Introvert in Dorm

I am in my dorm for the first time today. I live in a single room near the stairwell on the highest floor of a ridiculously tall residence hall.

It’s nothing like I imagined it would be.

Everything I read online said things like keep your door open to let people in, hang out in the common areas, and don’t be afraid to go into an open door!

Firstly, the doors can not be reasonably propped open. They are extremely heavy. Nobody even comes here anyway. Nobody wants to walk up 10+ flights of stairs when they can take the elevator. And nobody is in the common area. Indeed, I have only seen a few people walking to the bathroom in my hall in the 12+ hours I have been here. Otherwise, I haven’t seen anyone outside their room.

I know the isolation I’m feeling is partly my fault. I put a single room down as my third choice and managed to get one. Plus, obviously transferring in the spring wasn’t the best choice if I wanted to meet people, because most people already have a group of friends. I guess it’s just strange because I’ve never felt lonely before in my life. As long as I can talk to my mom once a day or so and perhaps text an old friend, I’m fine. So I didn’t expect it would be a problem.

I don’t know. I’ve never been good at making friends. I am not socially anxious. I just have trouble connecting with people, I guess. I actually can’t understand it, though. I don’t know why other people find it so easy. I’ve never really had the intense desire for a good friend until now, as I said above.

I just figured once I transferred to university, maybe things would be different. I am now beginning to see that a lot of that was based on a fantasy I had in my head of how it would be. It is ridiculous and melodramatic to say so at 19, but I feel like I might be alone for the rest of my life.

Anyway. Thank you for reading if you have. Maybe I will feel better when classes start.
Advice is welcome but not really why I posted this. I guess I’m more interested in just expressing how I feel at this time.

I believe that you can determine how much interaction you have to a large part when classes start. Notice I said large amd not total.

You may not believe it but now is a time you can re-create yourself if you choose. Who knows that you like to keep to yourself right now? Only you. Find clubs that interest you and get involved.

You know all that funny shit that makes you laugh or start thinking? Bring them up and you might find others who think similar to you.

Become a more open you. It will help your time there and prepare yourself for after school. Being open can hell you learn to interact with different types of people which can help you network. And always network!

Well…be a more open you unless you like to punt puppies or activities similar. Then hide the fuck out of that shit!

Introvert in Dorm would make a good user name.

Yeah . . . I know. I have heard it.

The thing is, I am not the classical shy person. I am very open. People seem to think I’m very friendly and nice. I participate in clubs. Etc.
Edit: Or at least, I did at my last college and plan to here. They haven’t started yet.

I don’t think most normal people would understand the situation any more than I understand how they effortlessly meet friends. It is a lot more complicated than “just talk to people and be open” apparently.
Introvert in Dorm would make a good user name.

But I don’t want that to be an integral part of my identity.


Yes, I think things will get better when classes start, or no too long after. Not instantly wonderful, mind you. If your expectations get too high, you will be disappointed, especially if you think things are going to happen straight away. However, you are pretty much bound to meet people in and around your class, and they will inevitably be people that you have something in common with (at a minimum, you are both taking that course, so you can kvetch about the professor together).


At least I will be getting out then, having obligations, etc.

Apparently the first day in the dorm is a hard time for a lot of people, so that’s encouraging, I guess.

Its seems like people may still be trickling in following break, so it some time. I was an introvert in a dorm myself, with a roommate that was a horrible person - having a single is not necessarily a curse in that regard!

Loneliness is a sign that you are growing up. It means that you have unmet social needs, and your body is signalling you to venture out of your shell. When you feel this way, drag yourself out of your room and head to the student union, the library, etc. Go to clubs that you truly enjoy, not just ones you feel you must attend, etc.

As an undergraduate, I was cripplingly shy due to a number of issues. It wasn’t until my senior year, when a girl broke my heart, that I began reaching out for help, and reaching out to others in general. I made some of my truest friendships in the last three months of my undergraduate career.

Some general advice; if the friendship thing doesn’t pick up, reach out to the counseling center at your school. Let your guard down with them, and discuss what is holding you up. I strongly wish that I was more receptive to the counseling earlier in my undergraduate career.

Worked out pretty badly for me. I used to do homework for a while, take a break and do something interesting, then more homework etc.

When I moved into the dorm where nothing happened, I’d work for a while, go out looking for a break, wander around, not see anything, go the common room, not see anyone, wander around, nothing happening, and not every really get back to the work.

In retrospect, I should have recognised the pattern earlier, but even so, I’m not sure what I could have done about it. I got dumped into a single dorm room away from everyone my own age and subjects, and it didn’t work out well for me.

My last two years of college I had a single. Loved it. I really prefer my own space and roommates, especially people I had to sleep in the same room with, made me crazy.

I propped my door open with a flip flop. Where there’s a will there’s a way to keep a door open. I would brew coffee in my little 4-cup drip by the door and people wandered by, even though I was at the end of the hall. The only reason to pass my room was to wash dishes in the utility sink - or to find out where the delicious smell was coming from. Of course, I was in an upper class dorm and I also had liquor to go in that yummy coffee.

Also, the common area may be busier than you think. You have to camp out there for a while to find out, and it may not be somewhere people will congregate until studies commence. You will at least run across your RA. Have a couple decks of cards handy, read a book. Be doing something that looks interruptable (like, not playing video games unless it’s sudoku or something) so people feel like they could say hi.

I loved having a single dorm room. I was going to be living on my own soon enough, having someone cook and clean the bathroom for me was the shit as far as I was concerned. Also, being able to have people over who I could kick out at any time was pretty great.

It’s tricky for me to give advice, because college was the time of my life when I was more open & social than I’ve ever been, whereas under normal circumstances I’m as introverted as you, perhaps more so.

The best advice I can give you is this – don’t be ashamed of Introversion. Don’t feel like you must compete in the socialization game, merely accept that you’re okay with your Introversion and even your isolation, assuming you don’t have any serious issues with being socially isolated. As long as you have at least 1-2 people you can talk to about anything personal (yes, mothers count) any other friends you make are merely gravy. Never judge your self-worth based on how many friends you have at any given time…believe me, friends are overrated. :rolleyes:

I’ve moved to a lot of new places, including a university dorm, and the first few months can be lonely and unhappy. Even when you meet new people and have fun, everything is different and new (=wrong) and the new people aren’t your best friends yet.

Give it time and stop blaming yourself. It’s not your fault. Everyone else is feeling the same thing and they’re all putting on a brave face and hoping that nobody notices while they tell you how they went to an AWESOME party yesterday.

I met one of my best friends in the whole world at the end of the first lecture. It was raining, he was going in my direction and he had a huge umbrella. We shared that umbrella and it was nice, but he wasn’t immediately my closest friend. That came with time. He introduced me to his flatmates, who I ended up living with and who are now very, very close friends though they are spread out over the world.

It takes time to settle and to meet people and to start to feel happy in a new place. You will meet people. You’ll go through lots of meh people until you meet the group you fit with. And then it’ll be time to leave and you won’t be able to imagine life without these wonderful people.

If you really do want to keep the door open you can probably undo the hinge at the top. You’re definitely not allowed to, but the worst they’ll do is make you put it back. You undo it by pushing the top up and the bottom down, it just clicks back into place when you want to put it back.

I think you need to give it a bit more than 12 hours before you start bemoaning your fate.

Go find a brick.
An old brick, in an empty lot.
Use it as a free doorstop.

Your door is open.

I’ve been alone for almost all of my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s in the world.

Introversion is great. It’s not the same as being shy, or isolated. And it’s a big piece of an introvert’s identity (though we all get to choose our user names however we like).

But are you really an introvert?

For one thing, if you go to and listen to Susan Cain talk about The Power of Introverts, you will get a great take on introversion. It’s so beautiful I still mist up after probably 8 views.

I’m a strong introvert and choose my social strategies accordingly. Introversion isn’t about not being social, or about avoiding people. Introverts tend to have deeper relationships. We like people one at a time. Not only do I find parties stressful, I also find them hollow and frustrating, because there is nowhere enough interaction going on – meaning the deep intense interaction that I want.

You might be very gratified by learning more about your own level of introversion or extroversion, or whether you are midway between, an ambivert. Now, I can’t imagine working on loneliness without basing what I do on this aspect of personality.

I second (third? fourth?) the suggestions of the others in this thread, and I say just give it time. Though I didn’t live in a dorm, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends immediately upon starting university. I made friends as time went on, mostly people who were taking the same classes as me.

Mathematics, if you’re interested in meeeting people in your own dorm, perhaps you can find out who your nearest neighbours are, introduce yourself, and take it from there.

You are probably going to have an easier time making friends at college than you ever have before in your life. You might not make friends in your dorm, specifically: That works for some folks, but not for others (especially introverts like us). If you do make friends in your dorm, great, but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.

But the great thing about college is, dorms aren’t your only opportunity to make friends. You’re going to meet a lot of people with similar interests to yours as soon as you start your classes, and there are a wide variety of clubs on campus, too. Talk to the people in your classes, and start going to club meetings.

Also, you mention texting old friends. Always remember, you can still do that. Make new friends, but keep the old.

Yes, give it time, it’s only the first day.

You can walk around, see who’s around and open to a simple “Hello” on your floor, and on the other floors.

Remember: T-T-T. Things Take Time.

You’re sitting looking at an open plot of land and bemoaning that you don’t have a house instantly. Be patient, work slowly at this.

You ARE being a bit melodramatic, dude. Classes haven’t started, you’ve only been there for a day, and it’s the weekend.

I’m an introvert. College is when I discovered how very introverted I am. But without even trying, I met people who I considered “close acquaintances”. I sat next to them in classes. I studied with them between classes. I worked on assignments with them. Even traveled with a couple of them. I had fun with them.

I didn’t make “close friends”, and I am not proud of this. But I was so busy with classes and whatnot that I didn’t have a chance to feel lonely. This is the strength of the introvert.

Sounds to me that you need to give yourself time before labeling yourself “introverted” or anything else. Your personality is still an amorphous blob. You’ve got plenty of time to become angsty and brooding without forcing it. This is a chance to be that person you’ve fantasized about.

But you have give it at least a week, dude. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know. :slight_smile: