For an introverted individual who thrives in their own environment and prefers the company of a small group rather than a large gathering, Welcome Week can be a daunting prospect. As an introvert myself, the idea of freshers was both terrifying and anxiety-inducing. However, I managed to make it through and actually enjoy myself! If you’re anything like me and the other 40% of the population who identify as introverted, then you might be feeling a teeny bit worried about freshers – and I’m here to help you through. Without further ado, here are my top tips for surviving (and thriving) as an introverted fresher.
Take it at your own pace
Freshers can be an overwhelming combination of new people, new information and unfamiliar surroundings. While some people find this exciting and thrive off it, it’s perfectly fine to feel a little bit out of your depth. So remember to take some time everyday to breathe, make a cup of tea and reassess your state of mind. If you need to take an hour or two out of the partying, do it. Don’t worry about what other people think, either – if your flatmates are badgering you to go out, it’s probably just because they want to get to know you and want everyone to feel included. Calmly explain the situation to them, and make plans to go out with them another time (and stick to them!).
Step out of your comfort zone
It’s easy to say, and hard to put into practice, but stepping out of your comfort zone during freshers will be one of the most rewarding things to do. Say yes to things you wouldn’t usually do, and don’t go into it with the assumption that you’ll hate every minute. If you hate nightclubs, that’s okay – but try and go out clubbing with your flat at least once during the week. If you don’t like playing drinking games, that’s fine – but why not give them a shot (pun intended) and play with water? Or if you can’t stand having your door open permanently for a week, just try propping it open for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Invite people into your room during the day
If you’re not a massive clubber, try socialising with people during the day. I made some great friends by having conversations at 3pm drinking hot chocolate with some (slightly hungover) flatmates. A lot of the time during the day, people have time to kill, so use that time wisely – recharge, unpack, and get to know people on a sober, personal level.
Get involved with societies on campus
Joining societies is honestly one of the best decisions I made in freshers. When you join, you already have one thing in common, and with over 250 societies at Warwick there really is something for everyone. It’s good to make some connections outside of your flat, and this is a perfect way to do it! Most societies will hold a taster or welcome event during the first few weeks, so take advantage of it and make an effort to get to know people. Often, you’ll meet people in different year groups that can offer you advice, people on your course that you can go to lectures with, and people you never would’ve met otherwise, but that you’ll treasure during your time at university. I’ve met some of my best friends through societies that I joined as a fresher, and I highly encourage you to do the same.
Don’t be afraid to take a night off
In Freshers, the socialising is constantly happening – in corridors, on the street, even in shared bathrooms – and I decided mid-way through my first week that I needed a day off. After explaining to some of my flatmates that I was just burnt out from constant socialising, we agreed to have a low-key film night, with three of us staying in and bringing our duvets into the common room to watch movies until we fell asleep. There was no talking, and no real socialising, but just by being together we bonded a lot, and I was able to wake up feeling refreshed and energised, ready to take on the world of freshers again. And there is absolutely no shame in taking a night to yourself either; don’t burn yourself out too quickly or you won’t enjoy the rest of freshers!
Above all else, stay true to yourself. You’ll meet so many people in the whirlwind of freshers that the ones who judge you for missing a night out won’t be around long enough to make an impact. As long as you try your hardest to put yourself out there, the rest will come naturally. Good luck!