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Amna and Linh smiling at the camera ;

Being an introvert or extrovert at university: a conversation between two friends

Amna Naseem and Linh Diep
King's students and Student Knowledge & Information interns

17 August 2022

Hi there, we are Amna and Linh. We are both King’s students and we are currently interning with the Student Engagement and Frontline Student Services teams at King’s.

We became friends whilst sitting next to one another in the office. When discussing what we enjoy doing on campus, we realised our activities aligned closely with our different personality traits. Amna is more on the extroverted side and Linh is an introvert, but we can both find things to do that we enjoy at King’s and around London.

We wanted to share how we each make the most of our time at university to show that, if you are an extrovert, introvert or even a bit of both, there is something for everyone!

Amna and Linh laughing together

Being an introvert: Amna interviewing Linh

Q1. How do you like to spend time on campus?

I like going to green spaces near Guy’s Campus after classes to recharge my energy and often visit Borough Market as it is a good stroll from Guy’s. I enjoy going to quiet study spaces in the Maughan Library to avoid noise and distractions and I like to take breaks by going to cafes. For example, visiting Somerset House is my favourite activity - it is a good place to enjoy a good cup of coffee, soak in the architecture and people watch!

As an introvert I don’t always necessarily spend time with myself. Sometimes I organise picnics with my friends and go to The Shack in the Students’ Union. I personally like going to the Meadow on the 8th floor of Bush House South East wing as well because it has sleeping bags and comfortable bean chairs.

Q2. How do you develop professional skills and who do you go to for advice?

I like attending guest lectures through the King’s events calendar debates, joining online digital skills classes, and participating in LinkedIn Learning for my personal development. For career advice, I book appointments on King’s CareerConnect with the Careers and Employability team. They are great with CV skills and career advice.

For academic advice, the first point of contact is my personal tutor because they help me develop my personal and academic journey.

Sometimes, I need to get out there and network to show people I have what it takes, but I don’t mind doing it. For me, it is a part of the learning journey as I get to learn from sector experts and grow. It makes me feel like my social energy is being utilised for a good reason.

When I get overwhelmed, I check out the resources from the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service at King’s because it helps me to be more positive.

Q3 How do you make friends on campus?

I personally find it difficult to make friends if we don’t share a common topic of interest. My first acquaintances at King’s were my classmates because we had similar assignments and classes, so it was easier for us to get involved. This led to us eventually becoming friends.

Outside of the classroom, I like photography, so I joined the Photography Society through KCLSU. Connecting with people that have similar interests led me to make closer connections with society members. I like to share memes with my friends because I find them impactful, and you can communicate a lot without saying anything. They are a good way of keeping in touch.

Q4. How do you allocate your time and energy?

I save my energy for social activities; I have people and friends whom I feel comfortable with and that don’t drain my energy. Usually, when I spend time alone, I can accumulate energy to spend on social networking and development. I don’t find it draining as this is all productive.

I find an effective way to use your social battery is to have a reward system. If you spend time on social activities that uses your energy, make sure to reward yourself to keep motivated.

Remember, no one is going to judge you for being quiet. If you want to engage that’s good, but if you want to listen and observe that is fine too.

Q5. Finally, what is your advice for introverts at King’s?

Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something new by yourself, otherwise, you will never know. You will find people with similar interests once you put yourself out there. I also encourage you to use Student Services Online to get the right support. Trust your judgement, recognise your capacity and don’t fear judgement.

The Shack - Cafe

Being an extrovert: Linh interviewing Amna

Q1. What do you enjoy on campus?

I am based on the Strand Campus, and I find Bush House to be one destination for all my student needs.

After a long day of lectures, I go to The Vault or The Shack with my classmates. A lot of societies host events at The Vault all year round ranging from sports, culture, music etc. It is a fantastic way to meet people from your course and other courses. Bush House also has sports activity rooms that you can book for yourself and groups room through KCLSU, and there are also showers in the building for convenience.

I enjoy getting lunch at the King's Kitchen on the basement floor of Bush House Southeast Wing and, like you Linh, I also like going to Somerset House courtyard when it is sunny outside. Chapters on the second floor of the Strand building is also a great place to catch up with your friends. It now has a robot serving and taking orders! There are also life size chess board, Jenga and other games on the Strand Campus, which I enjoy playing with my friends.

For taking some quiet time, I go to postgraduate study spaces or informal study spaces and to the multi faith prayer rooms on campus, which I often use to take breaks and reflect.

I’m doing a one-year master's degree and, during my short time at King’s, I appreciated having the King’s NHS Health Centre on campus because it made being able to see my GP and get access to health services a lot easier.

Having all these amenities has helped me to have a well-rounded student experience at King's.

Q2. How do you allocate time?

Time management is key. During the academic year, I was working part-time, maintaining a social life, staying active and studying full time. I found it particularly useful to allocate time and create a to-do list for everyday tasks. This helped me maintain the best of both worlds.

Q3. How do you know who to trust when being friends with everyone?

Being friendly is different than being friends with everyone. I’m friendly with a lot of people but I don’t confide in everyone. I find taking a step back and trusting my judgement useful. It’s about being there for one another during tough times. Making long-lasting friendships is a process.

I also believe shared experiences can create strong bonds. For example, me and my classmates helped each other with assignments and presentations, which led us to trust and rely on each other for support.

Q4. Do you spend quiet time with yourself?

Of course, I think it’s important to take out time for yourself. You can be extroverted but can also need time to reflect on life in general. I try to read for 15 minutes every day and to start my day by being grateful and mindful. It personally helps me appreciate all the little things and start the day on a positive note.

Q5. How do you avoid burn out or dealing with social pressure?

I feel pressure to fill awkward silences and make others feel comfortable around me. Lately, I have been trying to enjoy the awkward silences and practising active listening. This has helped me value every voice in the room and helped me draw meaningful lessons from my conversations. I also try to do activities by myself, such as going out for runs and walks to clear my head as it always makes me feel better. For me, the best way to avoid burnout is to listen to my body. If I feel tired or uncomfortable, I take a rest and call it a day.


Three students walking through the courtyard of Somerset House.

We hope our tips have been useful. Finally, we want to say, don’t underestimate yourself! There are plenty of opportunities out there no matter what your personality is, and you can do whatever you set your heart to.

Amna and Linh