Introvert? By choice / because of no choice?
Why am I pretending to pay attention when I am least interested in what is being taught? Do I have the potential to become another Zuckerberg in this world of unknowns? Do I really belong here? These internal thoughtsstarted to bother me when I was forced to study a course I was not very much fond of. It really feels sickening when you are just a few metres away from reaching the destination but then you are made to reroute. The initial days of college were quite depressing , I used to go just for the sake of attendance and tried way too hard to get inclined towards the subjects being taught in class. Somehow, I managed to get a decent score in the first semester but that was solely because I had no other option than to study for the exams. There were no distractions, the humans around me sounded lame and uninteresting which eventually made me aloof. Whenever I was sad/upset, there was no one to share those emotions with, so it eventually made me cover them up.
What is a competitive market , how balance sheets work made no sense to me. Entering a class full of over enthusiastic students gave me anxiety.
There have been days when interacting with others was so easy for me. All I used to do was just hit a convo, but now even such a simple thing feels extremely difficult. Now, I think twice before approaching a person in college because none of us share a common intellect. I am not sure of how they would react if I told them my sob story- Will they sympathise or they will judge?
I started envying the girls who came in groups, who laughed together, ate together, walked together and that’s how I became an introvert. It wasn’t by choice but because I had no choice. I still feel if I had pursued a course of my choice, things would have been a bit different.
It is pretty easy to convert an easy going extrovert teenager into an introvert- Just land them up in a university/course which is not of their choice and your job is done! From sitting in a classroom full of students to going to the mall all by myself, from pretending to be reading on that train to being on the sidelines at social events, I started inculcating all the traits of introversion. Take a note parents- Dragging your child for a traditional course just to get a degree will for sure make him / her independent but it is as useless not getting one.
“You have no time to waste, so aim for a secured future by pursuing MBA”, they told me, but what my parents actually meant was “you don’t have time to chase your dreams because its useless to pursue a course which wont support your engineering degree”. Partially, they were correct but if given a chance I would anytime choose my happiness over a degree.
Locking yourself from the world, taking antidepressants isn’t the only definition of depression. Sometimes when people become hushed, when they start accepting that they belonged to a particular place, they lose all hopes. From childhood, most of the parents fill their children’s ears by giving them all the logical reasons for taking up traditional courses instead of letting them explore their passion. Parents should never force their children to follow their footsteps or go for a particular course just because they feel it is right but daddies need to understand they aren’t always right.
What is required from parents is to broaden their perspective to appreciate that the child is different from them and has a unique combination of skills and passions.
In this way, they will be less stressed and the children will be free to choose the course which interests them.