What it Feels Like Being an Introvert Majoring in Communications

As teenagers, pushed into reality and forced to make sense of everything happening around us, an introvert finds different versions of the same reality in a unique and fragmented way. 

 

Since I was young, I was a composed and reserved person often misunderstood as arrogant and antisocial, but there was a whole layer of fun and mysteries beneath the 16-year-old brown girl. I often heard and was told to be more open and participative in conversations around peers and family, which was certainly something I had to do out of my comfort zone. I never really enjoyed the idea of a social gathering. It was draining and required a lot of preparation. 

 

Growing up and seeing the influence people had on each other, I wanted to make an impact with my words. When I decided to do a major in advertising and public relations, the only thing that scared me was my introverted trait. Coming to Penn State, watching and trying to understand people was a huge burden and obligation rather than fun and excitement, which bothered me on many levels. 

 

Learning that this field is all about talking and expressing yourself to people by the use of various means was a nightmare that tagged along in every meeting or seminar I “had” to attend. I felt unsafe, judged and incompetent because I was just so reluctant to express myself. The reluctance did not come from lack of confidence or fear that I am not good enough — it came from the what-ifs of everything I say or do. 

 

Is it my accent? Or, the way I look? Are my looks not Indian enough? Am I too out there, or am I not at all? What if I stammer or I break down? The list is endless. 

 

All of these questions needed answers, and I did not find those answers through validation or assurance. I found them by remembering that it is okay that my accent isn’t perfect, or that there may not actually be a perfect accent. They even came from remembering this — it’s only as bad as you believe or what you believe the worst outcome will be. 

 

To be honest, once you put yourself out there, it feels like you’ve won a battle. Once you combat your fear, it is all worth it. The introvert trait is dominant, but not strong enough to take away who you truly are. It’s okay to be this way, because there is strength and peace in isolation. 

 

Isolate your thoughts, but when you think it’s time, just go for it. It will be the most liberating feeling of all time.