Category Archives: College
Well. The past semester has been interesting. Who am I kidding, my entire college experience has been interesting. Just like my post from the end of last semester, this post will be insanely self-reflective. This post is really more for me than it is for anyone else who might happen across it. First thing’s first, I’ll just say off the bat that in the post from the end of last semester I briefly mentioned Myers-Briggs and my type – I’m still super into Myers-Briggs (I’m even getting certified in it in a week), but the more I learn about it, the less certain I am about my type. But I don’t really use it for type purposes now, but rather as a vocabulary for describing individual elements and associated functions. Enough about that because it’ll get too technical, but it has been a part of this entire thought process. But I digress. On to the important parts of this post. So last time I mentioned a little bit of soul-searching; I’ll actually get to it this time.
So my main problem has been not being able to define myself. You know, nothing super major, just an identity crisis. One that I’ve been having now for a long time. I keep looking back at myself and how I’ve changed over the last year and half, even just the last semester, and I honestly only barely recognize myself. And it’s crazy, because to some extent it doesn’t even seem like I had a personality back then. I mean I guess I did, but I feel like I wasn’t really my own person? Even if I did, it was a very weak personality if that makes sense.
I’ve always been someone who very much sticks to the rules and what is proper and not causing a big raucous or ruffle any feathers. That’s just my natural way. I was curious, but quietly curious. I would get excited about things I was interested in, and felt that the best way to get to know me was through the things I was passionate about, like Lord of the Rings and Narnia and Doctor Who and the like. For a long time, this was true. I was a mix of the things I had come to love. I’d enjoy watching people have fun rather than participate. I enjoy order and structure. I’ve always enjoyed order and structure, if no one else stepped up, I would normally be the one to organize a group project. At the same time, if someone else did step up, I’d happily let them take the reigns. I respect authority, but don’t really take it much, for fear of messing up or what others may think or ruffling feathers. I don’t like to be in the spotlight or in the center of attention. I am a very passive person. Not in a go with the flow way, but a “I’ll adjust to whatever works for you” way. Lastly, I have always felt my emotions very strongly, and have always been very expressive of my emotions. When I would get excited about something I’m passionate about, it was slightly unnerving for some of my friends.
I’m still a very emotional person. In fact, it’s to the point where when I am feeling apathetic and don’t have access to my emotions, because it is such a rare occurrence, I am so out of it and not myself that I can’t really function. I still am very expressive of my emotions, not so much in a I’m just going to wear my heart on my sleeve way, but in a intentional, I’m not going to hide my emotions because I don’t want to be disingenuous. Similarly, I don’t want to be disingenuous with my interactions with people in any way, and am now far more blunt. I’m not afraid to let my opinion known if it’s what I know to be best for someone. There are still plenty of times when I don’t say things, if they aren’t super important to me or would massively affect the group in a way I don’t want to deal with, but I’m more assertive than I used to be.
I went from being a person who wanted to help people work through and be able to navigate existing systems to one who wants to organize everything and even run my own new system. The crazy thing is, this change in some ways has seemed to happen almost overnight. People who have met me this year interact with me very differently than people who knew me from before college, before England. They see me differently, and that’s kind of terrifying. They don’t come to me for emotional advice, or for comfort, something people have always come to me for in the past. That’s something that’s been hard for me to come to terms with. In fact, someone said “I feel like people come to you when they want to be kicked in the face with the truth.” She meant it as a compliment, but this kinda killed me a little bit on the inside.. Again, I am still quite emotional, and I feel most fulfilled when I’m helping people. I don’t want people to feel like they can’t come to me for fear of my bluntness; that isn’t all of who I am.
In terms of Myers-Briggs (since I use it as a tool to explain/make sense of things now), I basically went from an INFJ to an ISTJ, and that’s a ridiculous amount of difference (though I float between depending on the situation). I think a lot of this started with living in England, but has really flared up from all the stuff with my first year of college, when my experiences with my roommate and my first group of “friends” both made me hate having to hide myself and forced me to adapt how I coped with things. I found solace in my bluntness and my organization, and now those are my main characteristics. Instead of people liking my qualities of sweetness and being easy to talk to, people praise my diplomacy and the fact they know I mean it when I say something because I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t, I don’t sugar coat things, and sweetness and being easy to talk to are nowhere to be found. However, the taking charge part of my personality that has been developing over the last semester alone has been an unexpected development. I suppose it is the natural outcropping of organization and bluntness, but I wouldn’t have seen it coming from me. But maybe it’s been there all along?
After having so much reflection over everything, I have finally started to apply something I’m really good at to the problem: making lists. There’s a list on my phone now titled “WHO AM I” and on it I write the things that I find to be important elements of my personality, things that I find myself saying that I need in my life in order to be able to function. I no longer define myself by the various obsessions I’ve collected over the years, or by how other people think of me, but by the things that I value. So to close out this probably very confusing word-vomit here are the beginnings of my definition of myself, the things I value:
So for my first post in FOUR MONTHS (that’s an entire third of a year, I’ve seen my long-distance boyfriend twice in that time) I decided to talk about college. Again.
You see, the thing is, college is very hard for me right now. Not in an academic sense; I have a cumulative GPA of 3.9, and I got an A in the Junior Seminar class I took last semester (which, incidentally was my second semester of my first year). What’s hard is the social side and the even more, the discovery and changing of self-identity.
Basically, I had a rough Dec-early March. It was horrendous, it sucked. It wasn’t because I got in with the wrong crowd, it was just a crowd that didn’t understand me, and it put me in a very bad place. Again, they weren’t bad people, they were just awful people for Me to be friends with. Since then, I’ve been pulling back more and more into myself and become the epitome of Introverted. Furthermore, I’m beginning to look into the wonderful world of typology, specifically, Myers Briggs and Jungian typology, and I’m discovering more and more than a lot of people really do not understand introverts. Furthermore, a even more people don’t understand INFJs (the least common personality type), which is what I happen to be. On the one hand, I love being an uncommon type, and I love being a unique individual. But feeling misunderstood, alienated, trapped, and forced into trying to be something I’m not? That was one of the worst experiences of my life (and Fe makes it 1000x worse).
So yeah, I had a horrible experience, and yes, it was the people that made it horrible. They weren’t horrible people, they weren’t even particularly horrible to me. They were just horrible for me. This whole experience has made me realize just how important it really is to have good friends and friends that can understand you. Failing that, at least someone or a couple of people who at least attempt to understand you or don’t let things that they don’t understand get in the way; accepting the things they don’t understand and moving on.
But anyway – my main point: please, if you or anyone you know is struggling with trying to fit in or not feeling like they can be themselves in front of others, please find something to help. Look up things to better understand them, look up things to better understand yourself. Be cognizant of who you are and who you want to be- but more importantly, be cognizant of why you want to be that person. Is it because you want to change for your own, intrinsically motivated reasons, or is it only because other people want you to change, or you want to change to fit others’ expectations?
I’m happy to say I’ve found the right people, and let me tell you, it makes a world of difference.
Hello all, sorry for not posting at all during my first semester of college. I’ll start posting musings on my college experience and my typical random things once I get back into the swing of things; for now, this is just a post FULL of updates on EVERYTHING.
College Fall 2014 – I did well in all my classes, had a 4.0 GPA for the semester, YAY!
College Spring 2015 – This coming semester I’ll be taking a class called “Composing a Digital Life,” so I have a new blog for that. Other classes include Early British Literature, American Literature, an Ancient Greece History class, and a Junior Sem on Orality and Literacy in Ancient Greece. It’ll be a challenging semester, but I’m excited to be kept busy with lit and ancient Greece classes.
In addition to my school stuff, I’m going to be trying to start/work on a couple new projects including:
A Cappella videos (more on this later)
Let it Go in Latin Music Video (more on this later)
and PODCAST! (see below)
In terms of the Podcast, I’m hoping to get together a group of students to discuss books with. My realistic goal is to have the first episode recorded by mid February, posted by the end of February, and then do monthly or bi-weekly after that.
I think those are all my updates for now, I’ll keep you posted!