The Introvert’s Guide to College: Breaking the Third (Or Fourth, or Fifth) Wall

Third-wheeling when you’re with a romantic couple is one of the most awkward things you can experience.

But, third-wheeling, as a stranger, with people who are already friends is something else.

We know that it’s important to put yourself out there, right? You can’t always wait for someone else to approach you and you can’t always sit in silence and be fine with letting life go on without you participating in it.

But when you’re third-wheeling it can be so easy to let the people who already have established friendships talk around you while you sit quietly in the corner, observing it all.

You got to break the “third” wall.

Now, what does that mean?

Normally, the phrase “breaking the fourth wall” refers to when a character addresses the audience in the real world, rather than participating in the fantasy world that the story is taking place in. That character is breaking down the wall that exists between the world they usually exist in and engaging in a new one.

What I’m talking about is breaking the third, or fourth, or fifth wall. However many people are in this group, break into it. Stepping out of the comfortable world that you’re used to, and into what’s actually going on around you.

To break this fourth wall, it means you’re going to have to be uncomfortable. You’re going to have to – and I know this sounds crazy- initiate conversation. Introduce yourself and try to get that conversation ball rolling.

I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend that I’ve mastered this. There have been times where I have sat in a group of four people and not said a word as they talked around me simply because I was more comfortable being an observer.

This year though, I am making it a point to break down that third, fourth, or even fifth wall when I can and try to establish new relationships with new people and I invite y’all to try it too.