Graphic by Nate Barton
You are an introvert. With the newfound knowledge of your introversion via Myers-Briggs test, BuzzFeed quiz, or your inability to look someone in the eye while talking, you have accrued an impressive amount of introversion street cred.
This cred is quiet, discrete, bashful and may only be used to one-up fellow introverts. Yes, they may get nervous while talking in front of the class, but you get nervous talking in front of the class causing your voice to crack, palms to sweat, and a general feeling of malaise about your impending death by public humiliation. Cataloging potential mishaps would be exhaustive, avoiding them (or blocking them out of your memory) impossible.
In line with my previous article, Best Places to Cry on Campus now that Trump is President is the Best Places to Seek Refuge on Campus as an Introvert. There are no guarantees introverts can evade all students tabling for events in the cafeteria or avoid speaking in class. These things, like most things, are ingrained in the fabric of society and wedged tightly in the fear center of an introvert’s fragile amygdala. Here’s to taking refuge from all ice breakers and in hoping that the deluge of well-meaning opportunities for campus involvement will peter out — and that perhaps, some salvation may be found in Pepperdine’s less-frequented (and quieter) sites.
A library is the tried and true mecca of the proverbial introvert. There are books which introverts are supposed to like more than people, and enforced quiet rules that must be obeyed even by the most boisterous and loud mouthed extroverts. Not so in the immediate entrance of Payson Library, a fanciful, albeit loud, assault to a delicate introvert’s ears. Pass the Starbucks and journey past the open booth and seating arrangements for bona fide silence and or quietude. A sad closeted desk is recommended for a 180 degree avoidance of human interaction. Swivel around in your chair or recognize a passer-by and watch your quiet paradise crumble to the ground faster than you can recite your Myers-Briggs type.
Since the remodeling of Payson, the HAWC has been deserted — at least in the earlier hours of the day. There’s still some semblance to the HAWC of previous years, like the chocolate cake and bottled coffee beverages placed directly next to a spicy tuna roll for a dynamic and stomach cramps inducing pairing. And then there are the ping-pong tables that will no doubt be occupied for hours by deft miniature sports champions avoiding confronting homework and normally sized human activities.
The HAWC’s regular programming aside, its innovation in sound volume makes it ideal for minimizing annoyance and basking in quietude. If all else fails, and if ping-pong championships turn sour, pop in your trusty headphones.
It might seem incongruous that an introvert might enjoy Elkins, an auditorium that has the capacity to fit almost 400 people, but will likely only house 50 for any given Humanities class, may be touted as a place an introvert can seek refuge on campus. Phrased differently, Elkins’ saving grace is obvious: diminished chances of forced group activities and being called upon in class, an overall impersonal classroom experience where some fear of vomiting from oral presentations is mitigated.
There are, of course, professors who have found inventive ways around Elkins’ perceived obstacles: Let’s pass around a microphone! Arrange more group activities! You certainly can’t win them all, and in the cases where you don’t ducking, hiding or feigning laryngitis is the remedy of choice.
Introverts have an allegiance to many things. Silence, using their Myers-Briggs types to qualify their uniqueness, and talking (of course, on special occasions) about their introversion ad nauseam. But the greatest allegiance is to the places where refuge can be taken and nausea minimized.
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