Last month I was asked to go on my honours camp. It wasn’t compulsory, and was not only going to cost me money, but also mean that I would be missing work (and therefore losing more pay.) I decided not to go. Enter: my Mother. ‘Why don’t you go?’… ‘You should make some more friends.’….‘Stop being antisocial.’ It was really irritating, but it also made me wonder if there was something wrong with me. No, there’s not something wrong with me. I am just introverted. I’m not saying that myself (or other introverts) don’t have friends or enjoy their company. But, I personally like my very small group, and their familiarity with the ins, outs n crazies of Skye.They’re the people who know my history and are the key players in my life. And they love me. But these friends also get that I will quite literally disappear for a week or two without a word. They understand that I’d rather be alone.
Sometimes being an introvert, and (in my case) just a little too weird for most people, isn’t fun at university. I remember my first year I was told that it was all about making friends.. I met new people, I laughed, I talked. And a month later I still didn’t feel like I’d made friends. But the years have taught me that uni isn’t necessarily about that, it’s about embracing who you are. So here are some of my favourite things about being an introvert and just being alone.
Not having a group of people around me all the time means that I can just be myself. I am slightly (alright, incredibly) kooky at times and sometimes it is really frustrating having to explain yourself to others. ‘No, I’m not “special”’. ‘Yes, I am smart’. And my personal favourite, ‘Yes I know what traffic lights are!’ (I’m from the Barossa, apparently some people assume that means no traffic…)
I love being able to dance and sing to my music when I want and not worry that I’m bothering somebody with the noise. Being alone means that I get to do what I want, when I want and that’s okay. Some days that means writing, or reading, or even crocheting a scarf (still mastering that skill I’m afraid). But regardless of what it means, sometimes being alone (even if you’re an extrovert) lets you embrace yourself – scars, bumps and everything.
I love my small group of friends; most days I can count on one hand the people that I class as true friends. It’s always refreshing to rock up to your mate’s house – in trackies, no bra s and a packet of favourite junk food in hand. They’re the friends that will let me come over, flop on their couch and sometimes never even say a word. I don’t get worried that I’ve made an ass of myself in front of them or that I’d somehow said something stupid.
Some of my more extroverted friends are constantly running around with other people’s drama – they love it, so I guess kudos to them. But that seems like the most draining thing to be doing.
This is a university magazine, so eventually I was going to talk about study. I am in constant awe about how much I get done with no one else around. I get my assignments finished so much quicker, and it means I have heaps more time to do the things I love.
My first year of university I had one classmate who would rock up to a Biology tute every Wednesday morning hungover. Apparently he got insanely drunk every day or two. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good drink with friends, but being hungover in class? I’d rather not. Go the introverted sober studiers!
I’d rather be alone, but I’m not technically alone. Even now with the house entirely to myself, I still have company. Not socialising every spare moment means that I get to spend so much more time with my fur babies.
Stressed out? Stuff a call to my friend, I’ll just grab my beagle puppy and give her a huge hug (if she holds still for long enough). In need of entertainment? Watch the dogs run around in circles. Or try and stop my possum from going straight down my shirt and scratching my stomach. Need a good, emotional booster? Start up a game with the dog and watch her be delirious with happiness.
In the end, I didn’t go to my honours camp. I spent the week reading, relaxing and just enjoying the company of myself and my fur babies. I can’t think of a better, or more productive way to spend my time.