Last Saturday night where was I? Home.
Not because there was nothing to do. I’m in college, there’s everything to do. It’s more so because I enjoy being alone.
I’m not shy, nor am I anti-social. But let my peers tell it, I’m “standoffish and stuck up.”
The correct answer is that I’m actually just an introverted person. Being alone energizes introverts, and I am at peace in my own element. Society associates introversion with being shy which couldn’t be further from the truth. Being around people for too long seems like a daunting task, and small talk seems rather mundane.
This was never a problem in other stages of my life because there had always been a separation between school and home. I could be completely social when I was in school because I knew after a while I would get to retreat to my own dwelling in a few hours. But once I entered the dormitory setting where I could no longer escape, I began to shut down.
It’s not that I don’t love being around people. I just love it in moderation. But at first glance, the following misconceptions are drawn due to my reserved personality:
Introverts don’t like to talk.
Oh quite the contrary, talking is not something I loathe. But it has to be substantial, and something more than pretending to care about how you feel about the weather. Once I’m comfortable with you, good luck trying to get me to shut up. A topic I’m passionate about will have me yapping a mile a minute and you’ll probably wish that you didn’t get me started in the first place.
Introverts are rude.
The fact that I’m a New Yorker with a “mean mug” probably doesn’t help contribute to people’s perception of me. Add introvert to the mix and you can practically see the people running away. I promise I’m always smiling, on the inside. It just doesn’t always translate on my face. My cheeks hurt from laughing almost on a daily, but if you didn’t really know me you would never know that.
Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
“Homebody” could’ve been my middle name a few years ago, but the thought of being in the mix has gotten to be something I’ve grown fond of. Being out all day, is a different story. I’m not one of those people who need to search for something to do every minute of the day. If there’s an event going on, I’ll go. Once I have to search for it, I’m already unenthused.
Introverts should change to fix societies extravert view of the world.
This is the misconception that bothers me the most. Why does being an introvert have to be something that needs to be “fixed?” There is nothing wrong with us. Shunning us after a brief encounter just makes us less susceptible to wanting to open up later.
If people my age and race have this perception of me from being a naturally introverted person, I’d hate to think of how black introverts are interpreted by the masses. This stoic face is not in any shape or form the presence of an “angry black woman.” There is no neck roll with an accompanying finger jerk to cloud your judgment.
I’m not shy, nor am I anti-social. But most importantly, I am not angry.
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Kristin Corry is a Print/Online major studying at Howard University.