I am proud to be an introvert

Feature+Photo+by%3A+Eric+Carlos+Perez+-+Eric+Huynh+poses+for+a+picture.+Here%27s+my+story.

Feature Photo by: Eric Carlos Perez – Eric Huynh poses for a picture. Here’s my story.

Eric Huynh, Opinion Editor

Hey! You probably don’t know me but let me tell you my story.

My name is Eric Huynh. Growing up, I remember myself as an active yet talkative kid whenever I was at home or over at my grandparents’ house. I would always hang out with my cousins and brothers, playing outside along the streets or inside playing with our toys and games.

However, whenever I was at school, it was a completely different story. I was that kid who didn’t want to raise their hand. I was that kid who didn’t want to ask for help. I was that kid who couldn’t speak in front of an audience. I was that kid who didn’t have that many friends. As a result, I struggled to use my voice and couldn’t form genuine relationships with other people properly.

Moreover, my experiences of being bullied for being a skinny, Asian kid, losing close friends, and not living up to people’s expectations worsen my self-esteem.

Eventually, I learned that I was an introvert who was stuck in an extroversion-centered culture. I constantly questioned myself: “is being an extrovert the only way of fitting into society?” or “is being an introvert a weakness?” Surrounded by negative stigmas around introversion, I was always patronizing myself and comparing myself to others.

Yet, I tried to hide all that pain and focused on getting through high school.

In high school, I realized that I had to step out of my comfort zone, challenge myself, and grow as a person. I had to forget about the past and learn from my problems. As a result, I’ve developed new relationships and became a part of many amazing organizations. Even though I am not a student most people will remember, I am thankful for the teachers and friends I have met who recognized greatness within me, even when I struggled to do so myself. 

Eric Huynh looks out at the city of New York as he travels on a ferry. I have been able to explore and immerse myself in many extracurriculars such as tennis (as a player and manager), Interact Club, and the Raider Review. I am grateful for the experiences I have gone through during high school (Kathy Truong).

Eventually, I truly learned the idea of introversion through Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts Kids.” Let me give you a better understanding of what it truly means to be an introvert and harness its powers. 

  • There’s not a single definition for an introvert. We can hang out with others but would like some alone time. We can socialize yet be private. We are more observant than talkative. We can do anything an extrovert can; we just cherished alone time. We can stretch out like a rubber band.
  • There’s a difference between shyness and introversion. Get it right.
  • If you don’t feel like going to a big social event, just kindly decline. If you want to leave early, then leave. We all have a social battery which recharges under different conditions. For introverts, we draw energy from ourselves. 
  • Whether it comes to presentations or performing, anxiety is a common fear we all have. It may seem intimidating for introverts but we can stand in the spotlight if we hone our skills and keep calm. 
  • People usually viewed leaders as the outspoken ones; however, introverts have the capabilities to be leaders as well. We can lead a group by sharing passions, connecting and listening, and empowering others. 
  • “Introverts make up a third to half of the population–that’s one out of every two or three people you know.” Any introverts reading this, just know that you are not the only one. 

From this list, I hope you learned, as I have, that being an introvert isn’t a bad thing; it’s about embracing introversion because we have so much to offer like extroverts. 

It’s okay to have close, personal relationships. 

It’s okay to ask for alone time. 

It’s okay to be an introvert despite what everyone else thinks.

Although high school has ended abruptly, I am leaving it, knowing that I learned and understand myself now–I can spend time alone, be my own type of leader, present in front of an audience, and capable of so much to help my community. I still don’t know what I want to pursue in the future; however, I will continue to grow into the best person I can be by accepting who I am: an introvert.

2020 has been pretty chaotic; however, don’t be afraid to use your voice as I did. I hope that people focus on the present, pushing forward to create change within society and themselves. In these crazy times, we need to support one another so we can persevere and put smiles on people’s faces.  (Nathan Berhe).