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Yerington: Being an introvert in a college-party town

In Iowa City, it’s pretty easy to feel you should be out partying and having a great time all night, but it’s OK if you like the alternative of staying home and spending times with a small group of friends.

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Yerington: Being an introvert in a college-party town

Tambel Thoma from Chicago tailgates before a football game in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

Tambel Thoma from Chicago tailgates before a football game in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

David Harmantas

Tambel Thoma from Chicago tailgates before a football game in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Tambel Thoma from Chicago tailgates before a football game in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

Austin J. Yerington, Opinion Columnist

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If you have recently moved to Iowa City, it may be a bit of a shock of excitement to see a town in Iowa that doesn’t close up at 10 p.m. every day. Especially from Thursday to Sunday. Iowa City’s streets and establishments are filled with people out to enjoy dancing, drinking, and socializing with friends.

But some of us who don’t enjoy that kind of excitement may feel out of place. But we (and you) shouldn’t; one-third of people are introverts, according to Forbes magazine. People should realize there is a large population of introverts who don’t conform with what is seen as the social norm.

I want to let other introverts know that they are not uncommon or strange. If they don’t enjoy what is seen as the “normal” way of living in a college-party town, there’s no issue with that. People who fit in this category don’t get a feeling of enjoyment and excitement running to Brothers or any other bar on a game night, they enjoy the excitement of having “me” time or quality time with only a few people. And that’s OK.

Being an introvert or extrovert is not as black and white as it may sound. Rather, like many other things, it is a spectrum. In a CNN Op-ed, author Susan Cain wrote, “Of course, we all fall at different points along the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Even Carl Jung, who popularized the terms in the first place, said there was no such thing as a pure introvert or a pure extrovert — that such a man would be in a lunatic asylum.”

I am not the most extreme introvert; in fact, I love talking with new people and going on adventures, but the party-social scene has never been a great match for me. When faced with large groups in a party, I always tend to become the person sitting on the couch awkwardly. (Oh, I can definitely make sitting on a couch look very awkward.)

Being an introvert in no way means you won’t have great experiences in college and lifelong memories. I remember how my first-year roommate and I could stay up till 3 a.m. playing Mario Kart and watching movies on Netflix. Or walking around campus with a friend talking about everything from life choices to ’90s rappers. Also, not to mention all the great naps introverts can work into their schedules.

I want to let other introverts know that they are not uncommon or strange. If they don’t enjoy what is seen as the “normal” way of living in a college-party town, there’s no issue with that. ”

A book I really want to read, which I have heard is great for others who feel out of place as an introvert, is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Cain. It’s a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller about introverts not being talked about much in today’s culture and notes that some of our greatest icons and role models are, in fact, introverts.

Don’t think of being an introvert as a negative aspect of yourself but simply as part of who you are. It helps shape your worldview and gives you a unique perspective on life. We, as introverts, love to create and be imaginative. Introverts spend time reflecting on the world and meaning. We are great listeners and forward thinkers. We don’t bring a loud, brash, and social voice to the conversation but an intimate, timid, and creative voice.

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About the Contributors
Austin J. Yerington, Opinions Columnist and Arts Reporter

Austin J. Yerington is an Arts Reporter and Opinions Columnist at The Daily Iowan. He studies English and Creative Writing with a minor in Theater. He...

David Harmantas, Photojournalist

Email: [email protected]

David Harmantas is a staff photographer at the The Daily Iowan. He is a third-year law student at the University of...

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