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An Introvert’s Guide to Going to College 

Embarking on a journey to college can be one of the most daunting tasks for an introvert, especially after listening to several experiences from films, books, friends, or family members. The transition into college can be the most overwhelming experience when you have no recollection of how or where to start. If you are someone who has not been forced to explore outside of their everyday comfort zone,  you could just be an introvert.

Most people struggle with getting outside of their comfort zones because it requires too much effort to discover who or what group they may fit into. The first step to identifying whether or not you are an introverted, extroverted, or ambivert person would be to simply take a personality test. No one should ever be afraid to be involved in the outside norm, so why should you? 

Here at Clarkson University, we’re all about empowering and encouraging our prospective and current students to embrace all opportunities, regardless of their placement on the introversion-extroversion spectrum. We understand that the journey is attempting to figure out what it means to be “truly involved,” and it starts with your willingness to explore outside of your comfort zone.

Within every introvert, there is a fully extroverted young mind dancing and bouncing from wall to wall! Don’t you think so? Everyone yearns to let the world know about that inner boy or girl that dances alone, watches anime, and enjoys aesthetically pleasing environments. 

Building Connections: Let’s Start Small & Find Your Close Friends!

Let’s create a friendship that you’d love right in your own living space! Introducing yourself to your roommate could be the very first step. Clarkson Residence Life offers you access to see your assigned roommate ahead of time, which gives you the option to reach out to your potential friend. Try asking them about themselves: hobbies, interests, pet peeves, favorite artists, or favorite genre of music. This could be the very first step in the best direction, and you shouldn’t feel the slightest bit discouraged because it will allow you to get a grasp of who you’ll be sharing a space with and allow you to better understand how to coordinate with this person. This part is the most difficult thing to adjust to, but by far the best and very first step in creating and developing a meaningful connection that could potentially last a lifetime. This can be seen as both a challenge and an opportunity for introverts! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the typical freshman-year roommate experience because I had been placed in a single dorm room instead of a duo. However, I was motivated to get to know those around me, starting with my neighbors, Sandrine and Kouboura. These girls were fortunately my first friends and the utmost beautiful spirits to come across during the time that I had just moved into Potsdam over the summer and then having to transition into student life. From the point that I had met these girls, they motivated me to get outside of my comfort zone. In other words, we had vowed to at least speak to about 3 people at all the residence life events, and surprisingly, me being the scary one was always the first person to speak. 

Discover Your Tribe: Explore Social Activities That Suit You!

There are several ways to step outside of your comfort zone! I would recommend embracing each and every possibility that comes your way! One of the best ways

Attending the Activities Fair offers a prime gateway to like-minded individuals and shared interests because you never know who may genuinely have or hold similar interests to yours!

How would you ever know if you didn’t decide to skim through the new community and try? The first time wanting to reach out to others and even sign up for a club might be one of the best strategies to dive into because it offers the excuse of confidently participating without actually having to participate…By simply walking throughout the activities fair and hearing what each club or individual person takes out the organization that they participate in, it allows you to actively listen, contribute, and simply forge genuine connections with those within the club setting, as well as unlock a whole new sector of experiences and insight, if you ask me?! 

Harnessing Your Strengths : Teamwork for Self-Work.

It’s interesting to notice and understand that class participation in workshops, case studies, discussions, and more are all ways to help you excel within your teamwork environments, even without having any interest in doing so. Most class participation with peers is dependent on a grade, and though this may seem like the most demanding out of all the following steps that I have listed,. It isn’t! 

Class participation allows an individual to embrace the group dynamic and somewhat forces the average introverted person to engage in an active conversation for about 5–15 minutes each course time. The process of participating in a simple group project can both build up and evoke a valuable opportunity to grow, network, and potentially collaborate with those around you more than your normal routine, if you have that established altogether. 

The discovery of self that is built within an atmosphere where your input and critique are required can both help you better understand and leverage most of your strengths, communicate effectively, understand your comfort zone, and develop the experience to better understand how you operate within a team-oriented setting. Personally, I have found that working alongside people has probably forged what I would like to consider the dedication in staying true to myself. 

Mindful Adventures: Find Your Own Peace 

The journey in outside exploration can be the best sense of encouragement for most introverts because it allows you to take a step to dive deep into overcoming any hesitation as well as establishing a safe space in your new environment. Exploring your community can and will give you a chance to reconnect with yourself and what Potsdam has to offer. Solo adventures can allow your true introverted self to find solace in the beauty behind all nature and step outside of your comfort zone to discover the wonders of the great outdoors. 

Create a sanctuary for yourself 

Most people attempt to research all of the ways to get outside of their comfort zone and tend to overlook the most important one, which is self-love: Self-Care and self-involvement. There is so much comfort in finding your own sense of solitude, especially in what may be the best and safest place to run off to… 

The need to embark on self-involvement is so important because it allows you to decompress and navigate from what may be seen as a jam-packed schedule or week what feel like endless interactions with 

people, listening to their experiences, stressors, or the things that they find most repulsive about the collegiate environment that they signed up to take part in. Unconventionally, all of these things begin to add up and can be seen as very time-consuming, but as stated and recommended above, always prioritize yourself, take a break and try to find comfort within your own space. 

The main step would be attempting to create and/or build a sanctuary for self-love in your dorm room. Your dorm room is usually the best place for you to maintain the 3Rs: Relax, Recharge, and revive. The first R would be to Relax, because the way that you decorate your dorm can range from comfy & cozy to safe and snug, and that can set the tone for how you and your potential guests feel when entering. When we were in high school, we couldn’t wait for the chance to go home, kick our shoes off and just get a break from how hectic or busy the day had been. This is usually where the second R comes in because, by creating a nurturing sanctuary, you are able to take a step back from the day without friends, without distractions and just let loose all those frustrations. However, The first two R’s can not be done without the final one, Revive. To Revive your dorm means to create a safe space where, when the time comes for a relaxing or recharging moment, no matter when that time comes, it will always be welcomed. In other words, your space needs to exemplify the comfort, love, and supportive environment that you would have when back home. Grab some family pictures, aesthetically pleasing posters, essential oils, etc. 

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