An Introvert’s Guide to College

A big change has come my way! After contemplating on the matter for the past few months, I’ve decided to add

Brains are pretty cool!

Brains are pretty cool!

Experimental Psychology as a second major. I am very excited about this decision! I’ve wanted to double major for quite some time but it’s been a struggle to decide on a second subject! This semester I am taking a class called Child and Adolescent Development as a graduation requirement. At first I wasn’t expecting too much out of this class to interest me. In Advanced Placement biology in high school neurology was always one of my favorite sections. Learning about how our brains and all its parts are structured  just fascinated me. I decided early on in high school that becoming a doctor was not for me, so I thought that my interest in the human brain would just be something to learn about in my spare time.

As I got more into Child and Adolescent Development I realized that I wasn’t just interested in how the brain was structured. I loved practically everything that we’ve talked about so far: how and when language is acquired (language, as some of you may know, is a passion of mine!), parenting styles, the research method, and future research possibilities are just a few topics I’ve enjoyed. Perhaps the aspect of psychology that I love to learn about the most is personality. I’ve had the opportunity to take the MBTI (The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) multiple times over the past few years through summer psychology classes I took at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Interestingly enough, even with taking these classes I didn’t know that psychology fascinated me!

With the MBTI, users are given a four-letter sequence that describes different aspects of his or her personality. This sequence is made up of the eight Jungian cognitive processes structured after Jung’s work. Mine is INTJ and is broken up as follows:

  • I for Introversion: This letter deals with how people get their energy. Extroverts get their energy from the-power-of-introverts-L-09nPwainteracting with others while introverts get their energy from inside their minds and themselves.
  • N for iNtuitive: How do you take in information? Those who are intuitive tend to be abstract and focus on the big picture while those who are sensing tend to be more concrete than abstract and take in information based on their senses.
  • T for Thinking: How do you take in information? If you focus on emotions more, then you may be F for Feeling. If you put more emphasis on facts, you may be T for Thinking.
  • J for Judgement: The final letter deals with how individuals orient themselves to the external world. Do you like a more structured lifestyle? If so, you’re probably a J like me. If you like a flexible and adaptive lifestyle, you may be a P, or have Perception.

I learned that INTJ is one of the rarest personality types with only 1% of the entire population identifying with it. It turns out that females are only .08% likely to identify as INTJ!

The thing about personality tests is that there’s no wrong answer. I wish that were true of all tests! It doesn’t matter if you’re more extroverted than introverted or if you’re more feeling than thinking. There’s been famous individuals from each of the types and each has its potential benefits and downfalls, so none is better than the other. Our personalities areintrovert-vs-extrovert what make us all different, but even two people with the same type are completely different people but hey might prefer a lot of the same things.

While all the aspects of personality interest me, I’ve found that I most like to learn about the distinction between extroversion and introversion. Before I learned that introversion was an actual thing and that nothing was “wrong” with me, I was thrilled! As a kid I had friends but always preferred to be in smaller groups or even just by myself. Even to this day I still do. Being introverted is not the same thing as being shy: it just means that I thrive by “being in my head” instead of  being around a lot of people. After I spend a few hours hanging out with friends I tend to sneak into my room and be by myself for a while. It’s almost like my battery runs low and I need to go be by myself in order to recharge.

The more I read and learn about introversion the better I feel about being one and the more I am able to be sociable in college without letting “my battery” get too low. Living in Mitchell Hall, one of the dorm buildings on campus, has allowed me to get the best of both worlds. I have my own room but share a common area with my other two suite mates. We usually have friends over so there’s always something going on at our place! If I want to socialize there is almost always an opportunity for me to do so. If I don’t want to, that’s okay. I can go “hide” in my room for a while.


If you are interested in LMU’s psychology program, feel free to look at the program’s website. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment on my blog or email me!


6 thoughts on “An Introvert’s Guide to College

  1. So great to meet another female INTJ! I absolutely love psychology as well! I’m graduating in 2 weeks and very regretful that I did not add Psychology as a second major. Developmental Psychology is a favorite of mine, I’m considering pursuing graduate studies in some sort of psychology program. I constantly hound my friends about taking the MBTI and read all about them. I honestly feel like I understand them better afterwards :P. Us INTJ’s are a rare breed. I love that! It’s just so fascinating to me. Good luck and good job on adding the second major!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I’ve always been curious about my friends’ and family members MBTI scores- maybe I should start hounding them to take it too! 😛
      Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I hope that you thoroughly enjoy graduate school, psychology related or not. It’s nice to hear from another INTJ! 🙂

  2. Chelsea, I’m an INTJ as well! I can really relate to some of the struggles of being an introvert a college-while I like going out and being with friends, I also value time alone (which most people don’t understand). I really like Pope/Mitchell/Dishner for living for the same reasons you listed. Being in The Village this year was struggle with 6 girls living together-they didn’t always value my necessity for quiet and time alone. Good luck adding on your second major!

    • Thank you for your comment, Julie! I didn’t know that you were a fellow INTJ but now that I think about it, it does make sense! I bet living in The Village was quite an experience. I’m not so sure I would have been able to handle it all the time. I love my alone time! Good luck and have fun in vet school. You’re going to do great!

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