A Letter for the Introvert: Getting Involved and Making Connections

Dear Introverts, quiet-types, shy people and anti-socials,

As an introvert myself, I can relate to how much you hate the term “getting involved” and I am here to inform you that it wasn’t horribly-terrible taking part in experiences, getting involved, and making connections.

Getting involved in school is important, as you hear all of the time, and I will soon explain why I think it is. You don’t have to be the president of every club and do every sport to be involved. I certainly have no interest in doing any of those things at all. But that doesn’t mean that there are not opportunities to get involved and make connections at Nipissing for quiet people and introverts like me.

Everywhere I hear people saying “get involved”, especially when I started my first year. I was just like “Um. What. No, I’d rather stay in my residence room and crawl into a corner with my laptop”. As you can tell, I find it hard to just “go and get involved” and do things with other people. I’d much rather not talk to people, ever. But that is ridiculous and I know I want to make the best of my life and my experience at Nipissing while I can. This means getting involved and making connections so I am not alone. 

I’m an introvert and enjoy my quiet time but even I don’t want to be alone all of the time. Nobody should have to be alone. By just putting myself out there for two seconds and saying yes to one thing, I had so many more opportunities that I enjoyed that didn’t involve being overly social or the queen or the president of the sports-league-generation-club-miniature-golf-marathon (or whatever might have you). Two seconds won’t hurt.

My two seconds took me pretty far:

During my first year English lecture, we were told of an opportunity for a few of the first years from our department to attend professor’s meetings and give our student opinions to help out with aspects of the department. I was interested so I took two seconds to write down my email to be contacted about the opportunity. While taking part in this opportunity, I heard about another opportunity to be a student blogger for ibelongatnipissingu.ca, so I got involved there.

Next, I found out about a job at The Learning Network to be the Blog and Marketing coordinator, an executive position because of who I knew as an english rep. I got the job! Although the budget no longer allows for the position, I still achieved this by making connections (networking) and getting involved.

The connections you make with people when you get involved are important and can give you access to more opportunities, like jobs. When I first heard about the concept of making connections and networking, I thought it was ridiculous. But just think of all of the ways you and people in your life have received jobs and opportunities. Through a sibling, an old classmate, through their ex-coworker’s boyfriend, through parents. It’s all connected. Without connections it took me 5 months to find a part-time job in retail in North Bay. Once I got my job, I helped a friend get a job without even an interview just because I put in a good word.

You should try to put yourself out there more often. You never know where things might lead you. I tried to start a Comedy Club at Nipissing as part of their clubs before I even started at the school (I was motivated to do this by watching every season of Whose Line is it Anyway during my summer) and I got about 12 people interested and two people highly interested that I met with before school started. Although the club never took off, I ended up falling in love with and am now engaged to one of the people I met while trying to create this club.

You never know. Take the two seconds.

Take-care & remember your underwear,

Sarah, fellow introvert