When I was in school, I didn’t know I was an introvert, but what I did know was that I really didn’t want to leave the house.
As a teacher, I can say that school can be a magical place where you learn new things, make friends, and have the time of your life. As a student, I enjoyed school, too, and I have my friends to thank for that. But as much fun as I had, there were a few reasons why the thought of going to school didn’t excite me much.
It was only natural. I didn’t know it back when I was in school, but I was an introvert. So while some of my extroverted classmates couldn’t wait to go to school, I couldn’t help but hope for some miracle which would allow me to skip school and stay at home… every day. Here are my top reasons why I wasn’t excited about going to school as an introvert, and I bet you’ll be able to relate.
5 Reasons Why I Wasn’t Excited About Going to School as an Introvert
1. Having to leave the house for five days in a row… every single week!
I’m an introvert. Of course I like to stay at home! But as an elementary school student, that wasn’t exactly an option. Every week, for five days in a row, I’d force myself out of bed in the morning to get ready for school. Oh, how I wished I didn’t have to leave the house.
For an introvert, their home is their safe haven — it’s where they can be themselves and truly be at peace. When I was in school, I didn’t know I was an introvert, but what I did know was that I really didn’t want to leave the house. Going to school meant spending quite a long time with a bunch of rowdy classmates, and it all felt super tiring to me.
I remember being anxious every Sunday night. The thought of having to leave the comfort of my home the next morning never made me feel happy. But it wasn’t like I had a choice.
2. Being forced to spend six whole hours with so many people
As an introvert, going to school meant spending hour after hour stuck with a bunch of other people — and it really depleted my energy. Plus, most of them expected me to talk and joke around with them whenever a teacher wasn’t around. (No thanks.)
Now don’t get me wrong — it’s not like I didn’t like to talk to my friends. But as an introvert, there’s a limit to how much I can talk. And at school, there was no way to escape when my social batteries were fully drained. So six whole hours was a long time to be stuck in a room full of overexcited kids.
As fun as school could be (especially when we’d get time to ourselves or reading time), by the end of the day, I’d find myself eagerly awaiting the bell that signaled the end of the school day. While most of my classmates were upset that they’d have to leave their friends, I’d simply be happy I’d be able to head back home. Because that was where I could finally be completely alone.
3. Being unable to be alone with my thoughts
As an introvert, I’ve always loved to just sit down and think. My imagination is a wonderful place to be and has always brought me peace. But when I went to school, it was nearly impossible to just spend some time in my own head thinking about anything and everything.
Trying my best to listen to what my teachers were saying and having to participate in conversations with friends — even if I didn’t want to — translated to six hours of not being able to think about the things I wanted to think about. I wanted to dream up new stories, think about the shows I watched on TV, analyze my feelings and emotions, and simply get to know myself better. But I had to wait until I got home to do all that.
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4. Having a constant fear of being called on to speak in front of the entire class
Going to school meant having to listen to whatever the teachers asked us to do. And if some teacher wanted me to answer a question in front of the whole class, then that was nothing short of a panic-inducing situation.
I was a serious student, so I knew most of the answers my teachers wanted to hear. But that didn’t make it any easier to answer questions in front of the whole class. What if I got it wrong? What if my nervousness made me stutter? And if I got it right, I knew there were some students in my class who would be jealous because of it.
As an introvert, I’d prefer to be invisible most of the time — public speaking is not in my comfort zone. But when the teacher asked me something in front of everyone, in an instant, all eyes would be on me. I was the center of attention — and that was the exact opposite of what I wanted.
5. Dreading those awful parent-teacher conferences
This is something almost all of my classmates dreaded, too, because there was a good chance the teacher had something to complain about. But in my case, the usual complaint was very different from what other people had to hear.
For most of my classmates, the complaints were either that they weren’t studying enough or that they talked too much while the teacher was trying to teach. But for me? The complaint was always that I talked too little. (Can you relate?)
Year after year, my teachers told my parents the same thing: “Your daughter is very nice and smart, but she doesn’t talk much. She really should talk more.” And that would lead to my parents coming back home and trying to convince me to talk more. But I didn’t want to talk more, so it was never a pleasant conversation.
In a world where talking is considered to be so important, being an introvert can be hard. And when I was in school, since I didn’t even know that I was an introvert, it made life so much harder. Unfortunately, my teachers didn’t make things any easier for me.
Just Because Introverted Students May Not Like School Doesn’t Mean Something Is ‘Wrong’ With Them
When I was a kid, I didn’t understand why the thought of having to go to school made me anxious while my friends were so eager about it. But I understand the reason now. I’m an introvert. My younger self thought something was wrong with me, but now I know that’s not true.
It’s okay to be an introvert. It’s okay to want to spend some time alone. I’ve always enjoyed watching TV and writing stories more than talking to people. And you know what? That’s okay. I just wish someone told me that when I was a kid.
Now, I’m a teacher myself. Being a teacher is a nice profession for an introvert like me since I’m a lot more comfortable around kids than people my own age. Kids judge me less than adults and my knack for planning things out means that I can teach confidently and effectively. Also, I can easily identify introverted students. I avoid being like my own teachers and I never force my introverted students to talk more. Just a little observation tells me when they need some help with something (even though they won’t directly tell me themselves). Being able to help out kids who are just like I used to be is a truly rewarding part of being a teacher. And the fact that I know there’s nothing “wrong” with them ensures that I don’t make them feel uncomfortable in my classroom.
So to all the extroverts and teachers out there, if you ever run into a child who doesn’t like school as much as most kids do, please don’t think something is “wrong” with them. It’s possible that they’re simply an introvert and would rather be home, alone, holed up in their introvert sanctuary.
My fellow introverts, is there anything you’d add to this list? Feel free to comment below!