We all came from different backgrounds and prefer different ways of learning. But as a student we’re accustomed to being with others, learn their differing cultures, but at the same time, we are being taught using the built system, and absorb information the same way. Here’s my observation as an introverted student.
An introvert’s perspective
I am an introvert. I enjoy having time to myself and think better that way. I am not opposed to group meetings or discussions, but under the right circumstances, I can be the best leader. Yes, I am the last person to raise her hand during class discussions. Though I’m very glad to share my opinion when asked privately.
As someone who just got out of school, I started to question how I survived the school system despite it being heavily based on extroverts. I even thought that going to school is fun even though I have to continuously present myself every single day.
For 15 years, I learned that the perks outweigh the drawbacks of being an introvert at school.
Drawbacks of being an introvert at school
Oral Recitation – I think most students fear this the most because of the way it is presented. The logic is basically the teacher has to randomly pick a student to answer his/her questions. Sometimes, if you weren’t able to answer, you would have to stand until you get to answer. The worst thing is they’re basing your participation through recitation alone. Though they’re doing this to test if the student reads the book, they should also consider the others who aren’t spontaneous. In my case, even though I studied, I can’t state my learning verbally unless it is for a presentation. I would rather write it down than be the center of attention.
Group discussion – If it’s for a project, then I’m okay with it. But if the teacher suddenly wants to do a practice project or test in pair/group, then that’s when I start to question the act. Once again, I think it has something to do with being spontaneous. As an introvert, I am not open for a full on discussion especially if the group was made on the spot. That’s why I feel like I am not learning as much if this happens.
Sitting arrangements during lunch break – This is more of an elementary thing but I remember feeling awkward for sitting in front of a classmate I am not close with. And surprise! We never got close by the end of the school year. But I guess that says a lot about me as a person.
Perks of being an introvert at school
Library – This is the holy grail of every school for introverts. It is quiet and you can work on your school requirements alone.
Essay Work – I just accepted the fact that I am not good at taking tests. I am also anxious when doing presentations. But I’ve always felt confident when it is a writing project. Even though I am not an experienced writer, I always thought that it is the perfect way to state my learning and opinions accurately.
Class Project – I say no to group projects but yes to class projects. Though there are more people involved, I like the feeling of connection as one whole class. Based on experience, I learned that I get closer to my classmates whenever there’s a class project. That helps me cope up with small projects that need to be presented in class alone or in a group.
Friends – This is unusual, but I have made my lifetime friends in high school. I think that it is because of the number of years we’ve spent around the campus compared to when I’m in college. Though I have never acquired that in college, I’d still consider having friends as one of the perks.
Modern Teachers – More teachers are changing how the system works, and I’m very glad they do. An example is one of my professors who took oral recitation to a whole new level. Instead of stating answers verbally, we’ll have to use our phone and type in our answers. I think that’s a genius idea.
As an introvert, being a student can be challenging. The idea of spending 4-8 hours with a bunch of people, having lunches with them and speaking in front can be taunting. But I soon realized that it is overall fun. I have the library to go to when I needed space, I can express myself through essays and I even had friends to keep for a lifetime. I learned that school is a way to learn how to be respectful to people from different backgrounds, and realize that we can be as one despite the differences.
What did you enjoy most at school?