Introverted Students

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This is a guest post by Dr. W. You can find out more about him at the end of the post.

In 2010 and 2011 I noticed there were a few students asking for help on how to cope as an introvert in a seemingly extroverted environment. An environment that seems to only value constant socializing and networking. An environment that seems to sometimes shun inner-thought and looks down on those who need some down-time after a long day being around people. While also needing some time to process– in their way –the vast amount of information provided each day.

When I decided to become a student [again]in 2011 I had the same worries – but only for a short while. Because at the end of the day your teachers, lecturers and professors don’t really care that much how active you are with socializing. What they care about that you do what they expect of you and that you [hopefully]pass their course.

However, in some professions networking can be important – but it’s not always the be all end all that lands you the job you want.

Because the way you carry yourself, how you act, will lead you to the job that will suit you. Think about it. If you pretend to be an extrovert, going around being one of the most social people on campus, that will create a path which will lead you to a job that demands a person like that.

This is something I’ve experienced working as a freelance journalist. The way I act and how I write has started to create a path. A path I didn’t expect to go down, but a path a do enjoy.

If you like gossip, then go for it! Go write for a tabloid magazine and pretend you’re a journalist. But if you hate gossip with a passion– like yours truly –then don’t do it! Especially don’t do it because everyone else says you should do it!

What I experienced and did as a student in 2011 was to show up at class, pick up my assignments and do what was expected of me as a student. Socializing came second. And you will experience the same myth when you start working. Extroverts who can’t relax their lips for five seconds will try to make you believe that if you don’t socialize you will not last long. Most of the time your boss don’t care how much you socialize or how many friends you have. As long as you meet your deadline– and don’t creep people out –your boss will keep you employed.

While some of those who claim that socializing is the be all end all will drift from person to person and from job to job. Because at the end of the day, they are too busy being social while people like you are picking up their slack and acquiring working skills.

However, do what is required of you as a person, as a student or as an employee to do the best work possible.

Don’t become too stubborn in your ways though. I also hate public speaking with a passion, but most of the oral presentations I did in 2011 I received top marks. How did I do it? I followed one of my teacher’s advice – fake it!

Dr. W (not that kind of doctor) has always stood up for who he is — an INTJ. The Doc started blogging in 2004, but decided to up the ante by becoming a freelance journalist in 2010. His biggest influence is Hunter S. Thompson, the father of Gonzo journalism. Most of what he writes is based on his own experiences; and he prefers to season his stories with facts, rather than assumptions.
Web: dokterw.me
Twitter: @DokterW

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29 Comments

  1. As a introverted student in college these are the ways i felt more engaging in a class…

    1. Having the oppurtunity to have more one-on-one discussions with the professor readily available (office hours)
    2, Ask student to raise their hand instead of talking out loud the answers. (e.x Introverted student want to express their
    own views too but if the teacher doesn’t give us a chance we go back to our introverted shell)
    3. Establish 2-3 small group activities instead of a larger group….
    4. IMPORTANTLY, i think THE BEST way that helped me step out of the shell is having a better
    communitcation with my professor since its so hard during class.

    Hope this helps….
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  2. CasandraHenrich on

    Yes, this is so true. If you do what is assigned and expected from you, you will excel being a student or as an employee. Socializing is not the best that you need to be perfect but on how you can perform the task on your hands.
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  3. I think you are right the best advice is to fake it. Speeches and getting out of your shell only take a few minutes. Like anything in life it takes practice to become more extroverted.

    • I’m a major intro, hubs is a major extro. As I type this, I came home from a party at the nbghieors’ house because I’m exhausted, and he’s still over there chatting away–I’ll probably be asleep for an hour+ before he comes home!The only advice I can give is to find some mommy friends to hang out with. There are tons of groups on Meetup, you can try looking into “play groups” (even though Benton is too small to “play” right now, everyone knows play groups are really for mommies!) in your area, or a book club, or or or (etc).I do give you tons of credit for having such a grasp of what Justin needs and how it just is the way he’s wired and it’s not personal. Jason knows but still struggles with it, I have to remind him constantly and set very clear boundaries and expectations… he loves to stay until the end of a party until the hosts are (this has happened) falling asleep on the couch! Kudos to you for getting it and doing what you can to find a balance so you’re both happy!

  4. You’re right, socializing is important but it should only come second to doing your tasks as a student or an employee. Responsibilities should be done first and at the end of the day when all has been accomplished, it’ll be a good time to mingle with others.

  5. Thanks for sharing these very useful advices! I am a natural born introvert, I don’t have problems while I have to write my thoughts, but when it comes to an oral presentation, I always get in trouble. Your tips could help me to fight my fears, thanks for it!
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  6. Hello Dr. W, You have shown some real scenarios of the professional and school life which every extrovert person should understand. I have always seen extroverted folks saying, being in community is integral part of life or else you will be far behind in the Race.. well I agree only if we decide in which group should we be with. being introvert doesn’t mean to be self centered but to share the integral part of the information to other folks but on the other hand.. try to be far from the Blah Blah Type of people. Dr. W thanks for elaborating the real importance of being introvert .

  7. I’ve been struggling with the introversion problem when I was young. But I was able to cope with that problem during my university years because you have no more parents to depend on or cliques to help you out. What’s the best way to manage that introvert side of you?

    I like the post. I can totally relate.

    -Beverly
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  8. An introverted person is often depicted as the shy and quite type of person. But that is not always the case. They are viewed as such because introverts enjoy solitary activities and prefer to be with a smaller circle of friends. They like to introspect – look inside themselves and reflect. When they talk to others, they think first about their thoughts carefully before speaking out, which is often why they seem to be a lot quieter than their extroverted counterpart.
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  9. What’s most important is being yourself. It’s the thing that we should not want to forget about. The point is, in everything we do, we are always happy and always be what we are.

    I’m an introvert too and I have no problem dealing with my daily activities.

  10. What an inspirational story. The lesson I got in this story is that you can always learn what you don’t have, not that you are pretending but you are trying your best to perform your task.

  11. Hi there superb blog! Does running a blog similar to this take a great deal of
    work? I’ve absolutely no expertise in programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject but I just wanted to ask. Thank you!
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  12. Time spent being socially active is replaced with self improvement in regards to myself. I like to relax with a few friends once in a while, but often its just a waste of time. I believe my introversion is a gift.

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