Introverts: isolation yields productivity

Graphic by Jacob Kunes

Graphic by Jacob Kunes

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Society has engraved into its members heads that not wanting to be around people 24/7 is weird. I’m writing to put an end to this damaging notion and to say: introverts are normal.

Introverts are people who gain energy through solitude and may feel drained after being in a social situation for large intervals of time. The tolerance of time depends upon the person, but all introverts share the need for alone time in order to recharge. They are often stereotyped as passive and shy.

More people are familiar with their opposite: extroverts, who gain their energy from being around others or in social situations. They are often considered outgoing and natural born leaders.

In today’s modern world, the focus is all about extroverts. In office jobs, meetings and team collaborations are the main methods used to solve corporate problems. According to a 2015 study by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a non-profit group that links college career placement offices with employers, the number one skill employers want hires to have is a strong team work ability.

It’s no different in school, where those who feel comfortable speaking out in class are the ones praised as leaders, but those who prefer to work alone are branded anti-social.

Schools want higher test scores and businesses need innovative ideas to beat their competition, but as long as the same methods are being utilized, the results will not change.

It’s as if society is trying to mass produce extroverts and those who fall into the introverted category are discarded into the “futile” pile.

It’s as if society forgot: that Isaac Newton didn’t create his genius three laws of motion at a dinner party, but rather under an apple tree in solitude, that Einstein found E = mc² in a dream and not at a science convention, that  Emma Watson went on a silent retreat in order to recompose after her breakup with Matt Janney.

After being in the education system for almost 12 years, I can honestly vouch that the methods employed are catered towards extroverts. It wasn’t until the summer before junior year that I learned that there is a name for people like me and the need for alone time is normal.

While group work is important, it is no more necessary than independent work. When anywhere from one-third to one-half of the population is introverted, both methods must be equally utilized in order to benefit both demographics of students.

If we are expected to be individuals once we leave these four years only to be as Dr. Seuss said, “All Alone! Whether you like it or not,” we must learn to problem solve by ourselves.

Kylie Fenger
Entertainment Editor