By its very nature, school requires a degree of class participation and interaction with people. Unless we’re taking online classes, most school curriculum involves group projects and oral presentations that can be a big part of our grades.
It is in this regard that extroverts typically have an easier time handling school than introverts do.
But first, let’s clear up a common misconception about introverts.
If people are quiet in group settings or need time alone to recharge after being social, it does not mean they are shy, unintelligent or socially inept.
On behalf of all the introverts in the world (myself included), let’s understand that introversion has to do with energy and nothing to do with any other personality traits a person may or may not have. Specifically, introverts are energized by time alone and extroverts are energized by time with others.
Since school is largely a social setting, here are three things extroverts do that lead to success in school.
- They ask questions in class.
Not wanting the spotlight can have its downside. Introverts will often refrain from asking questions or making comments in class because they don’t want the attention, causing their questions to go unanswered.
On the other hand, extroverts are usually more comfortable raising their hands to ask questions because they know that there is probably at least one other student with the same question. This resolves the confusion for the student and also helps the teacher keep track of how well the class understands the material.
- They network with classmates and teachers.
It can be hard for introverts to open up to people they don’t know, but it’s important for them to try and expand their social network if they want to be successful.
College makes networking easy. Think about all the people you meet just by having them in the same classes.
Why is it important to network? Because the more connections you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to find your next great job and the the more people will be able to vouch for you and your skills.
Of course, those are only the professional benefits. Making friends on a personal level is one of the best parts about going to school.
[Related: What Your Career Choice Says About You]
- They join clubs and study groups.
Extroverts are energized by social interactions. They enjoy meeting new people and socializing, whereas introverts can quickly feel drained or avoid the interactions altogether. This is yet another example of a great networking opportunity that should not be overlooked during college.
Joining clubs and study groups can also help improve grades because it allows students to review coursework together and help solidify their understanding of the material.
Here are five great reasons to get more involved, according to U.S. News Education:
1. It allows students to become connected to their school: Colleges are full of resources, but the responsibility is on the student to seek them out. Being involved helps them to do that.
2. It helps them build community: Since they’re leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved helps them discover new friends with similar interests.
3. It allows them to discover their passions and strengths: These will follow them all through life. It allows them to discover what they don’t like, too.
4. It’s a résumé builder: Freshman year is not too soon to begin thinking about positioning yourself for future employment.
5. Sometimes, busier kids do better in all areas: This will vary a lot by the student, of course, but more free time does not always equal better grades. Being involved will require some organization and time management on the part of the student—and that’s a good thing.