Who We Are and Who We Aim to Be

Erick Valencia, Copy Editor

Students at the Columbus School lack diversity when it comes to personality. I’ve been a student at The Columbus School for 14 years, and I’m pretty sure that it’s been the more harrowing for me compared to everyone else. Throughout those 14 years I’ve learned plenty as I grew up with the school, thinking that its main purpose is learning. However, it also includes social life, which has taught me how complex people can be and how cruel they can be to each other. The easiest way to observe this is with the extrovert-introvert disparity. According to verywell mind, extroverts “outnumber introverts three to one.”

TCS is a world where extroversion is present everywhere one looks. Just looking at Colombian culture is enough to see how the country’s traditions and behavior delineate TCS’s own behavior as an institution. “I do feel the school is more extroverted because of Colombian culture. If you’re an extrovert it is easier for you to find/get friends than if you are an introvert,” Valentina Salazar, 12th grade TCS student, said. Salazar is, superficially, a more “silent” student than the rest of her peers. Although she admits that she is more extroverted when she is around friends, she does firmly agree that TCS’s behavior and extroversion have to do with the environment she grew up in. I for one think Colombian culture is loud. Too many people wasting their potential on useless banter. Colombia is not unique in this aspect, however, as almost all the countries around the world, especially the most diverse ones like the US, show that extroverts are way more common than introverts. This illustrates how naturally-unbalanced humans are in general. It creates a social boundary that wasn’t meant to be there in the first place. Consequently, it is necessary to analyze different personality types and analyze why the most common ones are common and why the “rare” ones are not seen as much in a school environment.

The Myers-Briggs Personality test is one of the most famous personality tests in the modern world. Among the sixteen personalities this test has identified (based on 8 different categories, 2 of which are introversion vs. extroversion), there is the INFJ, which is one of the most scarce types in the world. “Only about three percent of the entire world population is an INFJ, which displays attributes such as introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging. In contrast, about 4 in 10 people are ESTP, which are defined as extroverted, sensing, thinking and perceiving.” Kendra Cherry, psychologist and author, said. The ESTP’s main trait is “energetic,” which is an adjective you could use to describe most students at TCS. Energetic is a very broad word. It can either mean that someone is cheerful, or scatterbrained. People would react in various manners to TCS students, all depending on how much they are willing to understand them.  

As Cherry stated before, introverts are more rare than extroverts. For example, I’m an introvert (more specifically the INFJ-Advocate). Not only that, but I’m what you can stereotypically call the “quiet one.” Living my entire life in such an extroverted school and country has been all but tranquil. Parties, girlfriends, “farras” have all been a huge weight on my back that to this day, I haven’t been able to carry correctly. It has led me to feel ashamed for being myself, for liking stuff that I like and having the hobbies that I have. Thus, students and people in general should treat each other with respect, no matter how different they might be from one another. 

Relationships between students and teachers in TCS are a phenomenon that probably can only be seen at this school. Teachers and students more or less treat each other as friends when interacting with each other. But why is this? It is extremely common to see students talk with teachers as if they were random people talking, ignoring the supposed hierarchy that these two are supposed to follow. This is something special. A teacher can heavily influence the enjoyment a student experiences in class, and the fact that TCS is able to connect teachers and students in a fearless way is something that should not be taken for granted. This way as to how a lot of students can have immense confidence with teachers can be traced back as to how approachable TCS students are in general, which makes it easier for the chemistry to happen. However, TCS is not the only school to do this. Due to its collectivist mentality, Colombia exerts a behavior where people can be closer to others. People that anyone else could consider a “stranger.” Nonetheless, it can all just depend on how open the student or teacher wants to be when it comes to the relationship. 

Introversion and extroversion are important aspects of humans that shouldn’t be ignored. Even if the disparity is so one-sided, being different is a part of the human race. Being an extrovert or introvert is just an intrapersonal problem if one feels that it is a problem. They should not be opposing forces, but rather working together to cover each other’s weaknesses, even if one side of the coin is always facing down.