I absolutely loved living in Steg for three years. Along with the events and wonderful memories that came from living in a dorm, I also had the chance to live with my friends. I remember the late-night talks, ordering Chinese and binging “Law & Order: SVU,” spontaneous dance parties, and countless crazy adventures. I cherish every single one of these moments, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel drained after them.
I fall into the category of “introvert,” meaning I need time by myself to recharge for more activities and adventures that require my energy. Maybe you’re an introvert and know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re thinking, how on earth am I going to have my quite time to relax and recharge while living in a busy dorm?
This was a constant question in my head as I got settled in freshman year and went through orientation. Over the next few months, I found different ways to make those quiet moments for myself, and now as I am wrapping up my time on campus, I’m already planning how I can continue my little moments in my next step in life.
So here are a few suggestions, my fellow introverts, of ways you can take time for yourself on a campus where “community” is not just a buzzword, but a way of life. While involvement is highly encouraged and can turn into some of the best memories you’ll have of college, never feel bad if you need to take a small step back from it all to recharge.
Close your door. I know, I know. When you move in, your RA is going to encourage you to leave your door open as much as possible. This is a great way to invite people in to talk and hang out, and you’ll feel connected to your wing. But if you are needing a nap or want to watch the latest episode of your favorite show without someone walking in every five minutes, just shut that door; the wing won’t take it personally and you can easily open it again when you’re ready.
Go on a self-date. This has been one of my favorite things to do. I’ve gone on a solo shopping trip to Bibles for Missions, the local thrift shop. I’ve had some quality Jesus time at Town Square Coffeehouse + Kitchen as I letter in my Bible or do devotions. I even went to a movie by myself a few times! Even though I was still around people and occasionally interacting, these were great ways to get off campus for a while and come back refreshed.
Find a quiet study spot. I highly recommend the second floor of the Learning Commons. Along the back wall there are smaller tables and chairs you can settle into. Some face the window so you can see what’s happening outside but still feel cozy and in your own space. These spots are also conveniently off the “beaten path” and normal walking routes, so while you’re around other students, you’ll still be more secluded than sitting in the booths behind the Common Grounds coffee station.