How to Navigate College as an Introvert

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Introverts tend to be more internally focused than extroverts, and may spend more time pondering thoughts, emotions, and feelings than other students. People that have this personality trait often aren't as social as others, and may prefer spending time alone or in small groups. Some introverts are content with this inward focus and maintaining a close circle of contact, and that's perfectly fine! Others, however, may find new or unfamiliar social situations cause anxiety or shyness.

College is a chapter in life where students are encouraged to embrace new experiences, subjects, personal goals, and a more outgoing lifestyle. For introverts that may be used to a more introspective viewpoint, this change to the “college life” can be jarring. Between unfamiliar classes and locations, new classmates, and the possibility of living on campus, introverts may feel some difficulty when trying to settle in and find their niche on campus. Not to worry, though! Tutor Doctor has some great advice on how to navigate college as an introvert.

Enroll in classes that genuinely interest you. It's always easier to connect with people that share similar interests to your own. By pursuing a subject or major you actually enjoy, you are more likely to come across other students that share this passion! Even if you're a first or second year student that is primarily limited to general education requirements, you will still be required to take undergraduate elective courses.

Exchange contact information with classmates. Some classes will have a large number of students, and raising your hand to ask a question can be intimidating during a lecture. Trading email addresses and/or phone numbers with a few classmates is always a great idea, as it gives you the opportunity to exchange notes, questions, and study plans with other students in the course. If you feel more comfortable in small groups, after class study sessions with a few classmates can be a great idea! And as a plus, having a class contact also gives you a resource in case you're sick one day and can't make it into school.

Take a public speaking course. Public speaking courses are required by the vast majority of colleges and universities, and many students choose to take these classes early on. Public speaking is a highly valuable skill, as knowing how to effectively communicate will be important during your entire time in college, as well as your future career. It's also a wholesome reminder that public speaking can be difficult for many – that's why these classes exist to specifically focus on honing this skill. Researching a topic you find interesting and delivering a prepared speech can be a lot of fun, and it's always a good idea to get more comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

Join a club. Colleges are known for having a multitude of fun clubs to join. From team sports to astronomy to photo club, there's plenty of resources outside the classroom that are great to get involved in. Just like taking classes you find genuinely appealing, participating in clubs or extracurricular activities that spark your interest will give you an opportunity to meet other students that share your passions.

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