Calling all introverts! But wait, this one’s for you too, our beloved bubbly extroverts. Are you nervous about getting involved in college? Getting involved as a freshman in college can be a little difficult as you navigate so many new opportunities, and it can be hard to know which ones to take, especially if you are an introvert. I know a little bit of what that’s like, because I am an introvert myself!
My name is Amy Wikrent, and I am a senior professional writing and information design major, currently working as a layout editor for the Miracle yearbook. I’ve loved serving as an admissions host and meeting prospective students as well! I guess you could say I’ve been around the block a few times and have some insight about what it’s like to be in your shoes, and I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned.
Everyone reacts differently to such a big change like moving to college. For extroverts, oftentimes when presented with multiple opportunities, you can try to get involved in almost everything you can possibly handle because FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real.
But for an introvert like myself, during my freshman year at Cedarville it was overwhelming to experience so many new things and not know where to start, so my natural instinct was to withdraw, which caused me to worry if I would make any friends and eventually conclude that I would be lonely for the rest of my college career. Oof! Major overthinking. I caught myself wishing I could be an extrovert so I could make friends and integrate into the community more easily. What I didn’t realize at the time is that God created us all with different social orientations and each one is loved and valued in his sight.
Looking back now as a senior, I can see how Cedarville has provided involvement opportunities and how God blessed me with long-lasting friendships through those opportunities. I’m here to tell you what I wish I realized going into my freshman year: You don’t have to be an extrovert to be involved, and you don’t have to overcommit yourself either! All you need is to hone in on your passions and interests, and step out of your comfort zone to be intentional about prayerfully pursuing opportunities the Lord puts in your path.
Here are a few ways I embraced my shyness and the Cedarville community!
Attend the Involvement Fair & sign up for something.
One of the first things I did as a freshman was attend the Involvement Fair the first week of school. It was a great way to find out about various organizations on campus and churches/ministries in the area. At the same time it was a lot to take in! However, I just signed up to receive information about the things I was most interested in: dance and serving in a children’s ministry. I ended up being a member of Ayo Dance Company for three years and serving as a choreographer and org officer. I loved getting to know people who shared the same passion for dance! Dance and fellowship was always a relaxing time in my day that I looked forward to. On the weekends, I got to spend time with refugee children at a church through King’s Kids Refugee ministry. Seeing the Lord work in their lives at such a young age was such a blessing to witness, and getting to go camping and play games with them was a blast!
Join a d-group.
Discipleship groups have been another gateway to Christ-centered community. You can sign up for any group you’d like depending on your choice of the books available that you would like to read through. My favorite d-group book has been The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. Through our book discussions, The Lord taught me so much about what it means to be serious about pursuing Christlikeness and how that looks practically in my life. Having a small group of people who are intentional about accountability, grow in learning together, and pray for and encourage each other is such a good way to step out of your comfort zone and embrace all that God has for you in this wonderful community of believers. Plus, for only an hour a week, it is something you can say yes to without feeling like you’re overcommitting.
Small acts of intentionality make a big difference.
Sometimes as a college student, life can seem to go by in a blur, and the assignment that was due a few days ago is now due in a couple hours, or you had to miss lunch that day because you were busy working on a project. I’ve had my fair share of these moments, and it can be hard to make time for hanging out with others. If you’re taking a boatload of credits and absolutely can’t join an org, ministry, or d-group, you can take small steps to get involved in community by being intentional with others. Initiating a conversation, sending an encouraging text or note in the mail, giving a compliment, asking someone how they are doing, are all small acts of intentionality that can make a big difference. Don’t wait for others to reach out to you, but rather, be the first to reach out to them. Seek to serve others in the mundane routine. Seek to serve others when you fear no one would want to talk to you. Seek to serve others when your schedule is full.
No matter where you’re at, if you’re an introvert or extrovert, remember that getting involved at Cedarville doesn’t always have to mean filling your schedule with a ton of events and plans, or that you have to have an endless social “battery.” All you need are these three simple ways to step into opportunities that can turn into long lasting friendships and a fruitful college experience.
Looking back, I’m thankful for the way the Lord has challenged me to step out of my personal bubble and embrace all that Cedarville has to offer, and my prayer and hope is that one day you will be able to look back and say the same.
Majoring in Professional Writing and Information Design, Class of 2021
Second Language: Polish
Favorite Activity: Contemporary and Lyrical Dancing
Favorite Hobby: Making Clay Jewelry
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