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Virtual College Pros and Cons From an Extroverted Introvert

Online schooling has been so good to me, but it’s not all glitz and glam. I’d consider myself an extroverted introvert; many of my thoughts are internalized, but I’m open to new people and new places...some of the time. Let’s just say I’m a homebody who likes to hangout. That being said, here are the pros and cons I’ve picked up on as a fellow extroverted introvert: 

Pro: Not having to leave the house

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE not having to get up, get dressed, and leave my house. I don’t have to walk around and have awkward stare downs on the way to Armstrong, nor do I have to engage in small talk everywhere I turn. I don’t feel the pressure to be as presentable and approachable like I normally would at school. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to strike up a conversation with a random stranger, but other times I hope that the dude from class doesn’t tap my shoulder in the cafe to chat. What can I say? I’m unpredictable.

Pro: Spending time with family

When I’m not alone watching Legend of Korra or a dance movie on Netflix, I’m kicking it with my family. Dinner time is a great part of the day at home. It’s good food, game shows or NBA games, and good conversation. When I’m at school my family usually cannot visit because I’m nine hours away, so it’s nice to have them in close proximity. They’ve helped me get through a lot of the sadness and anxieties of the new normal. 

Pro: I engage...when I feel like it

At school I feel like I’m pulled in so many directions at once. I have to be on social media just to keep up with the things going on at HU. I’m ripped out of my room involuntarily by friends, which is sometimes necessary, to go be a social butterfly. Being at home, I can essentially clock in and clock out; there’s a divide between home life, social life, and school life, something I don’t have at school. When I want to talk to friends, I can call or text to check in, and when I’m feeling introverted, I can put on my fuzzy robe and Hello Kitty pajamas and shut my phone off. It’s called balance, folks. 

Con: I MISS...everyone

It’s hard not seeing those I love. Yes, I enjoy my alone time, but I don’t want to and shouldn’t be alone this frequently. I wanna go get smoothies, take on a party, and have game night like I used to. I miss getting Cookout with my two closest people at 2 o’clock in the morning just because we could. I miss the friendships and random run-ins. I miss the laughter in the pasta line. I miss ditching the cafe and going to the student center. I miss telling my roommate, “Tomorrow we’re getting dressed up. We gotta remind these people because they forgot.” The simplest moments were the sweetest. I miss them. 

Con: Awkward has become a normality

Let’s face it...Blackboard Collaborate is WEIRD. There are so many moments of empty air, waiting for someone to speak. The most annoying 

thing I constantly encounter is talking at the same time as someone else. In my head I’m thinking of that joke, “Go ahead and log off for me.” Furthermore, nobody has their camera on except the teacher. It’s like watching a recording and participating simultaneously; I’m not a fan. I find myself often having to speak more than I should because my classmates are slacking off. Technical issues are also a drag. I hear, “Can you guys hear me?” and, “Try exiting and reconnecting” at least once a day. That’s a no from me.

Con: The workload has become unbearable

Some classes are doing too much! To the teachers who are acting like we’re not in a global crisis: LEAVE ME ALONE. We’re all going through a lot; plus, you’re the one who’s going to have to grade all these assignments. Why give me all of this work if you’re not going to grade it in a timely fashion? I need to track my progress. Either tone the workload down or keep up. You’re killin’ me, Smalls. 

Sincerely yours, The Extroverted Introvert Club.
Drew Miles

Hampton U '22

I am a junior English major with an area of emphasis in film studies at my Home by the Sea. Writers write.
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