An Introvert’s Guide to University
“One thing I wish I knew before going to university is that everyone’s experience is unique.”
I am without a doubt an introvert. So, when the elation of getting into the University of Warwick fizzled out, the dread of navigating university, an inherently social place, set in.
My concerns were largely unfounded, save for a couple of awkward encounters and, as I’ve made it to my final year in one piece, I wanted to share some advice with any incoming freshers that may be feeling the same anxiety that I experienced.
This advice is a collection of things I did that really helped, as well as things I wish I had done in hindsight. So let’s get going!
When it comes to making friends, this is a good place to start. I found that Warwick’s accommodation questionnaire worked wonders and I struck up a good friendship with the majority of my flatmates quite quickly. This questionnaire was one of my favourite things about Warwick, and if it works, it really works! So make sure you answer truthfully to be in with the best chance of finding your people close to home.
Prop open your door on arrival day so that your flatmates can come and say hi. This is quite a passive way of inviting conversation and forming new connections which is why it can often be helpful for introverts.
Get in the kitchen ASAP! Cooking, or even heating up a ready meal, is a great way to meet and bond with flatmates. Some of my fondest memories of the first term were made in the kitchen as we forgot to turn the oven on or incinerated our chicken nuggets!
Another great place to make friends are the societies at Warwick! I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but there really is something for everyone and everyone there has at least one thing in common that will help break the ice and get the ball rolling.
A couple of societies that have a special place in my heart are the Warwick Student Cinema and the Cocktail Club. WSC has loads of opportunities for students to get involved, anything from front of house, to projection and publicity. They also run a wide range of socials, both drinking and sober-socials which is ideal for anyone’s lifestyle. I would highly recommend getting stuck in once it is safe to do so!
The Cocktail Club was great in my first year as everyone was super friendly (probably helped by the cocktails) and my favourite events were the cocktail masterclasses which are often themed and help you master the art of cocktail making! You may even find a new favourite drink!
The people on your course are likely to be the ones you will see most often. Similarly to the societies, you automatically have something in common and something to chat about. I must admit that few of my friends come from my course, but I have made a number of connections that make essay crises a lot easier to handle when you can call on like-minded students for help!
Introverts are generally people that need time alone to reenergise. They don’t automatically dislike social interactions but time alone is vital for them to make the most of socialising. So make sure you make time for you! Watch your favourite movie, read a book, or immerse yourself in your studies, whatever brings you joy and energises you, do it! There’s no shame in taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of university life in order to thrive (or under any circumstances, for that matter).
One thing I wish I knew before going to university is that everyone’s experience is unique. University is often seen as the best years of your life and that you’re only having a good time or making the most of it if you are having fun all the time, socialising 24/7, and clubbing. This can feel isolating and disheartening when that isn’t the lifestyle that suits you, but let me tell you that this isn’t the case at all. Your university experience is unique and personal to you, and you should make it into whatever you want!
I hope that this can help any introverts arriving at university to know that they belong and also give some tips on how to cope in a new environment. I know that you’ll smash it and I hope you have the best time!
Until next time