An Introvert's Guide to Going Out
I will be the first to tell you exactly how much of an introvert I am. When it comes to my ideal big Friday night, I'd rather stay in, catch up on some reading or homework, and gather inspiration for my blog until I fall asleep. A real party, right? My sense of adventure rarely extends to cramming myself into a packed nightclub or venturing into an on campus party, but there are the rare occasions when I find myself surrounded by other people. And I actually enjoy myself.
For those of you who are laid back loners like myself, an empty apartment or house is a dream come true. But it is healthy to get out there and meet new people every once in a while. This is by no means an every weekend sort of activity for me, but when I have gone out, I've learned a few things along the way to help my introverted self have a good time.
1. Make your own peanut gallery. You know that casual acquaintance who you've had a few classes with, but never really hung out with outside of an academic setting? A small party is the perfect time to get to know them better. In my case, because I'm in almost all art or English classes, my classmates tend to be snarky and more quiet like myself. I usually hit it off best by bringing up something we have in common and opening the door to commentary. Everyone talks about the weather, but why not talk about the music that's playing at the party or shake your heads at the shenanigans around you?
2. Go out with people who like going out. This one seems obvious, but it might be kind of difficult. If you get the urge to break it down, you probably won't find a receptive audience in your fellow novel reading coffee drinkers. I'm not saying those activities are mutually exclusive, but it is way more fun to go out and dance with people who will actually dance with you. My favorite person in the world to dance with is my roommate, Ari, because not only is she an excellent dancer, but she also had no qualms with completely letting loose.
3. Your best friend is a net, not a crutch. When I'm in settings with a large number of people, whether it is on campus or downtown somewhere, I always have someone with me. Fortunately, that someone is usually Patrick and I feel completely safe. However, he is a safety net that prevents bad things from happening to me. He isn't a crutch that I lean on to introduce me to people and entertain me the whole night. When we are in a party atmosphere, we usually are talking to two completely different groups of people for the majority of the night. While this is made easier because we share a lot of friends, it is definitely important to venture out for your own conversations.
4. Know your limits. The first time I went to a local night club, I was convinced that I would never go back. We had a group of about ten people meet up or ride to the club together. That number is great for dancing, but when it comes to deciding when to leave and carpooling, a number that large can be taxing. We also stayed for a solid three hours which I found out is just too much for me to handle. Ideal hours for me to go somewhere like a nightclub are 11-1. This is right as the club is opening, so there (ideally) aren't too many drunk/creepy people there. Leaving at 1 means avoiding most of the night time traffic which therefore decreases the chance of a wreck or any other misfortunes. Not only is a safer way to go out, but you also get in bed earlier than if you close down the club at 3.
5. Be prepared. Always plan ahead. If there are going to be people drinking, know that there will be a designated driver. I actually suggest drinking a lot of water before you go so you don't run the risk of getting dehydrated in a hot nightclub. Even if this seems lame, make sure a responsible adult figure or friend knows where you are going in case something happens. Make sure that you have worked ahead on homework or other weekend errands so that you can sleep in fairly late the next morning. And be sure to check out how much it will cost to get into the venue before going- you'll most likely need cash. The more you plan ahead, the better and less dramatic your experience will be.
These are just a few things that I keep in mind on those rare occasions that I do go out. Pinning the experience down into five bullet points of advice might drive some people crazy: they prefer a spontaneous and surprising night. But as far as being an introvert goes, we can sometimes use the boost of confidence that knowing what we are getting into brings. All in all, if you get the craving to go out or go to a party, go. You might be exhausted the next day (or week), but if you follow these tips, you shouldn't regret your decision.