Five feels only introverted students will understand

September 26, 2016
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To all the students sitting in the back of the room, listening quietly, this one’s for you. You diligently turn up to uni every day, bravely facing the mass crowds of chattering students alone. You’re OK being by yourself, it’s sometimes even a nice break from hanging out with your friends. But regardless, the bustling world of #unilyf can sometimes be a bit too overwhelming for the quiet-at-heart.

Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone. These are some daily struggles that your louder compatriots just don’t understand.

Small tutorials are a living hell

There’s nothing more frightening to the introverted student than rocking up to class and finding only a handful of students in the room. Your heart starts to beat frantically. Where is everyone? Is there a free food festival somewhere that you’re missing out on? Why have the heavens condemned you to this cruel hell?!

Less people means the tutor is inevitably going to call on you to answer a question or contribute to the class debate. I know, I know, I’ll pause for a collective shudder. It’s not that you can’t talk in class, you’re more than happy to contribute when you’ve got something to say, it’s just that you’d, well, rather not.

Tutors will mistake your quietness for not having done the work

Let’s take a trip back to my first year at uni when a tutor, who didn’t quite understand the plight of the introverted student, pulled me up after class and demanded to know why I never did any preparation for tutorials. I was mildly offended that the turor thought I would still come to class week after week if I wasn’t doing any work and said that I had done the required readings each week, I just didn’t contribute to class-wide discussions because the regular talkers had already covered everything.

Unfortunately this scene is not as uncommon as you think. Keep doing what you’re doing and eventually your tutors will come to realise that you’re not slack, you’re just quiet.

You’re OK with spending a whole uni day by yourself

Some people may think that you’re a loner, but don’t let those naysayers make you feel bad about yourself. They just don’t understand the absolute bliss of being able to chill by yourself when you need it. You still have a squad to hang out with, but that’s at the times when you’re feeling chattier. Some of us just don’t like to be with a group all the time, and that’s perfectly OK. Life is all about balance, and uni is the perfect place to master these life skills.

You get teary-eyed when someone remembers your name in class

You da real MVP, humble stranger who goes out of their way to talk to you or include you in class discussions. We will probably never say this out loud, but sometimes that person is just what you needed to turn a regular ol’ day into one that’s just a little bit more cheerful. Who knows, one day you might even return the favour or extend an olive branch to a fellow introvert in one of your future classes.

You know that being quiet is not a bad thing

Sure, sometimes you’ll get a lot of shit for choosing to stay quiet and yeah, a lot of your fellow students won’t really understand. But at the end of the day you know that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.

Everybody is going to experience uni differently, just like everybody is going to experience life differently. Being hard on yourself for not fitting into other people’s ideas of normal won’t benefit you in the long run. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to do you, and embrace all of the lovely, quiet, parts of yourself.

Plus, let’s face it; you’ll totally never understand why some people need to talk. All. The. Time.

Shannon Coward

Shannon Coward is a third year Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Queensland. She enjoys period dramas, doughnuts and a good nap.