How School in 2020 has Affected You as an Introvert or Extrovert

This is a portion of an article that originally appeared in Sesi’s Fall 2020 issue. Subscribe here to stay up on our current editions.

With the pandemic still on one, IRL classes are a risk most schools aren’t willing to take (BECAUSE, OBVI). And while a virtual academic year has been an adjustment for all involved, it impacts people differently, depending on their personality type. Here’s how to get the most from those virtual learning sessions.

By Ava Marshall

If You’re an Introvert…

You prefer solo study over group work and movie nights over parties. Like other introverted #bosses — think Issa Rae, Rosa Parks, and Beyoncé — you’re thoughtful, deliberate, and self-aware. Peep these tips for tackling the new normal with confidence.

1. Don’t Hate, Participate

Muting your microphone and laying low is a mood, but to get the most out of each lesson, you’ve got to actively engage. (We know, we know.) The good news? You can slide up in the classroom group chat or DMs with comments and questions. Speaking your mind without breaking a nervous sweat? Ummm, yes, please!

2. Keep That Energy

Things are rapidly changing, and you’ve had little time to adjust. And all these quick shifts can cause a whole lot of anxiety. You may find yourself getting lost in your own thoughts, as you try to process new concepts and ideas. But this can lead to missing out on further instruction. Besides getting enough sleep and eating a good breakfast, push through with mini breaks — stand up and stretch, grab a glass of water, or move from the table to a comfy couch.

3. Come Through #Unbothered

Staring at a screen, digesting all the info, and putting your two cents in all at once is harder than it sounds. This different mode of learning puts stress on your brain and that stress lightweight shuts down some of your processing abilities. Prep your mind and body for this new-new with pre-class run-throughs. Practice seeing yourself on camera and role play chiming in with questions and answers.

If You’re an Extrovert…

You are a social butterfly. Always down for a kickback and conversation, you feed off other people’s energy, joining the extrovert-leaning likes of Keke Palmer, Amanda Seales, and Serena Williams. And even though you’re missing the social aspects of in-person classroom settings, you can still conquer this new semester like a pro.

1. Flex a New Connection

Adding to discussions (and let’s be honest, kee-keeing with your bestie on the low) in class just doesn’t hit the same over a computer. Your biggest challenge? Adjusting to a different kind of vibe, one that isn’t dependent on the live energy of a room. Take advantage of small group review sessions and discussion groups, where you can more easily engage by unmuting your mic and speaking up. And while it won’t be the same, your classmates and teachers will appreciate the positivity and encouragement you bring to the table.

2. Chop It Up

The lack of in-person socialization can create a disconnect between your classmates. And for someone who’s used to being the life of the metaphorical party, this situation takes all the life out of class. If possible, consider logging into class early to talk with other students in smaller groups. These pre-class meetups will satisfy some of what you’re missing and rejuvenate you enough to make it through the day.

3. Rock Your Routine

To combat distractions — we’re looking at you Twitter and Insta — stick to a schedule and go on a daily cell phone fast during school hours. Set your alarm a little early, so you can check your socials before class starts. Then, set up in a space that’s well-lit, away from noisy areas, and free of TVs and other disruptive devices.

SOURCE: DR. SCYATTA WALLACE, PSYCHOLOGIST AND FOUNDER OF THE JANISAW COMPANY, WHICH SPECIALIZES IN CREATING LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS FOR TEEN GIRLS

Main Image: BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy

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