After a long week of classes and studying with friends in Moffitt, I’m ready to recharge my social battery. Weekends give me a chance to unwind and have some much needed quiet, alone time. As an introvert, there’s no better way to spend my Friday or Saturday night than staying at home and watching Netflix. Yet once the clock strikes 10, the intrusive sounds of loud music and rowdy crows from frat row fill my room.
I never imagined myself attending frat parties. College parties were not something I had been looking forward to or valued as a part of the college experience. Despite this, I somehow found myself attending several frat parties in just the first few weeks of school.
Going into them, I didn’t know what to expect. Were frat parties like the movies? Would I find my future husband there? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about all the socializing and partying.
At frat parties, I find comfort in clinging to my extroverted friends. The chaos inherent in the deafening music and sweaty bodies tightly packed next to each other is overwhelming. Having a familiar face with me at all times eases my anxieties because I don’t feel lost or out of place among a large group of people. Plus, I get to meet new people without always having to initiate the conversation.
Not only do my legs get tired from standing so much, but my social battery does too. A frat party feels like a never ending day of introducing myself and sharing what year I am, where I’m from and what my major is, with the occasional dance break. My brain gets flooded with new faces and names I can’t remember, leading to a sensory overload.
Nobody wants to be the buzzkill at a frat party, but being an introvert sometimes conflicts with this. While my friends dance on tables, all I can think about is going back home, indulging in my nightly self-care routine and tucking myself into bed to reset for the next day. There’s a certain point at which the loud music blasting in my ears and the superficial small talk with intoxicated college students is no longer fun. I’m still trying to find the balance between having fun at parties and prioritizing myself and my comfort levels.
Although frat parties are tiresome and overwhelming for my introverted self, I don’t regret attending them. They’re a fun place to meet new people, destress and hang out with friends. Since attending my first party, I’ve realized that the best way to maximize my experience is to take small steps outside of my comfort zone, while knowing my limits. I’ll be a college student for only so long and can’t let introversion be a barrier to new experiences.