For Introverts, College Can Be The Loneliest Place On Earth


I’m not naturally an extrovert. When given the option to stay in bed and watch Netflix on a Friday night versus going out with a few acquaintances, throwing back shots, forcing a smile, and having confusing yelled pieces of conversations with strangers, nine times out of ten I will choose the former. My issue is that my social interaction directly corresponds to my general happiness and mental well being. So I’m stuck: do I take the easy way out but accept responsibility for my mild depression and social standing, or do I suck it up, put myself out there, and enjoy the occasional payoff later on when I’ve made closer friendships?

The nature of being in college requires you to spend every waking moment of the day around people your age. So how can this be one of the loneliest places I’ve ever been? Did I choose the wrong school? Am I just weird? Was I unlucky in the random dorm I was placed freshman year? These questions constantly loom in my mind. I dread my mother coming to visit for Parent’s Weekend each year because inevitably she will ask to go to dinner with me and some of my friends. The issue here is that I never have anyone to invite to these dinners. It’s not that I don’t have any friends–I have plenty of individual people that I feel close to. The issue is that I’m not needed by anyone. I belong to no group. I do not complete anyone’s puzzle. If I disappeared tomorrow, I genuinely believe no more than two people would be affected.

I’m floating through life, and it’s so depressing to me. The part that’s even worse is that I tell myself it’s okay because the reality of college is also that come May 2016 when we graduate, very few of these people will ever matter again. We’re suddenly thrown into the real world to make friends with co-workers? Neighbors? Strangers at a bar? If I can’t survive socially in college, I’m going to drown in the real world.

The world is a deeply lonely place. I guess it’s time to start facing reality.