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Dealing with Different Personalities at Varsity

It is a universally accepted truth that interpersonal relationships are important. For many students, fitting in at Varsity is a priority and often a source of anxiety but once good relationships are established, barriers are subsequently broken down.

In a varsity setting, there is a kaleidoscope of different personalities present. Understanding the basis of different personalities will help you not only to make well-suited friends but also to realise your strengths. This, in turn, will assist you in working towards more successful outcomes when it comes to tasks such as group assignments and leadership roles.

Understanding how your personality type influences your interactions with others as much as their personality types will impact you either negatively or positively is a great place to start.

Weighing up Different Personalities

While individual personalities can fall anywhere on a broad scale, there are pretty much two major personality types. Often people can be a combination of both but with some more dominant traits of one or the other personality type.

Understanding different personalities comes in really handy for group work. It helps you to know how to break up an assignment into pieces and who you should approach to help you in completing the task. Knowing what part you play along with your group members based on personality traits, will also help you to be more successful in project outcomes and meet the deadlines more easily.

Which personality type are you?

Extrovert

An extrovert is a person who is open and friendly and will process their thoughts out loud by talking them through. These are the students who will be among the first to raise their hand to give an answer. They are often thought of as talkative, sociable, action-orientated, enthusiastic, friendly and out-going.  Social settings will energise an extrovert and they are skilled at making friends.

Extroverts are great to include in a group assignment as they enjoy group work, are good at communicating, keen to seek outside sources for ideas and inspiration and generally have a broad range of interests. However, one must be aware of their pitfalls too.

On the negative side, they are sometimes described as attention-seeking and easily distracted. Extroverts will often engage in risk-taking behaviours, aka hands-on learning, with can be both a positive and a negative trait.

Introvert

An introvert will process internally before saying anything. These students will consider the question and think through the answer before speaking in a lecture room or group setting. They tend to be quieter, reserved, mellow and introspective and are sometimes mistaken for being shy.

Introverts know they need time to re-energise or re-charge themselves alone and away from others to feel more comfortable in social settings.  They prefer one-on-one based interactions and the company of close friends rather than large social circles, with their closest relationships being profound and significant. They find engaging in ‘small talk’ tedious but do find enjoyment in deep and meaningful conversations.

Involving an introvert in a group assignment, one should be aware that introverts typically prefer to learn through observation by watching others perform the tasks until they feel comfortable enough to replicate the actions on their own. They prefer to build their skills and abilities in private without having to perform for an audience. Activities and environments that are too hectic can leave an introvert feeling unfocused and overwhelmed.

Knowing your personality type and observing those of others will be advantageous in forging better relationships and making life-long friendships.  If you live in residential housing, the skill of deciphering different personalities will also help you to feel more comfortable with your roommate, knowing that they are not purposefully trying to annoy you or get under your skin.  This too will make it easier to broach any conflicts, which can then be talked over and solved more constructively.

We understand the different personalities challenge of university life, and we also have tons of other great tips and advice to make your student life just that much easier.

Visit us at www.capetownstudenthostels.co.za.