The first semester of my second year in college is coming to an end, and in moments like these I always find myself thinking back about all that have happened in the past few months. I think it’s always important to take time to self-reflect about how you’ve changed as a person, especially when you’re ending a (small) stage of your life and transitioning into the next one. It keeps you accounted, and it keeps you moving. Here are some thoughts that I’ve had lately.
I’m a pretty open about being an introvert, and have posted quite a lot about it on my blog in the past. When I’m out and about, I often think about the time I’ll be back in the comforts of my home, where I can do what I want, when I want, uninterrupted. Delve into homework without the chatter of people talking or walking by at libraries, eat by myself without fear of prying eyes judging me, wear clothes that I am fully comfortable in, etc. It’s so easy to be myself when I’m by myself. But just as much as I embrace my moments of solitude, I also fear it. I fear that if I don’t “put myself out there” enough, I won’t be able to grow as a person. So much of what I learn comes from my interactions with others, and since coming to college I have also become less of an introvert. I have become more comfortable at making plans with people and spending more days of the week hanging out with others, and less time by myself. And I have learned so much from these experiences and formed so many memories. But it’s also made me think deeper about how I spend my time.
Over the past summer, I experimented on this by keeping to myself for most of the time. I had the intention of learning to “adult” and wanted to focus on my myself, but this led me feeling pretty lonely at times. When college started again, I delved into school and my extracurricular activities, which involve a lot of socializing. It was like moving from one extreme to the next, and I am still confused about what I’m most comfortable with. I still fear being seen as a “loner,” and from this I know that I’m not yet fully comfortable in my own skin.
Something else that I did this semester was try to step away from social media even more. I have barely posted on my blog or any of my social media accounts since the start of the semester in August. I wanted to live my college life without feeling like I owed it to myself to be active virtually. But instead of focusing more on my real life, I became an even more active consumer of social media. The fact that I did not produce content meant that I spent more time browsing and scrolling through my feeds when I found myself bored. The more I did it, the more I realized that every time I did so I expected to be distracted by that notification, email, or post. A new distraction that would occupy your mind, even if just for a few seconds. My phone in particular became the friend that I reached to when I found myself in dire need of any distraction.
All in all, I am not as comfortable in my own company as I thought I was. I find it hard to be by myself – not doing much – without feeling guilty. Without feeling that I’m missing out on socializing, like I’m wasting my time. My social media consumption reflects this reality, and I am not happy with it. I want to focus both on myself and on the people around me, and not feel the need to fill my moments of emptiness with social media. It’s impossible to find that sweet “balance” in your life where you can do everything that you set yourself to do, as it’s that perfect imbalance that drives you to continue improving yourself. My wish to always balance things out will always tip to one side or the other, and I know that that’ll be completely okay. I can’t always be in control of what I do and the things that get thrown in my way, but I can take control of my situation in the bigger scheme of things. So from this imbalance I now want to take control of my life by finding a somewhat happier balance between solitude and social life, and be a director rather than just a passive consumer of what gets put out there.