Coming out of an Introverted Shell

Dawn Park


Hello everyone! My name’s Dawn and I’m a Honors College freshman from Highland Park, New Jersey. (Believe it or not, that’s ten minutes away from here!). I’m studying in SAS in hopes to become a Mathematics Major. I’m sure everyone’s getting the hang of first two weeks of college right now, and boy is it hectic, especially for us freshman. But hopefully, we’ll all get used to it, at least with classes. But for me, making socializing was always a difficult task. Whenever I found someone I wanted to befriend, they would always treat me as if I didn’t exist and talk with others. Was it because I was too quiet or simply uninteresting? Other times, I tried to fit in a group of students but I didn’t feel relatable to them. For every attempt and failure, I always ended up lonely, having no one acknowledge how I truly feel. That is until I moved into Rutgers University, which helped me found the right people.

I remember during the Welcoming Days, the Convocation and Carnivale helped me find people I can easily befriend. I already made a friend who lives nearby my floor at the Honors College Dorm and she introduced me to her other friends, who lived on different dorms and campuses. As I tagged along with them, more of her friends joined the group. When I said hello to them, they thought I was very nice and let me tag along to play some games and eat food. It was strange because I barely knew these people and they barely knew me. Yet, they decided to accept me anyway because we’re all at a party where everyone can have fun! I felt so happy to be accepted in that kind of group because I never had that kind of experience before. I think it might be because they were all part of the LGBT community, and since I was aromantically asexual, I fit right in. Maybe that’s just what makes them more relatable and interesting to me. Either way, after the Carnivale was over, I joined their GroupMe chat and we all started hanging out together once in a while. It felt pretty good to finally belong.

Throughout my life, I was always pressured to make friends because of my reclusive behavior. The more I was told to socialize by my mom, the more I felt like that was a command that I can’t do. I’m an introvert; someone who feels more comfortable being alone. No one could force me to change and I still haven’t changed a bit anyways! But now, I don’t have to worry about being completely lonely anymore. I like to view myself as a social battery. That means I can spend time with others, but after a while I get exhausted and seek time for myself. And when I do, I spend some time to “charge” myself until I feel energized enough to socialize again. I realized that this kind of behavior is normal for an introvert like me. As long as I have at least someone who wants to be my friend, I don’t have to worry about being completely lonely anymore. I don’t know if other introverts have the same experience as I do, but I hope that they can gradually come out of their shell at a steady pace and find the right people to care about.