I've always considered myself an introvert. I prefer to lose myself in a good book then to go out and party. It's who I am. Furthermore, it's a stigma that I have grown up with as a bookish person. Bookish people stick with bookish people, but more often we keep to ourselves because we like to do our own thing. Everyone I know simply considered me an introvert. That's not to say every bookish individual prefers introversion to extroversion, it's just that many do.
But then I came to college. And, well, my perception of myself has been undeniably altered. To put it simply, I haven't had the best transition to college. My roommate and I have had some major issues and finding new people isn't always easy. I found myself being more extroverted than ever before in my attempt to make friends. And yeah, I met people, but I was uncomfortable in the sense that this wasn't me. I'd much rather spend my Saturday night watching SNL or having a movie marathon instead of getting wasted and throwing up on a sidewalk in NYC. My extroversion, while not forced, simply didn't lend itself to a college lifestyle that I wanted.
So I altered my type of extroversion, so to speak. I found people who enjoyed others company and prospered due to company, but didn't need a constant bond to get by. In other words, I began to surround myself with people who just like other people around. There doesn't have to be much speaking, but there is a proper coexistence. Simple, right? It really wasn't for me. Because of my roommate issues, the mere idea of co-existing peacefully and healthily with someone was completely foreign to me, so this wasn't easy either. Eventually, I got the hang of it though.
I've had entire days where I hang out with friends, we grab meals together and we go in and out of conversation, but a lot of the time we're doing homework, or reading, or watching Netflix in our own little bubble in a shared space. Such a thing brings peace to me. It gives me the comfort I crave because I do not have it in my own living quarters
which makes me feel super uncomfortable and then some but it also allows me to lose myself in a new world and escape reality. Books are my version of escapism and I can't leave them behind.
There was a time that I barely read at all, and it killed me. It's true to say that my lack of reading is killing me slowly, but at least I am reading again when, a few weeks ago, I was barely reading at all.
It was during a moment like this that I realized something. I'm not an introvert, nor am I an extrovert. I'm actually an ambivert. I showcase characteristics under both personality types. I like to be alone and I enjoy having the ability to do my own thing, but I enjoy having bodies around and people to interact with if I so wish, though I don't thrive off of constant conversation.
|Gillian says talking about having bodies nearby is creepy, but just roll with it.|
I didn't realize this at home because I got used to a certain level of comfort. No matter where I was in my house, even if I was alone in my room, I knew that my parents or my sister was just a floor if not a room away. I didn't realize this aspect of my personality until I came to college and realized how miserable I was because of my living situation.
I find there to be something calming about knowing that there is someone I can turn to to talk to, though I don't have to talk to them at all. It's a nice thing to have. I spent the first almost two months here without that, and it killed me a little more each day. It made me miserable and I hit the lowest of lows for a little bit, but now that I realize there are people like me, I feel amazing.
And it got me thinking...there are a lot of bookish people out there that fit in this gray area, too. We are neither introverts or extroverts, but our own special blend of both. Yes, there are some who wholeheartedly are introverted and some who are solely extroverted, but then there are others like me who crave their escape from reality, but also need company to get through the day, though their preferred introversion lends them to a specific type of company. Simplicity at its finest, really, no complexity in friendship aside from general companionship and coexistence.
So, here's my question to you...Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert, or are you a newly discovered ambivert like myself?