If you’re the type of person who hates small talk but likes friends or who wants to be part of a chill group that plays Cards Against Humanity, the Introverts’ Social Club is
The student organization meets twice a month for their general meetings, where they play board and video games and chat. They also hold socials every few weeks where the group goes out to arcades, movies or the Union.
Psychology senior Hannah Dean said she started the club because she had a difficult time making friends when she arrived at UT, partly because she started in upper division classes directly out of high school, and partly because of her introverted personality. She founded the Introverts’ Social Club last year to bring together people like her who struggle to make friends in the fast-paced UT environment.
“UT is a very extrovert-oriented place, and our society is very oriented toward extroverts,” Dean said. “I wanted to make a comfortable, sort of relaxing, environment for introverts.”
Dean said she tries to make the meetings both chill and inclusive, so that no one gets overwhelmed or feels left out, which can happen more easily in larger social settings. She first posted the idea for the group on the UT subreddit, where she was met with some negative response, most claiming that introverts would rather stay at home than meet people. Dean said that motivated her to start the group, just to prove it was possible.
“There are a lot of people out there who think being introverted and being antisocial are synonymous … but that’s a misconception,” Dean said. “Introverts do like socializing; they do like being around people.”
Electrical engineering junior Andy Hoang has been part of the group since it started. He said making friends at UT takes some time for introverts such as himself, even if they make an effort to be more outgoing.
“(Making friends) has always been tricky,” Hoang said. “I tried a bunch of other clubs before based around interests, and I never really stuck with any.”
He said when he was involved in other student orgs, he felt like he was expected to go off-campus and do things he was uncomfortable with. He said the Introverts’ Social Club was a better fit for him because it’s more like hanging out with friends than being part of an organization.
“I like how low-key (the Introverts’ Social Club) is,” Hoang said. “You don’t feel pressured to go out and do crazy stuff.”
Both Hoang and David Sun, a human development and family sciences senior, said they found out about the group through the UT subreddit and quickly got involved. Sun said he’s been a lot happier since accepting that he’s an introvert instead of trying to force himself to be more outgoing.
“I grew up around people who told me I was shy and I was quiet, and I also had social anxiety when I was younger,” Sun said. “I always thought my being quiet was a bad thing, so for most of my childhood, I looked down on myself. I ended up forcing myself to be somebody I’m not.”
Dean said she emphasizes to each new club member that they can do whatever makes them comfortable, such as playing on their phone or leaving early. That way, no one will have to feel uneasy about being themselves.
“We’re just a bunch of introverted people that are looking for an avenue to socialize in our own way,” Dean said. “Everyone here is kind of socially inhibited, and so you don’t have to feel weird about being like that.”