Students face differences in social spaces

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A student’s college experience and social engagment is directly affected by whether he or she is an extroverted or introverted individual.

Making friends, participating in class and being involved in on-campus activities are all part of the student experience. Some students find this to be challenging and encounter various setbacks while others adjust to this way of life effortlessly.

Extroverts are people who energize through a social approach, while those with an introverted personality recharge through alone time.

Students interact within their social setting depending on their physiological needs and connectivity.

Dr. Anne-Marie Larsen, professor of psychology, said introverts who need alone time are socially content with very little interaction with others, while extroverts who thrive around others lack a sense of community with the same amount of involvement.

“The research tends to support the idea that we are genetically predisposed toward one or the other and then probably either reinforced for that behavior or not,” Larsen said. “If we were all one or the other, it would likely become over-whelming.”

Rolando Steele, senior radiological sciences major, said he feels his introverted personality traits are an impediment and have made his college experience socially unmanageable. Steele said being an introvert can negatively impact and hinder one’s college expectations.

“Being too closed off can really inhibit your opportunities and I feel like I do not make friends easily,” Steele said. “I am not really involved with school functions, which is frustrating for me because I feel there is a lot in which to be involved.”

Extroverted students tend to adapt more easily, making their college experience intriguing and eventful.

Although extroverts may find that they can acclimate to a larger crowd and classroom setting more naturally, finding friends who maintain some introverted tendencies can be beneficial on both ends.

Lauren Burgos, senior psychology major, said as a sociable person, she pushes her more reclusive friends out of their comfort-zone by taking them to school functions.

“Being an extrovert has been amazing for my college career because it has allowed me to challenge myself and experience things I might have never done,” Burgos said. “I have learned how to communicate with all types of people in all kinds of different scenarios because I’m so extroverted.”

The challenge that numerous extroverts endure is the fear of complete solitude.

“I really do not like being away from people for too long,” Burgos said. “If I am by myself, usually someone I know will end up bumping into me, then I’m happy not to be alone.”

Extroverts and introverts experience various challenges and needs through their college experience. With their physiological components, interacting with contrasting personalities can help balance a chaotic or lonesome life.

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