Introversion Conversion: I’m Social Now

IMG_0830 By: Anna Sobczyk

One of the lessons I’ve come across being an RA is that you really have to invest time into growing and maintaining relationships. In order to build community amongst my residents, it tookprogramming and being intentionally present in the halls to support them. At the same time, being an RA would be incredibly lonely and hard without the trust and camaraderie of my staff team. While there’s always our weekly staff meeting to look forward to, it’s the time we spend with one another outside of the “job” that really brings us together. With so many new people in my life, I feared that I was letting my old friends slide to the back burner. It would be easy to let the RA role consume my life, but making time for the friends who have supported me since the beginning keeps me grounded.

I’ve been an introvert my entire life. Any time I spent socializing meant I needed an equal amount of time alone—if not more—in order to recharge. Balancing so many social groups started off as overwhelming and exhausting. Now, I’ve noticed that being around my friends and peers energizes me—even if I go days without snagging some alone time. Even though being an RA can be stressful, there’s no denying that I’m much more openly appreciative of the people I have in my life because of it. Still, I’m an introvert at heart. I have those days where I don’t want to see another human soul, but those days are now few and far between.

Balance, young grasshopper

So I’m sitting in class, and I have to admit that I’m a little tired. I had a late night last night, as I went out with some girlfriends for a couple of happy hour drinks and to catch up after classes and meetings and work. This doesn’t sound like the worst thing, at least to me, but I will sometimes find myself wondering how other people manage to come to class every day with the air of being so overly prepared. I know that I’m not able to dedicate that kind of time—life is a little busy at the moment.brain-balance-06

Most of us are juggling school and homework, jobs, clubs/societies/Greek life/sports/insert-what-you-please-here. Not to mention a social life. Personally, maintaining the social relationships in my life—everyone from my mom to the residents in my hall—takes up just as much, if not more time than needed to feel caught up on school work.

I sometimes wonder how this all manages to get done. But then again, I remember being told that 90% if learning in college occurs outside of the classroom. Perhaps balance is just one of those things. If you’re too focused in one area, you’ll burn out and go crazy. No exaggeration. It’s important to take moments to recuperate from the madness of everything happening during the week, but it’s also important not to lose your motivation and drive to keep going. All I know is that if my life was a table, and any of the legs were removed, I would certainly crash. Balance, my friend, balance.