In high school, I considered myself an extrovert. But it’s difficult to keep up that energy while living on a college campus. And lately, I find that my social battery isn’t what it used to be.
A few years ago, I didn’t understand the concept of enjoying spending time alone. When the world shut down in March 2020, there was no choice but to spend days alone between the four walls of my room.
It was great to see the world open back up, especially because I was eager for human interaction. From parties, nights out late, I had so much to look forward to.
But it felt different being my extroverted self again. The social settings that once came with ease felt forced to an extent. I was only engaging in conversations when I was spoken to. And any moments of silence left me uneasy — grasping to fill the void. Holding conversations felt like a chore — like I was using so much of my energy socializing that I was completely drained by the time I got home.
My friends picked up on my need to hibernate and recharge my social battery. Instead of going to parties, we’ll sometimes stay in and watch movies or shop for our self care Sundays. I never knew how refreshing our girl-talks and face masks would be, but they came habitual to our routine.
I feel like I’ve changed so much in the past few years. And I noticed people around me have too. According to one study, a lot of young adults like me experienced significant changes in personality during the pandemic. So it makes me feel a lot better that I’m not the only one.
As I get older, I realize it’s crucial to be sensible about my social battery. It's okay to be absent from friends sometimes for the sake of my mental. It’s all a balancing act. I need to make sure I’m prioritizing whatever I need in my life — whether that’s a night out or a night in. And it doesn't hurt to have a good group of friends like I do to give you that push.