Being a Wallflower at CCSU

Justin Gurekovich, Contributor

Central has campus events weekly, an example being Devil’s Den at 10 pm on Thursdays. Central also has many clubs and organizations to join and be social with. People in their dorms sometimes throw small parties with their roommates and friends.

Some people, like me, prefer to be less social and outgoing compared to some of our other classmates or friends. We might call ourselves an introvert or a wallflower. 

According to the Urban Dictionary, “A wallflower is a person who is introverted and is separate from the crowd, usually at a party. Not particularly shy but reserved when surrounded by many people and big personalities. They do not know what to say so that it can be socially awkward. This person will blend in and become almost invisible to others. They choose to stand back rather than get involved as they prefer to observe. They have no desire to be the center of attention.”

“When I first started at CCSU, I was kind of an outsider. I didn’t fit in and barely had any friends to associate with,” said Ana Garcia, a junior student.

Garcia said she usually keeps to herself outside of Central as well.

 “In my free time, I would take long walks at Stanley Quarter Park, binge watch movies and tv, read books, and play with my dog,” she said.

However, Garcia said she wants more social interactions with others, but it’s complicated.

“Sometimes it feels like a punishment, being the introvert I am, meaning almost everyone I know here is dating or going out with their friends,” she said. “It makes me feel somewhat jealous because I wish I had more friends, but socially active people tire me out.”

Natasha Cruz, a freshman at CCSU, said the COVID-19 pandemic gave her mixed feelings about how it impacted her social life. 

“I do feel as though that when COVID first came out in 2020, it was a blessing in disguise as a chance to be less social, but now after being stuck in my house for a long time, it’s increasingly nice to get out and explore,” she said.

Cruz also said it was gratifying to get out of the house more but struggles with social anxiety when attending campus events.

 “I’m much happier not being trapped in my house, but I would say that I’m still pretty reserved,” she said. “I’ve been to a few campus events, but it’s overwhelming seeing so many people socializing, but I face that anxiety by going to events at least two times a month.”

My experience as an introverted wallflower at CCSU is similar to Garcia and Cruz’s statements. Some people understand how I am and accept it, but I’ve also been constantly told and pressured to put myself out there and meet people who might have the same interests as me. I’ve been repeatedly told I should go to campus events and parties. When I attend campus events, I quietly sit there and observe everything around me. I’m an entirely different person when I’m in a room with 2-3 people I know and trust. I have no friends here at Central, and it constantly feels like I don’t fit in with any group.

One thing that has always bothered me is that people assume because I’m gay, I should be peppy and full of sunshine, which sometimes I am, but most of the time, I’m not. Even though I want friends, and it’s incredibly tiring being alone and lonely, I don’t feel the need to push friendships or relationships. I feel as though if I were meant to be friends with someone, it would happen independently.

I learned from both Garcia and Cruz that I’m not alone with facing these challenges of being somewhat antisocial and independent. Sometimes it’s better to be alone than be with bad company, even just for a minute.

If you relate to the stories of Garcia, Cruz, or myself, you might be an introvert or wallflower. Maybe you were faced with some of the same issues as us. 

So while CCSU is booming with socialization and events, it’s perfectly okay to take a step back, focus on yourself, and do the things that make you happy. Not everyone is a social butterfly, and that’s okay. We all have the chance to find a group of friends that accept us and make us feel able to be ourselves.