Imagine this scenario: You are walking into the Wood Dining Commons at Muhlenberg College and it’s full of people. There’s the loud clang of plates as they’re being kept and the busy chatter of students. Almost all the tables are full and you can’t seem to find your friends anywhere either. Would you join a random group of people, sit all by yourself, or even leave the dining hall?

Most people reacted to this scenario by saying they would sit alone, but there were also a  handful of people who responded by saying that they would leave the dining hall. Scenarios such as this help us understand that there are multiple personality types and they can all help us understand more about ourselves and what makes us different from others. Here is a rundown of all the different personality types, so you can familiarize yourself with them:

Extraverts are interested in engaging with their environment, and they feed off the responses of the people and events around them. They enjoy pushing limits and seeing what the world can do. This all depends on many other factors and life’s natural limitations, but Extraverted personality types lean toward taking the initiative and relying on the world around them for validation. 

Introverts are well-suited to many situations. A tendency to be reserved helps these personality types to pace themselves. They’re likely to listen to others more carefully. Very introspective, Introverts enjoy more focused “alone time” – leading to more and deeper insights. And, while sometimes too sensitive to their environments, this often helps them pick up cues more quickly, making them great at reading many situations.

Well, these are all terms that are very commonly used to describe a person and have become so important in gauging character traits that it now becomes an essential part of society to categorize yourself into one of the three mentioned above.  Speaking of character traits associated with these personality types, it’s interesting to note that there are multiple personality tests online to help YOU figure out your own personality type. Take this personality quiz to determine your personality

I interviewed a few students on campus, asking them questions about their lifestyle, work ethic, and social lives. It was really surprising to see that the general trend of overcommitment existed amongst all personality types. The only difference was in the way they coped with the stress that came with it. Let’s take a look at these students here – they are all different individuals with just one thing in common at a glance.

They are all students at Muhlenberg College. There is one other thing that’s common in all of them, except one. Can YOU find the introvert among this group?

Avi Soussan ’26 (he/him)

“Well, usually there’s like the stage of not sadness, but like disappointment or dissatisfaction. You know, like, oh, I could have done better. So like, there’s this period of beating myself up over it. And then it takes sort of time to overcome and realize. And then over time it’s like, okay, I was being irrational. And  realizing, okay, this is not something I was able to achieve. Or maybe I set too high of a goal for myself. But also, I also think about what I could do in the future if I’m in a similar circumstance. To maybe do better or something? You know, so it’s like recognizing that maybe I set high expectations for myself, but also what can I do to better myself? But I think it’s also  nice to hang out with friends who are not necessarily doing what I’m doing. So like maybe people who aren’t in the sciences. I think they have a different mindset of  life and stuff.. And I think it’s refreshing to be around people who aren’t always like oh it’s go, go, go, go, you know? Like… Sort of nice to hang out with  media and communication majors and theater majors and you know other types of majors. So that’s sort of something that I find is nice.”

Major: Public Health

Involvements on campus: Tour guide, Religious Co-chair at Hillel, Treasurer of EMS, Writing Fellow for gender and sexuality in Islam, member of the rock climbing club, Research in Public health and chemistry, Tutor at the Writing Center, Chemistry tutor

Madison Fearon ’24 (she/her)

“Most of the time if I’m not able to do something  I will take a step back and just be like what happened? And I’m very introspective of like looking at situations and seeing how they can be improved. I kind of just work until breaks and stuff so sometimes it is like I just got to get this done. I gotta put my head down and kind of just live with the stress until I can like take a second to breathe which has probably not been the best thing. But that’s kind of just how I cope with it, just pushing through. I guess when I came back from Dublin in June of the spring of my junior year it was just a weird transition. I had an internship while I was abroad so it was very different from a normal academic semester.  So coming back into it last semester I definitely felt that burnout of like I had basically a break off of a semester. I was still doing work but it was so different, and so definitely last semester was one of the harder ones and I think just finding my community in Walson, I kind of found a place of like a support system in Walson Hall where when I had moments of like I don’t know what to do, I need help. It was hey we can like sit down and prioritize things. So it was just this  secondary source of just being like, ‘you’re fine, you can do it, I know it’s stressful.’ That really helps.”

Major: Media & Communication

Minors: Film studies, Documentary story-making & Anthropology

Involvements on campus: President of Alpha Phi Omega, Vice-president of the rock climbing club, RA in Taylor, equipment manager at Walson Hall, National Park trust ambassador

Vishmitha D’Souza ’26 (she/her)

“I wouldn’t say I cope really well with it, I wouldn’t say that. I definitely have like… like I question myself. Doubt and all that stuff comes in and then I will find excuses – external excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. Instead of really going inside and reflecting that hey maybe you were just tired. But as of late I’ve been doing great with all that. Just because I have been trying to speak more about my emotions and feelings and like just trying to humanize failures a lot more than I used to before. Like oh I just couldn’t do this. I need help. I ask for help when I need it. I try to take everything else slowly. Like I did not try to give my 100% in everything because I’m like sometimes your best is just 30% and just accept it, kind of thing. So I just did that. Yeah. So that was a real life experience because that was really bad and the email I was so anxious that time that I was not even ready to open the email my professor sent back. So I asked my friend to read that email to me only if it’s nice. Otherwise I’ll not read the email. That kind of thing was really bad. But then it was a nice email. So that’s why I was like, okay, lesson learned. Do your homework on time.”

Majors: Media & Communication; Business Administration with a concentration in management

Involvements on campus: Tour guide, Resident Advisor, Marketing assistant for the Office of Admissions, Info desk assistant, Vice-president of SASA, Treasurer of ISA, member of Cardinal Key, member of Phi Sigma Sigma, member of Student Government

Josephine Glass ’27 (she/her)

“Not well. Like I’m not going to lie. It’s hard. It’s hard, and it’s because you don’t always know what people expect from you. And then you step into a position and you don’t know if you’re meeting their expectations. You never will, unless they say it. But that’s not always what happens. But also failure is just an opportunity to learn. And I think when I do fail, I take it in strides and like, okay, that wasn’t meant for me. So I need to go and do something else. And you know, you always learn something from the experience and you always like, grow from experiences of failure and not like meeting people’s expectations. I will say I have some really good friends that I’ve made and there’s nothing like coming home from whatever activity or whatever meeting or whatever rehearsal and being like guys that was horrendous and they are there to listen. And then like when they have bad days they’re there  to listen.  I’m there to listen to them as well but also my family – they are also always one call away and if I ever have an issue my parents or my sister or my brother are always very quick to be like okay but you’re making it work.  And I’m like I don’t know but um yeah I think I’m like teachers too,  like staff they’re always checking in which is nice.  So there’s a lot of people just looking out. I mean also like everyone here is just’s like I was scared about it when I first visited. I was like yeah why is everybody so nice but truthfully, I  feel like a lot of people care here.”

Majors: Public Health; Music 

Involvements on Campus: SGA Representative, Co-president of SOCA, Co-facilitator for Bridging the Gap, member of Alliance for Justice Action Leadership (AGILE), member of Cardinal Key, Campus Delegate, cast of Head over Heels musical

Shobha Pai ’24 (she/her)

“I have two Google calendars. I have my main school and my personal one. The personal one is where I put, like, go to the gym because to me it’s not just like me doing stuff like, meetings and all that. It’s also like me taking time for myself and self-care, which is, for me, it’s  going to the gym. It’s like, doing laundry,  oiling my hair. It’s all these little things that I’m like, I need to make time for that because if I don’t, I will be that workaholic and then I’ll burn out and then I’ll be out. Like I think that guilt stems from my background and my culture honestly because I think when you’re from one of the most popular, most populated countries in the world if you’re not working all the time and comparing yourself to everybody in this thing it’s very… It’s like you can really feel the pressure getting to you. Like societal pressure.”

Majors: Psychology; Media & Communication

Involvements on campus: Hall Director, Tutor, President of SASA, produce podcasts for OML, Tour Guide and student coordinator, working with admissions, working in media services, Learning Assistant for Psychology

Lindsay Batzar ’26 (she/her)

“Mostly my mom, um, but funnily enough I feel like one of my biggest support systems is WMUH and even though there are so many extra things to do like, doing it always relieves my stress. Like going to my office hours and listening to the music and like making my charts. I feel like that’s always my way of  like recharging or like even going to my show and like having friends come to my show while I do it. It’s very helpful. So I feel like that’s kind of interesting, cause it’s probably my biggest time commitment out of all of them, but it’s a really refreshing activity.”

Majors: Media & Communication; Film Studies 

Minor: French 

Involvements on campus: DJ and Music Director at WMUH, festival and publicity assistant at ATR, Senior engagement intern, Co-PR chair of MFA, Tutor, Zumba Publicity manager, Dana scholar

Duality of Commitment: Is it personalized?

SO…what do you think? Do you think you were able to guess the introvert? It’s not as easy as many may think. There’s a lot of intricacy that goes into a person’s personality traits and definitions of success and overcommitment. We as humans are social beings and that is no new knowledge neither to us nor society, but what might be new knowledge is the idea of personality types and the interconnections between certain traits and an overachieving mentality. Alright, let’s backtrack this a little. There were five extroverts and just one introvert in the above descriptions of each individual. And that introvert is…….MADISON FEARON! 

Surprised? Or had you known it all along? If you guessed it right, awesome job. I think it’s important to understand that although there are so many factors that drive someone to do the things they do, there are also other aspects such as their culture, circumstance and personality traits that play a role too. It’s also crucial to understand that things are not always black and white when it comes to being either an extrovert and introvert. The general opinion or immediate assumption that I have gotten from people is that they assume that more extroverted people are more involved in extracurricular activities. This is quite debatable and if I was being honest, I thought the same until I set out to interview different subjects for this project. Many of the students who took this quiz were able to identify the introvert and that speaks a lot to the way society has made both personality types so distinct. Colleges host students of various backgrounds, ethnicities, opinions, and so on and it’s always refreshing to see what drives them to do so much and what acts as a motivating factor that allows them to do all the things that they do both as part of their academics as well as extracurricular. 

Being a student myself, if asked about my own personality and motivating factors, I would definitely say that I identify as an extrovert and someone who has a highly over-achieving mentality. One which has definitely stemmed from my upbringing and all of the pressures of being an international student from India. The various students that I have interviewed also resonate with the idea of having enough on their resume and preserving their achievements and trophies for a good career and a successful life in the long run. I wanted to explore the interconnection between personality and overcommitment and how the two variables influence people. As it is evident in the above descriptions of these individuals, they all have their own ways to cope with stress. Did you notice any difference in the way that Madison copes with stress in comparison with the other subjects? If so, what were they? The whole project is designed in a way that it makes you think about all the differences that come with an individual’s decisions and their personality. When it comes to scheduling meetings with all the subjects for my interviews, it was probably the hardest thing to do, just because everyone is so busy all the time. It’s interesting to think about the different ways in which each individual possessing a different personality type copes with stress or any situation in their lives. If you feel like you too want to find out more about your own personality, I would encourage you to take the personality test on an online site. The source that I have used is 16personalities, a trusted MBTI test site.


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