School. A place, where students are supposed to learn and study. A place, where you would meet new people, find new friends and would connect with your classmates. A place, that would help you figure out who you are, support you on your way of growing up, raise you to become a young adult and in the end release you into a world of unknown possibilities.
Or at least, that’s how it is portrayed in movies, tv shows and by adults and teachers.
But in my case, this wasn’t my reality.
For me, going to school was more like entering a prison. A prison that would crush my soul, destroy my hopes and dreams and turn me into a sad little girl that tried her best at keeping it all together.
Sometimes I was able to bear the pain. But on other days, I had tears in my eyes even by the thought of going to one more class.
I even faked illnesses, because I was sick of the people, sick of the teachers and sick of the whole environment that I was in because I knew that who I was, wasn’t what they wanted me to be.
I never felt like I belonged.
On the contrary, I felt like I was there to learn that I would never fit in.
And eventually, I did.
I know that many introverts know what I described from their own experience. In a world that is ruled by extroverts, there is no place for “being different”. No place for staying true to yourself and no time to understand that “being different” doesn’t mean that you need to be fixed. That’s why we all experience a lack of acceptance and appreciation for who we are no matter where we go and sometimes even every single day.
As a fact, most of us know that the majority of people we’ll be meeting throughout our lives won’t accept us for who we are.
Not our teachers in school. Not our co-workers at work. And certainly not our bosses. Even most of our parents will try their best at changing our personality by the day they realize that we are different to everyone else’s kids. Of course, they want help us to be more outgoing, confident and social to later be successful in life. As if being introverted is a flaw that would make your life go to waste.
Our society – no matter if in school, at work or university – still thinks that “being introverted” and having an introspective soul is something that needs to be cured. I mean, who would want to give a job to a hardworking and dedicated human-being if you wouldn’t want to grab a drink after your shift anyway?
Society teaches us that in order to be acknowledged and liked by the people around us, we have to be like them. But “them” equals “extroverted” and not “a friendly human that likes to chat every now and then”. They want us to become someone that isn’t afraid of anything. Someone who would love to scream into the crowds even if what he/she/it has to say isn’t worth the screaming. Someone that would give anything to get attention and has an extraordinary social life with a huge friends list filled with important people. But introverts are quite the opposite of that.
That’s the reason why most of us spend their whole life figuring out how we can adapt ourselves to fit better into society and not be questioned anymore because of the way we would like to live our lives.
Sadly, even more of us hate themselves for not being able to adapt accordingly even though we know that, what we would like to change is against our nature.
I despise school for that.
For teaching me that being introverted is wrong.
For the thinking, it implanted in hundreds and hundreds of introverts all around the world who may hate themselves for who they are right now.
And for telling our parents that we need to change ourselves to have a happy and successful life in the future.
In my opinion, school systems all around the world have to change their way of teaching and raising young introverted kids. It can’t be that teachers have the right to make us believe that who we are isn’t enough. Even worse, that they tell us that we have change ourselves and with that make us hate ourselves for something we have no influence on.
Being an introvert is a wonderful gift & I wouldn’t want to change anything about that.
You don’t have to either.