Whether you’re a freshman, moving into your dorm room for the first time, or a senior, seasoned at living among your peers, living in a dorm can have its ups and downs no matter how many times you’ve done it. Being an extrovert or an introvert can also make living in a building full of classmates tricky. Here are a few tips to help introverts and extroverts navigate life in the dorm.
Roam with your roomie.
Whether your roommate is an extrovert like you or an introvert, bonding with each other is important. After all, you’ll be spending at least eight hours a night together. Plan a day here and there to explore campus or the city together. This will help you both maintain a good roommate relationship and get to know your surroundings better. Keep in mind, if your roommate is an introvert you might have to include downtime in your plans to hang out. So alternate, scheduling a day out exploring one time, a night in watching a movie the next.
Plan to focus.
From planned social events to friends making a midnight run to the closest breakfast joint, there’s always something fun happening on campus. The point? You’ll always have a reason to not study. At the beginning of each week, take the time to plan out a few hours here and there, especially for the weekend, to sit down and really focus on the school work that needs your attention. By scheduling those hours out ahead of time, it’ll be easier to plan around them, and by the time Monday rolls around (or that final), you won’t feel like you ran out of hours in the week for studying.
As an extrovert, you might recharge by spending time with other people, in social events and life outside the dorm, so get involved. Run for student government, apply to be a residential assistant, or get involved in different clubs on campus. You could even plan group study sessions; this will help you be social while also still getting your school work done.
Own your space.
As an introvert, you’re energized by spending time in your comfort zone. So, make sure your space is a place where you can truly relax. If you hate that comforter your mom’s friend’s daughter gave you as a hand-me-down off-to-college gift, don’t bring it. If you hate the way your dorm room feels, you won’t have a place you can truly relax and recharge. Bring the items that mean the most to you and the things that will help you feel the most at home.
Create your community.
A lot of people can be really overwhelming and maybe even a little draining. Don’t worry about meeting everyone right away, in time you’ll get to know most people on campus. Take the time to cultivate a group of really good friends—it can be three friends or it can be 13—just make sure you’re building a community that you feel best in. Don’t worry about fitting in or feeling pressured into going out if you need time by yourself. Take the time to create relationships where you can 100 percent be yourself. Find friends that are just as excited for a night out as they are for a night in watching movies.
Being an introvert might mean you value your alone time, but don’t let that time overtake your calendar. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone—maybe you don’t want to spend all five hours at a campus event, so compromise by swinging by for just a little bit. If your roommate invites you out to explore campus or wander around the city, your knee-jerk reaction might be to suggest a movie night in the dorm, but balance is key in college. So head out to explore this time and next time, plan a movie night. Focus on that balance and make sure you’re not isolating yourself, but don’t forget to recharge your batteries. Don’t wear yourself out with too much socialization, but don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone either.
Living in the dorm is a great experience, but remember the things you need. Make time for studying, but don’t forget to balance it out with time for friends. Make the most of your college time by learning the things you need personally and prioritizing them. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, dorm life can be fun and relaxing, so make time for both.
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