One month of my freshman year of college has gone by. Somehow it feels like time is both flying by and moving in slow motion at the same time. With myself finally settled and in a routine, I’ve had time to reflect on how my adjustment has been — something I haven’t had a single chance to stop and think about.
Going to college is entering a new and vibrant environment. Even more than that, college in a city brings you to a new world of fast-paced and energetic life. Being from a fairly small coastal town, this is not something familiar to me. What was even more unfamiliar to me is the time I have spent surrounded by fellow people: students, city-goers, and friends alike. And perhaps the biggest adjustment I’ve faced so far is the toll it has taken on my daily energy.
Don’t get me wrong, everything about Boston, the friends I’ve made, and the experiences I’ve had have been nothing short of incredible, and I feel like I am where I’m meant to be. But there has been the added element of involuntary extroversion in my life now. Although I love spending time with people and would describe myself as outgoing, I can’t deny that my perkiness relies heavily on alone time to recharge. Finding time for that has been a challenge I wasn’t quite prepared to face.
Looking back on high school, I was very social and often out and about doing things. But I think what kept me energized was that sacred time I had at the end of the day. Winding down before bed, reading a book, watching YouTube, doing my skincare, going to a workout class alone, and even making dinner for myself were ways to recharge for me. Having this time really allowed me to reflect on my day. I found the best way for me to relieve my stress in high school is in moments like this in private, so I would also use this time to let out any grievances of the day. In this way, self-care became a big part of my daily routine and my life in general.
Immediately upon becoming aware of my surroundings in college, I thought that part of my life might not be available to me for the time being. But what I’ve learned through the first month, and hope to continue learning, is that there are still ways to find time to be spent alone — even in a big city! The biggest triumph of my (short) time here so far has been discovering new ways to make time for myself. Whether it be walking through campus with my fall playlist in my headphones, trying a new bagel place and sitting down there to enjoy its glory, or doing work in the library alone, I’ve found that college in the city can be a place where introverts can thrive. I was overwhelmed and drained at first, but now that I’ve found moments of stillness to incorporate into my day, I’m really happy with where I’m at.