An Introvert in An Extrovert Field

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I am now a final year student, studying at possibly one of the most well-known universities in the country, majoring in communication and have been deepening my study in public relation as the specialization that I have chosen since two years ago. Judging from the major I have chosen, you must be having some perception towards me which is possibly intertwined with a common perception of a communication student like talkative, crowd-lover, extrovert, etc. But, I personally feel that I am just not like how you would picture a communication student like. It is not me stating how your perception towards me as a communication student is totally wrong, because most of my friends are just like how you would capture a communication student be like, at least from what I can conclude from my full-of-subjectivity and not-value-free observation.

I have been an introvert all my life, an INFJ to be exact, my personality trait that I firstly thought will become a big disadvantage during my study for the next four years. My first intention in choosing Communication as my major was a really good and an innocent one actually. I wanted to study what I was lacking at. Back then, I simply thought that I was bad at communicating with others so why not studying it instead. I was just an 18 years old graduating from high school and did not have any clue what to do and what to pursue. Well, it wasn’t the first time I chose to derail something that is destined for me, if you believe in destiny anyway. It is not that I have ever regretted my decision in the past, because my past decision are all what have made me into who I am right now and there is no use in having yourself jailed in a prison of despair.

In my second year of study, I happened to choose public relation as my specialization. The specialization that seems to require a lot of public speaking and public encounter. Honestly, those are not my favorite things to do. I enjoy my quiet and peaceful surroundings better than anything else offered in this world. Been studying this for almost two years, talking in front of many people has becoming something I am used to. A few months ago, there was this tough question popped into my head. So, am I studying the right major? Am I happy with my study all this time? Studying PR, I am surrounded by a lot of easy-going, talkative, and fun people. Not that I am not grateful for that, actually it was hard getting used to the crowd at the beginning but I have come to this point where my every struggle meant to be something, including my unforgettable experience while I was in Japan for an exchange program.

In Japan, I was studying under the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies. Honestly,  I wasn’t even sure whether I took the right course or not but anyway it was really fun. Believe it or not, my favorite subject was Intercultural Communication. This class consists of only 25 people whom got chosen by our lecturer, possibly my favorite lecturer of all time, from more than a hundred students who applied to be a part of that class. Up until now, I am not really sure whether it was just luck but I got a chance to be a part of 25 lucky students who got chosen. Each student in the class comes from different countries so the feeling of being in the Intercultural Communication class was really in the atmospehere surrounding us. The reason why my professor only chose 25 students was to get to know each student personally because he would not want to just teach and give a lecture to passive audience with no feedback. This class required us to engage in conversation and to speak our thought as you do not always have to be right because our thoughts are different with others’. In that class, I learnt so much than I possibly have learnt in 3 years of my study back in my home country. The professor is the nicest lecturer I have ever met as he would spend his time talking to each student and really make sure to include everyone’s point of view on the topic we were studying and appreciate it. Being a part of that class, I learnt how I, being an absolute introvert, should not be a barrier to everything  I am currently involved with.

Being an exchange student and alone in Japan has given me so much time to think and to grasp my surrounding. To look every possibilities I might have missed and to find what I am really passionate about, which is writing. Writing has given me another way to speak my thoughts and I can always play with it. I can always choose how I want to represent something by the way I write. Nowadays, I have been spending my time doing an internship as creative content and copywriter in one of fashion marketplace here in Indonesia. It has been really fun to the point I am not even ready to end my internship and go back to uni. But, as my life motto says, we can’t stop the clock from ticking so we better make the best of every second doing what we are really passionate about and your major or specialization should not restraint you from doing what you really love. I have some friends whose current job is not related to what they studied in uni at all. Some law graduates work in a creative field or one of my cousins who studied chemical engineering but now works as a fashion designer. What you have studied for 4 years of college should not always dictate your career path because you are the one who can choose what is best for you.

Photos provided by author.