Coming into the Fellows community I was absolutely terrified. I had no idea what I had
gotten myself into. I knew absolutely nothing about these people I was about to spend the next
ten months of my life with or even that much about what this program would actually look like. All that kept going through my head was fear about not being accepted. I was used to communities back home revolving around always having to be “on”. Always having to be bubbly and positive, I was worn out from putting on this front. Completely exhausted, I just wanted to be a member of this community, but not have to put in so much effort. My introverted self was screaming for rest.
Before coming to the Salt Lake Fellows, I had never truly embraced my introverted self. I never felt
like it was an option. I always felt like the odd one out because I would have these moments
where I just needed to be alone for a while. Everyone I was around in college seemed to thrive
off of being around people constantly, whereas I just wanted to hideaway for days in order to
feel like myself and gather my thoughts.
It has been a new experience for me, to come to a place where there were others so
open about being introverted. It is so refreshing. It has also been so reassuring, to know that it
is not wrong to need to be alone sometimes. That it is possible to be a member of a community
and be an introverted individual. It’s encouraging to know that I no longer have to feel the need
to constantly be “on”. I can take time to be alone and not have fear of being judged for it..
I mean sure, it was hard at first and it still can be hard. Often times in class you can find
me journaling away about the thoughts going through my head. Just trying to make sense of
everything while being in a room full of people. It’s still a struggle to be present, but it’s a
struggle that I so deeply want to work towards overcoming. I am slowly, but surely, fighting my
way into this group. Fighting against my own giants in order to fully be myself in a group of
forced friendships turned family. It’s a daily struggle, but for what feels like the first time, this is
something that I want. Something that I want to fight for, no matter how hard it might be
So my fellow Fellows, thank you for accepting the introvert. Thank you for allowing me
to embrace this part of myself. Even if you didn’t realize it, I truly appreciate it. I can already tell
that this year is going to be filled with so much growth. Growth for us as a community and our
individual selves. So let’s get comfy, it’s going to be an epic ride.
“This is my command—be strong and courageous!
SLF Class of 18-19
Salt Lake Fellows Collaborative