Culture | April 14th, 2020

The Stay-at-home Experience as an Introvert

By: Amiya Abner
The Stay-at-home Experience as an Introvert

Buried beneath the confoundment of COVID-19, it is expected that “homebodies”-cue the notorious Lil Durk anthem- would be thriving and indulging during this time of social distancing. As extraverts express their aversion to being shuttered indoors, the world centers its attention on introverts, questioning if the onset of stay-at-home orders during this time is their true moment of liberation. 

Wednesday, April 1, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Florida, in response to the surge in cases statewide number. Going into effect the following day, the 30-day order follows suit with the nationwide call to follow social distancing precautions.  

As schools across the nation close and transition to remote instruction and businesses rapidly furlough thousands of workers, finding what to do over the duration of the stay-at-home order remains one of the essential questions, among college students especially. 

 Florida A&M University students have expressed the difficulty adjusting to virtual learning, but also not being around their peers every day. However, for some introverted Rattlers, they have found calmness within this social distancing storm, and are maximizing their time in their home.  Naturally recharging their energy alone, this time is benefiting their mental wellness, and also revealing a balance that contributes to the advancement of their studies here at Florida A&M University.    

Kasi Bellamy, a second-year Psychology student from Tampa, Florida, truly enjoys her time at home. Occupying herself with reading, researching, and online shopping, hearing about an issued stay-at-home order did not diminish Bellamy’s anticipation for self-isolation because she is naturally introverted.

“I see my home as a sanctuary and a safe space because it’s where I feel the most at peace,” she said. “Quarantine has allowed me to begin my own research study on the psychological effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players. I am excited to analyze my findings and hope to continue conducting research that will advance to help others.” 

Unlike Bellamy’s level of motivation and time management that social distancing has taught her, Maira Marsh is feeling like she’s unable to cater to her introverted desire to recharge during this time. Like other Rattlers, the first-year Architecture student is finding it hard to set aside time to cater to herself beneath the weight of her online school work. 

“I do miss being able to get cute for no reason, and going to the gym, even though I’m pretty content with the small level of social I’m at right now. But I will say, this quarantine has been irritating and makes school much harder to stay motivated and to focus on,” she said. “I’ve been procrastinating with school so much it’s been hard to do anything else besides watch movies and sit on my phone, considering I normally like working on creating my own clothes projects and big paintings.” 

Contrary to the generalized belief that presumes introverts are flourishing in the confines of their home, Marsh finds her experience with social distancing has left her with a lack of prioritization and productivity.  

When discerning between wants and needs, on top of the pile of online work and Zoom lecture meetings, the lines can get blurred and the decision to partake in self-indulging occurs more often than not.  

One of our fellow Rattlers Delyn Owen-Robinson, a sophomore Pre-Pharmacy student, created interactive templates to check in with her peers on their mental health.  

“During this pandemic, we are all faced with a sense of uncertainty in isolation,” she said. “It is easy to constantly find yourself watching the news for updates, and while it is important to stay informed, we have to make sure to take care of our mental health. The checklist is a way to put all these things in perspective.” 

For introverts, in this time of captivity, they are feeling both propelled to continue introverting as usual or ambivalent about the indefinite end to social distancing. It is either their time to revel in their own space or adjust to the grueling days of COVID-19.