I enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Communications without knowing exactly what to expect. Little did my introverted self know, I had to step out of my comfort zone most of the time.
Introvert, Dear described introverts as: “someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone.” Making them speak in front of a group of people is most likely not a good idea either.
I was a nervous wreck in almost every presentation, ice-breaking and public speaking session. I eventually worked my way around and learned to tap into the strengths of being an introvert in a mainly extroverted environment.
As a result, I graduated top of my class!
To be honest: Getting a Bachelor’s degree in Communications still remains a huge feat to me.
But, will I do it all over again? Always.
I also realised that the Communications industry offers creative freedom that introverts can freely and confidently indulge in, as long as you know how to do it right!
Here’s how to ace Comm school as an introvert:
1. Do presentations and public speaking intimidate you?
Some introverts struggle more than others when putting their thoughts into words, especially if they are in the spotlight. To get your Bachelor’s degree, you have to find ways to get over your stage fright!
If speaking in front of a crowd overwhelms you, try rehearsing your presentation using a script that you create for your own reference. This way, you will appear prepared, confident, and you don’t have to construct sentences on-the-spot!
Ever since discovering this method, I’ve rehearsed all my presentations and public speaking sessions, and my peers can’t even tell that I was nervous!
2. Have trouble in group discussions?
Like it or not, group discussions are inevitable in any Bachelor’s degree programme.
Initiating a conversation is not easy, as introverts tend to overthink.
“Am I being a nuisance by asking this question?”
“Why is she looking at me like that? I bet I said something weird again.”
“Why are they asking me? I can’t make a decision for them!”
In a programme that has video assignments, communicating with your group mates is crucial. If verbally initiating a conversation is difficult, start with texting in the group chat. It is also a good way to make sure every member is aware of your team’s plans!
3. Too shy to raise your hand?
I tried it once. It did not end well.
Asking a question in class is usually something introverts struggle with because they are immediately put in the spotlight: Everyone looks at you and you forget what to ask, hence embarrassing yourself even further. Yikes!
Approaching your lecturer separately allows you to ask a question without pressure. Introverts excel in environments with less people, so having one-to-one Q&A sessions with your lecturer will guarantee better quality conversations. Remember to schedule an appointment first!
4. Toxic friends draining your energy?
Like in any Bachelor’s degree programme, you will either meet your ride-or-die friends or toxic friends, or both.
Some introverts are empaths who tend to be more aware of the emotions of people around them. Having friends who are extremely pessimistic, manipulative, and in some cases, mentally abusive will drain you and destroy your self-esteem.
Spoken from experience, it is best to avoid getting close to toxic people to prevent yourself from feeling stressed and drained. Instead, make like-minded friends who are supportive and understanding!
5. Do you have strengths that you can tap into?
Introverts are usually seen as quiet and reserved individuals who don’t fit into the Communications industry.
However, did you know that your calm and composed nature brings wisdom to those around you?
Spend some time alone to discover what your strengths are. Are you a detailed person? Do you excel in writing? Your introversion can serve as a strong backbone to an otherwise loud and chaotic environment where everyone seems to talk over each other. Planning and script-writing can be your greatest strengths!
6. Do you find yourself looking for a break?
Sometimes, all an introvert needs is a moment to themselves.
While getting your Bachelor’s degree is a priority, you should also occasionally give yourself a breather. With video projects, writing assignments, and exams going on an endless loop, it is easy to lose track of your own mental health.
If you’re losing energy from socialising too much (yes, it happens), it’s time to recharge yourself. Make sure you schedule ‘me-time’ in between your weeks just to recover from mental exhaustion.
7. Are your thoughts unorganised when you’re mentally drained?
When there’s so much going on in an introvert’s mind, their thoughts become cluttered. This may affect your performance in university if you can't keep up with your schedule.
Journaling is a good way for you to vent and it serves as a safe environment to get ideas out of your head.
Introverts also find comfort in planning and organisation. Keeping a task list helps you declutter your mind, gain achievements little by little, and focus on the present.
8. Do you worry about your career prospects?
Who says there’s no place for introverts in the world of communications?
There is always a role for introverts! They are observant, self-sufficient and passionate individuals who can excel in roles in Communications such as:
- Social Media Manager
- Event Planner
- Digital Marketer
- Creative Writer
- Technical Writer
- Content Manager
If you are passionate about what you want to do, then by all means, go for it!
Learn more about the industry below: