How to Thrive As An Introvert At Rice

Author: Virginia G., ’22

I am an introvert. Before I go any further, I want to clarify what I mean by this statement. It does NOT mean that I am shy (although I can be at times), it does NOT mean that I am quiet (quite the opposite), and it does NOT mean that I am antisocial. Being introverted simply means you “recharge” by spending time alone. So yes, I love to be social and be around other people, but it’s draining for me, so I need time by myself to re-energize. (If you’re still a little confused, a quick Google search can clear this up.)

So, I’m an introvert. What does this mean for me specifically? Like any good introvert, my room is my safe space, the place where I go when I’m feeling overwhelmed or exhausted or agitated. Here at Rice, that can be a little complicated when you have a roommate. Never fear! Sharing a room doesn’t mean you can’t thrive; it just means that you have to adjust a bit. Chances are that you and your roommate won’t be in the room together every single moment of every single day. And if you are, just talk to your roommate and ask if you can have the room for a scheduled time. Make your room your room. Put 7 pillows on your bed so it’s extra-comfortable when you lie down and watch movies (my personal preference). Get a soft blanket, or a weighted one. Put up string lights, or artwork that makes you happy. Make your home base somewhere you feel truly comfortable.

I won’t lie; sometimes it is hard to be an introvert on campus. When I can’t go back to my room, it feels like there is nowhere I can go to be truly alone. There are quiet spots, true, but it’s hard to not see people walking around, some of whom recognize you. Sometimes I want to be invisible, and that can seem nearly impossible.

In light of recognizing the difficulty in finding hideouts on campus, I’m about to divulge some of my secret spots for the good of my fellow introverts out there. (Just please don’t monopolize them, I still like to go there too!) Here is my list:

  • Skyspace (later at night)
  • Really anywhere in the mornings on the weekends
  • Fondren study rooms
  • The study alcoves on Fondren 4th (the ones that have windows overlooking the Academic Quad)
  • Lilie parking garage (the upper levels, again later at night)
  • Rayzor Hall third floor after dinner

If anyone reading this has any additions, please let me know; I’d love to find more quiet spots. Hopefully these tips will help any current students who are introverted, as well as ease the minds of any introverted prospective students. Speaking from personal experience, it is possible to thrive here at Rice if you are an introvert. And if you still don’t believe me, ask the hundreds of other introverts that are on this campus, because they’ll tell you the same thing: you belong here, regardless of whether you’re introverted or extroverted or somewhere in between.