My Name is New Faculty & I’m an Introvert

introvert hangover | new faculty

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My birthday….I do love it so….really.

I made my own party this year. I had been celebrating my bad self for a while. I did spring and get a new car (thanks for the incentives toyota) and then planned a long weekend in FL to see some good friends from grad school. It’s been a great year of growth and overcoming personal challenges. I was ready for some eats and drinks!

It was also the first week of classes here at big box U so I really appreciated that everyone came out. I picked a nicer place due to the fact that I’m not interested in the $1 draft special on a night like my birthday and neither was my company (yet another difference when we leave grad school mentality, although $1 beer is a good thing at any income level). However, everything was very nice and delicious, and my giant bloody mary was divine.

So, the moral of the story is this: I did not think everyone would show. I invited 14 and 12 came. This is not a self deprecating post–in fact, quite the opposite. It’s not a “i can’t believe i have friends” thing, but I honestly thought that with the beginning of the turmoil semester, that more folks would bow out for 100 reasons. I sent a friendly email to invite folks w/ the details and even said, “I know you’re all busy and I understand” but thankfully, they did come!

The introvert in me pretty much panicked! I could not talk to everyone. I could not have a meaningful conversation. I felt like I was sitting in a fish bowl. I have great friends, they had no trouble talking to each other, but I struggled. As I observed myself, I realized a few things:

  • everyone was fine
  • so was i
  • it’s ok that i couldn’t talk to everyone, they were fine chatting w/ each other
  • 12 is too many for my personal taste, i’ll back it down to 6 next time, or maybe 4….

Last year, my former roommate and I stayed in on my birthday and we went out to a nice dinner later in the week as good friends. I will aim for something in between last night and last year.

Lesson learned. It’s the day after my birthday and I’m mentally pooped. I think I had some major overload yesterday from all of the socializing, the phone calls, and other forms of communication. I’m not ungrateful at ALL, but it was a good lesson for me that as an introvert, I need

  • smaller groups
  • more intimate settings
  • breaks between functions
  • and clearly….a day off after the fact.

As a new faculty and human being, it’s important for me to remind myself of what I need vs. what I want vs. what I think I should be doing. I did want to celebrate and boy, I sure did. While no one was totally drunk and falling down, it was a big day of socializing for me personally, which plain wore me out. This translates to all aspects of my life and as I finish this post, I’m locked in my office, door locked, lights low, pretending that no one is home.

My friend texted me this morning asking how my party was and told me that next year: VIP’s only!

She might be onto something.

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