4 Reasons Why an Introvert’s University Choice Matters
- Kayla Matthews
- February 2, 2018
- Career Development
- No responses
The time has come to start making some real choices about the next major step in your life: college. If you’re an introvert, this task might bring as much anxiety as it does excitement. After all, embarking on a new academic adventure away from home will take you totally out of your comfort zone. You’ll meet new people, experience new things and, of course, learn a lot. If you’re still struggling to narrow down your college options, don’t just go with the easiest choice.
The university you choose could very well affect the trajectory of your career. Read on to learn four reasons why an introvert like yourself should pick a college very carefully.
1. Your Confidence
Some of your more extroverted friends are probably chomping at the bit to get out of their parents’ house and start meeting new people at college. But for folks who like to keep to themselves, the thought of leaving home may bring on intense nerves. You’re probably tempted to choose a university based largely on its proximity to home or the fact that other friends are going there. However, it’s important for your personal growth to step outside of your comfort zone.
When you choose a university based on its innate qualities, not how comfortable you’ll be there, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to really shine and build up your self-confidence. If you head home every weekend or surround yourself with friends you’ve known since you were small, you might not spread your wings in the same way, and young adulthood is the perfect time to figure out who you are and what you stand for.
2. Your Social Life
Even if you break somewhat free from your introverted ways, you’ll have a hard time meeting new people if your chosen school’s social scene is nonexistent. Look for a school that has extracurricular activities available that match your interests. According to research by a former president of Princeton, approximately 40% of students “undermatch” — that is, they don’t choose the best college for their needs, even though they were academically strong enough to be admitted.
Undermatching often happens because high school students don’t have enough information to make a good decision. Don’t set yourself up for this mistake. Instead, learn all about the clubs, athletics, philanthropic organizations and other things going on at your potential schools. Then make an informed decision based on the whole picture, including opportunities to socialize.
3. Your Career Path
According to a Wakefield quantitative research study, 75% of students made their college decision based on what was more financially practical, as opposed to going into debt to attend their dream school. While this is obviously a very important factor when you pick your university, remember that one of the main goals of college is to prepare you for a career. So if your university doesn’t properly set you up to pursue your chosen job, even a small amount of debt may seem like a huge deal.
Keep in mind that your college choice not only affects your ability to get a job after you graduate, but it might also directly correlate to your salary. When you attend a university that is well-known and respected, you might climb up the career ladder faster than you would with a degree from somewhere else. Some research shows that you’ll also earn a higher salary, long-term. So, although you should certainly keep debt in mind, pick the college that will take you where you want to go career-wise.
4. Your Health
Depression. Anxiety. Isolation. These aren’t terms that people typically associate with the fun of freshman year, but when you’re predisposed to enjoying your alone time, it can happen. Leaving home for the first time — and all of the comforts it offers — affects everyone differently. But for introverts, it can be a tougher pill to swallow.
Make sure the college you choose has the tools in place to keep you healthy, both physically and emotionally. Check out the resources on campus before you accept an offer, such as the quality of the campus gym and whether the health center offers counseling services free of charge. If you consider these things in advance, you’ll have an easier time coping with any emotional or physical issues that come your way after orientation week.
Now that you understand why choosing your university is such a serious task, it’s time to get to it. Start weighing your options through the lens of your introverted personality. In the long run, embracing who you are and using that information to inform your decision will only result in a better college experience. It might also result in a better after-college experience, which is really what higher learning is all about!
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer