Starting at university can be incredibly exciting, but for a lot of people, especially introverts or outsiders, it can be a nerve-racking time. It’s easy to think that you need to fit in, but actually, university is the best time for you to celebrate your differences.
It’s important to remember that when you arrive, everyone is an outsider! And it’s okay if you want to keep it that way, but remember that being an individual does not mean being alone. University can be a great time to meet other people like you, who might also consider themselves introverts or non-mainstream people; imagine all the outsiders from every school coming together, that’s university!
Here’s why being ‘different’ at university is a good thing.
It’s a safe space for individuality
University students are more mature and therefore more willing to accept people who are different. University engenders and supports individuality, earnestness, and dedication to your subject and your own hobbies. Once you’re there, you can study what you want and let that shine through in your personality. You’re not going get bullied or hassled here; it’s positively encouraged that you be who you want to be.
University favours different perspectives
University does not favour the loud, the popular or the charismatic. It favours those who take pride in their work and those who offer different ideas. If you consider yourself an outsider, you’ll have plenty to offer:
- University professors will nurture and encourage your individuality. Many of them will be introverts or outsiders themselves because that is often the nature of academia!
- Your different perspective can produce original ideas. Professors don’t want to hear the same old opinions over and over again.
- Thinking ‘outside’ the box will help you get the best grades.
How you can socialise as an outsider
The more you celebrate your individuality, the easier it’ll be to make friends as they will find it easier to find you! There are lots of clubs and societies that are made by introverts, for introverts.
This is also your chance to flaunt your more unusual interests. Perhaps you want to start an insect appreciation society or a horror movie club? These are great ways to find other people who like other ‘quirky’ things – a surefire way to make friends!
But if you don’t feel like socialising, that’s okay too. You have your own space now where you can retreat. The more time you have to yourself, the more time you have for studying, self-reflecting, or even just catching up on TV. This is time well spent.
University is the ultimate chance for you to be who you want, whether that be an outsider, introvert, or just anyone who falls outside the mainstream. These qualities will be appreciated and valued in this new environment that encourages and supports the unique and original.
School was about fitting in, but university is about standing out. It’s your time to shine!