Do you have to be social in a hostel?

I am planning to go on my first solo trip this summer, in Europe. I am somewhat on a budget so I wanted to do hostels to save money.

The thing is, I’m a really big introvert. I’m going on this trip partly to recharge and partly to spend some time with myself. I’m excited to explore things and make my own schedule.

A lot of people talk about how easy it is to make friends in hostels, but I’m kind of doubting if that is actually what I want to do. I get exhaused by other people pretty quickly. When I’m in a new place with all these new impressions I often don’t have energy left over to socialize. I am also perfectly content doing things on my own and really enjoy that feeling of freedom and independence. I don’t know if I want to make a bunch of plans with other people, I don’t know if I would find it fun. I might just enjoy sightseeing more when it’s just me by myself.

Should I not go to hostels? Would it be frowned upon to kind of keep to myself?

I like the idea of cheap travel. I also like that there is the possibility of socializing if I do happen to have that desire or meet the right person. But I also know myself and sometimes I’m just not in the mood and I want to quietly do my own thing. Would I stick out like a sore thumb if I do that? It’s not that I don’t want to be around people at all, but would it be seen as weird if I just quietly sit in a common room for instance?

Edit: Thank you for explaining the social landscape to me everyone!

Do you have to be social in a hostel?