Technically, I am a shy introvert. I still enjoy my overseas study life in Sheffield though, rich and colourful.

My mother occasionally are worried that I stay alone for too long. When she calls me asking ‘why are you at home again today? It is Sunday! Perfect for shopping with friends!’ Well, I can tell from her tongue-in-cheek tone that she is worried I was left out by my peers. But the thing is I prefer not to socialise, but I have no problem with socialising.

A girl bend over on a table in a dark living room alone
photo taken at home

I guess it is a key ingredient of an introverted person that we are not able for a life to carry a conversation with someone we know little about. So this happens a lot:

‘Hello Brooke!’

‘Hello Judy!’

‘How are you doing?’

‘pretty good!’


The inside me is like ‘oh god it’s my turn again. What do I say?’ Well, indeed It is not I don’t want to talk to somebody. And I’m not rude. I’m just too shy to carry a conversation.

An old man with glasses and cap in the crowd, and his t-shirt says: "introverted but willing to discuss plants"

Enjoy your free time being yourself in a foreign country

I was urged to meet up new friends and try new stuff. It is like if I don’t make full use of studying abroad, I will miss a lot.

So I took part in many kinds of societies, downloaded various dating apps but finally I got tired of attempting to being sociable.

These things might be interesting for somebody, but for me I don’t gain more from them than reading books alone.

feet lying beside a laptop in a dark but red bedroom
photo taken at home

There are numerous distractions, fresh activities for a new international student. However my experience tells me it is important to know what you do like, do want. You do not have to cater to any ‘right’ lifestyle. If staying at home alone, listening music or visiting a gallery is a thing that you enjoy for real, stick to it.

In addition, as far as I’m concerned, being sociable is a competence. You can turn on the switch if you need it (like doing a group project) and turn it off after using it. We need to recharge the battery.

On the top of that, I’m sorry to say so though, as a postgraduate abroad, however, studying time is more than you imagine. And the main reason why we are here is for learning. Staying with ourselves gives us enough room to think, to consider, to reflect.

I’m not proud that I am a quiet person. Well…maybe slightly a little.

International friends are not a measure of overseas life quality

There is also a voice saying ‘if you go to a university in Britain, but you still only get Chinese in your social circle you will miss a lot of opportunities.’ This sounds too demanding for me.

First I dislike to divide friends into Chinese group and international group because nationality is not a measure of friends.

To be honest, not only international friends I even don’t have many Chinese friends in my social circle here. Sometimes I am jealous of Chinese who are hooked up with international students, but this is no need to be a goal.

Besides, after a certain age, our demand for making friends does decline.

Basically I wish this blog can give you confidence to accept and love your shy self no matter you are in your hometown or a different country.