By: Justine Johnson
If I were to say the word “extrovert”, what would first pop into your head? Perhaps the image of a terrifyingly-friendly, in-your-face-and-won’t-go-away type of person? Maybe an individual who simply will not stop talking in class? How about the one who just has to say hello to you and have a twenty minute conversation every time they see you (which is WAY too often in your opinion). The label of extrovert has certainly become at least 50% negative.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am one of the individuals who has been blessed (?) by this disease. It isn’t really terrible at all. I looked up the actual definition of extrovert, and I found out that it means “an outgoing, gregarious person” or—as a verb—“to direct (the mind, one’s interest, etc.) outward or to things outside the self.” Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? While there are some extroverts who are like that, in reality, most extroverts simply love spending time with other human beings and often don’t like to be by themselves.
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. —Proverbs 18:24
I’m not here to babble about extroversion or to defend its characteristics, though. What I do want to say is that if you are an extrovert, I am encouraging you to keep a couple of thoughts in mind as you go through this crazy thing called college.
- It is okay to be alone, and you should probably practice solitude at least a few times a week, if not a bit every day.
- Have a conversation with yourself. If you are anything like me, talking to anyone sounds better than being completely silent.
- You might find a wonderful friend in someone who does not share your love of being around people all the time. Nearly all of my close friends so far have been introverts, and they have taught me so much about myself and about others.
- I also want to quickly shout out to the introverts who are reading this. (Thank you for sticking by people like me!) Please keep in mind that we can’t help not liking to be alone, and that we often enjoy deep conversations. We may seem to be rather unusual sometimes, but we can calm down when encouraged to do so.
So…wanna be friends? I’m almost 50% sure you’ll like me.