to college, I assumed that my nights would be filled with full pots of coffee—desperately trying to cram more information in my brain and sweating over an exam I totally wasn’t prepared for. I assumed my weekends would be filled with parties in frat houses with kegs and gross frat guys. Looking back, I don’t know why this was ever my expectation: I have never been a partier, ever. I even maintained a strict bedtime at slumber parties.
But, despite my soundest and most critical thinking, I still expected many wild nights upon entering college and moving into a dorm.
I expected parties where I, a good kid, would respectfully turn down the cheap beer I was being offered and dance the night away until the wee hours of the morning would finally retire me to my room.
I had forgotten, you see, to take into account that I’m an introvert and the furthest thing from a partier. I enjoy being around and being able to talk to people, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that most days I need to have time to myself or else I stop feeling like a person altogether. Luckily, I have roommates who seem to understand this; once my earbuds go in, they know better than to bother me.
I also didn’t seem to take into account that there are no fraternities at my university (thank goodness).
So, needless to say, my college experience ended up being different than I expected, and I am endlessly thankful for that. Had I been partying all the time up until now (seriously, who was I kidding?) I think I would have lost a bit of my sanity, and I definitely wouldn’t have such good grades (holla).
That does not mean that this experience has been meaningless. In hindsight, I have no idea why I ever thought being slobbered on by frat guys who stink of cheap beer would be more fun than just lying in bed and watching Stranger Things.
I think a big part of my learning experience this year was realizing that I don’t need to conform to other people’s ideas of fun. Even since the days of slumber parties, I have always been afraid that I was missing out by not going out. I would often be invited out to things and would turn down the offer so I could lay in bed and watch TV — my instinct was getting out of plans. But, that instinct, the fact that I never wanted to go out used to really bother me. I had persuaded myself into thinking that I was keeping myself from something amazing. I had convinced myself that the only way that I would have fun is by putting myself into situations where I would be uncomfortable and unhappy — that makes sense right?
However, this year I learned that I’m not missing out on much, just the aforementioned frat guys and an awful hangover the next day.
This year, I realized that it’s okay to have a different definition of fun than everyone else, it’s okay to not go out when all you really want to do is lay in bed with a good show. It’s okay to prefer to spend your early mornings with a huge cup of coffee than to spend your late nights with an overflowing cup of beer and some country music playing from someone’s Beats Pill.
Your definition of relaxing does not have to be the same as your friends’. Your definition of “letting off steam” can absolutely be going to bed at 8:30 and reading a book. Being reckless and drunk when you’re young is not a requirement.
It’s okay if, when your roommate leaves for hours, you blast the Mamma Mia soundtrack on a loop instead of inviting all your boyfriends over. I mean, really, who’s to say which one is more fun?