Thriving in University Clubs as Introverts

An illustration of an introvert in a university club setting

Some things in life are much easier when you aren't an introvert, like being part of a university club. Contorting the present mood to appear chipper, showing enthusiasm for group work, and being prepared to voraciously wave at acquaintances you spot from miles away are all little things that everyone is secretly sick of but extroverts are better at doing. Most introverts are well aware of potential challenges they may have to face but go ahead and join these clubs anyway. For some, the experiences can and do turn sour while others blossom into the very social butterflies they were once repulsed by.

It's always a good idea to explore your options before settling for anything, and this word of caution extends to joining clubs as well, especially if you are the type of person who is usually cocooned in their own shell. Too many social interactions can feel overwhelming and cause some of us to shut down in social settings. An introvert's worst nightmare can be to find themselves being awkwardly left out of group banters. If it is a recurring incident, you might need to reevaluate your purpose and decision of continuing in the club. It's also important to note that it probably isn't the best use of your time if you already have a schedule swamped with other commitments. 

As bad as I try to make it sound, being quiet and reserved, although traits not well attuned to letting you thrive in a club, can come in handy. It can stop you from the burnout of excessive socialising and allow you to focus your energy on more important tasks. It's a way of prioritising quality over quantity, and once we gradually begin to expand our sphere of influence, we may even find group discussions and all the little things that were once too overwhelming to bear less daunting.

It goes without saying that signing up for a university club and sticking with it does add value to one's university life. Depending on the type of club you are a part of, it can give you the space to engage with people with whom you share common interests. Better yet, you find opportunities to develop your collaboration skills working with teams in ways you wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to do. Not to mention, these clubs will most likely be your only source of lively and entertaining events. Whether it will actually provide advantages or engulf one in some of its pitfalls depends on how you play the cards you are dealt with.

We live in an age where it's easy to curate everything to align with our interests. However, a club is the melting pot of a staggeringly large number of different personalities, and being part of one pushes you to learn how to make your mark within this mix of people. At the end of the day, how well an introvert thrives has to do with how much they are willing to put the work in. It's not the club itself that will groom one into an active team player, but one's innate drive to want to improve themselves.