Going back to school is always a difficult time for me. As an introvert who struggles with anxiety, I like the peace and quiet that staying at home for 6 weeks entails. But with term time fast approaching, I had to get ready to go back to college. So here are the techniques I use to make sure I’m not a nervous wreck come term time.
1) Stay in touch with friends
One of the things that I find most daunting when going back to school is seeing my friends again, especially if I haven’t seen them over the break. Lots of ‘what-if’ scenarios come flooding through my brain and I completely overthink the whole situation. So instead of a massive reunion with my friends, I find it easier if we keep in contact and see each other throughout the school holidays. This also helps to ease you back into socialising. Not being around groups of people for a while and then suddenly being thrown back into school can be scary. So throughout the summer break, go out and spend time with your friends. This helps you have a healthy dose of social interaction so that you won’t be socially frazzled when school begins.
2) Work some alone time into your day
Having to participate in lessons, do group projects and talk to teachers can be exhausting for an introvert. And by the end of the day, you want to do nothing but sleep. To prevent yourself from getting this stage, work some alone time into your day. Generally when I was at school, lunchtime was my quiet time. I would sit with my friends but not really contribute to the conversation.
Obviously, sitting at a lunch table doing another excellent impression of a log does get people to ask if you’re okay. But I was lucky that my friends knew I was quiet, so they didn’t question me too much. If you have to be around people when you would like to be using that time to re-charge, gently explain to them that you’re not being ignorant. You’ve just had a full on day and need some time to tap out.
3) Use free periods wisely
This links to my earlier point about alone time. Use free periods wisely as they are the best thing ever. A whole hour where you can do what you want. I used to use this time to immerse myself in the silent study room. This room is a godsend and most schools will have one. Most of the time I was studying, but occasionally I would go in there for some peace and quiet, listen to some music, and read by myself for a bit. It was so nice to be able to just chill. Those breaks really helped me feel refreshed and recharged.
4) Don’t be afraid to say no
Lots of times, people have asked me to go to their house straight after school. I usually said yes and regretted it later. Having to be social all day at school and then until the early evening is exhausting. Instead realise it’s okay to say no. If you’ve had a hectic day at school and someone wants to hang out and you don’t feel like it, say no. I know I’d be terrible company come evening, and it wouldn’t be fun for anyone involved. Suggest maybe meeting up an hour after school finishes, so you can have an hour to yourself. Or if want to hang out after school, pick a day where you have a few free periods so you will feel refreshed before you meet your friends.
The most important thing when trying to navigate school whilst being an introvert is to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Factoring 20-30 minutes of your day in-between lessons and studying where it’s just you alone with your thoughts can make your day run alot smoother. Obviously it’s not feasible all the time. But if you’ve got a few minutes free, really take advantage of the stillness.
How do you cope with going back to school as an introvert? Leave a comment below!
Edited by Viveca Shearin