How Knowing your Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Can Help you In College

How Knowing your Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Can Help you In College
Some people live and die by Meyers-Briggs (MBTI), but personally, I just find it to be interesting. I also find it to be fairly accurate. Though you can write it off as just another slightly more scientific personality quiz, you can also use it to improve your habits in college. My type is an ESTJ and I find that it fits me very well. I’ve also taken this test so many times to the point where I can recite some of the questions and to the point where I’m fairly certain ESTJ is, in fact, my type.

I’m not a scientist or an expert by any means, but I’ve looked into the Meyers-Briggs personality types quite a bit and I’ve applied it to college. If you’re looking for some super deep insights and historical background on the test, this isn’t the place. But if you want to apply your type to college, you’re in the right spot.

Here are some ways knowing your Meyers-Briggs type can help you in college. Here’s the 16 Personalities MBTI test if you’ve never taken it!

Introvert (I) vs. Extrovert (E)

What it means: 

The first letter of your type will either be an E or an I, which stands for extrovert or introvert. This falls under the “mind” category.

  • Introverts: Are not necessarily antisocial but are typically exhausted by a lot of social activity and interaction.
  • Extroverts: Generally prefer group activities and are energized by them. They’re not easily exhausted by social interaction.

Applying this to College:

  • Introverts
    • Plan alone time to recharge and relax. Don’t constantly feel the need to be socializing, even if it seems like everyone else constantly is.
    • If you seek alone time and having a roommate be present often is causing you stress, find another place on-campus where you can be alone. This might be a study room on your floor, a secluded bench on campus or even a fairly unpopular study lounge.
    • When invited to study groups, sometimes opt to study alone. You’ll likely focus more and feel a bit more energized. To avoid being entirely left out, decline a study group and instead plan a different social interaction, like getting breakfast with the group before studying or getting coffee with a friend after the exam.
    • Make an effort to socialize and be proud of yourself when you do. Perhaps attending to three events in a weekend might be overkill and you opt for one or two…don’t feel guilty about it. Know your limits and never be afraid to indulge in a night in.
    • It’s important to have extroverted friends, but it’s also good to have some friends who are also introverts.
    • Don’t be afraid to initiate plans. A perk of this? You have some control over the time and place, which can make it easier for you to avoid being exhausted.
  • Extroverts
    • Don’t stress about filling your social calendar to the brim. Sometimes downtime can be a good thing. If you’re feeling lonely and are seeking social interaction, join a new club or invite someone to join you for a meal or walk to class.
    • Remember that loneliness is normal and constantly being social can be draining, even if you’re extroverted. Not every social hangout needs to be a huge ordeal. Sometimes just sitting with friends in silence in the library can fulfill that extroverted need for company.
    • Don’t be afraid to reach out to new people and make new friends. If your need for socializing is overwhelming, try spreading it to different people to build your social circle rather than smother one or two people.
    • Be courteous to introverted friends and their need for laidback social interaction and alone time, but don’t count them out. Even if your introverted friends often turn down hangouts, don’t entirely stop inviting them, but instead, consider that they limit social interaction a bit more than you.
    • You need alone time, too. Maybe not as much, but still some. Make some efforts to be alone during the week and embrace it. This might just be studying for an exam or watching Netflix, but alone time is valuable, regardless.

Observant (S) v. Intuitive (N)

What it means: 

These are the second letters in your type. This falls under the “energy” category. It’s essentially ways we see the world and process the information we gather.

  • Observant (S) – Observant types are generally more pragmatic and down-to-earth. They prefer things that can be observed or tried and tested rather than fantastical ideas. They keep their feet on the ground and focus on the present, observing things around them. They’re good with concrete ideas and practical matters.
  • Intuitive (N) – Intuitive types rely more on fantasy and imagination. They question why things happen the way they do and focus on future possibilities. They’re fairly open-minded and prefer novelty over stability and predictability. They work well with abstract ideas.

Applying this to College:

  • Observant
    • When possible, try to take professors with very clear-cut grading scales and syllabi that aren’t open to a lot of interpretation. Knowing exactly how your grade is formed with likely be more helpful to you.
    • Classes with vaguely outlined assignments and little to no guidelines might cause you extra stress because things aren’t entirely laid out and concrete. Don’t avoid these classes entirely, but make extra efforts to have an open mind, as this isn’t your forte.
    • Consider joining clubs that help feed your focus on the present and ability to make observations. Clubs that revolve around event planning or running businesses can be fun options as they are often based on gathering information and applying it. This can help you utilize and strengthen your observant edge.
    • Use your tendency to shift towards practical ideas to form better habits. If the habit you wish to start is founded on a solid idea, like drinking more water or hitting the gym, it might be easier for you to do so.
    • Don’t let your pragmatism overwhelm you and remember to surround yourself with some friends who’ve got the Intuitive imagination. Optimism can be a good thing, even if you keep it in check with a bit of pragmatism.
    • Join some clubs or take some classes that challenge your Observant side, it could never hurt to channel and work with some of the fantastical ideas you have.
  • Intuitive
    • Taking some creative classes, even as electives can help you feed your need for novelty and imagination.
    • Use your questioning mind to participate more in class. Professors often reward participation and when you find yourself wondering “Why?” and “How?” ask it aloud.
    • When focusing on future possibilities, remember to take a page from the Observant’s book and apply some practicality and pragmatism. This mostly applies to job searching. Dream big, but remember to be a little bit practical while applying and working on your applications and resume.
    • Keeping a journal can be an excellent thing to do while in college. Use it to channel all of your ideas and thoughts when they get to be overwhelming.

Thinking (T) v. Feeling (F)

What it means: 

One of these will be the third letter of your type. This falls under the “nature” category. It’s essentially ways we process, react to and deal with our emotions. It also ties into decision making and interactions with others.

  • Thinking (T) – Thinking types prioritize logic over emotions. They’re mostly head over heart and be counted on to make rational decisions. This doesn’t mean Thinking types feel less, they simply try to put a bit of logic on top of emotion. Efficiency is more important than cooperation and sometimes empathy can take a backseat.
  • Feeling (F) – Feeling types are heart over head. Feeling types tend to be compassionate and open to expressing their emotions. They are empathetic and value getting along with others. They prefer to cooperate with others than compete with them. Assessing their feelings and the feelings of others can be fairly important, especially in groups

Applying this to College:

  • Thinking
    • While it’s great to have logic and rationality, remember to take into consideration others in some decisions. This might include things like considering how your roommate may feel if you keep hitting snooze on your alarm or how your professor might feel if you’re texting in her class.
    • Don’t be afraid to take charge in group projects. You can be great at making sure it gets done, with that being said, remember that group harmony can be important, too. Take it into consideration.
    • Remember to process your emotions sometimes. There’s no harm in a good cry. College is busy and full of work, which means your Thinking side will be helpful when it comes to getting work done, no matter how sad or frustrated you feel. Remember to feel those things or it’ll be like a volcano waiting to erupt.
    • Though it’s easy to push feelings aside, remember that not all people are a Thinking type. Be considerate of others’ feelings when it comes to conflict or social discord.
    • Remember to embrace your heart a little bit. Giving back to your community or becoming part of some clubs who do good works on campus can be an excellent way. Perhaps helping to build a house in Habitat for Humanity or even planning a fundraiser for a local animal shelter can help you use your head to feed your heart. Combining logic and emotion can be an easy thing when you look to clubs and events.
  • Feeling
    • Group projects might be your strong suit because of your propensity for social harmony. With that being said, don’t be afraid to stir the pot if your group is slacking or your project won’t be finished in time. Though it goes against your core values, sometimes efficiency should take a higher priority than harmony when a grade is on the line.
    • Roommate conflicts should be a little breezier with your ability to consider others’ feelings, but remember to consider your own and add a level of rationality to it. Openly expressing emotions is great, but remember to consider rational solutions and explanations to your emotions.
    • Remember to choose yourself when it comes to major decisions, like studying abroad or becoming an RA. Though sometimes significant other’s or friends’ feelings might make your decision-making difficult, remember to focus on yourself sometimes. Don’t sacrifice experiences or opportunities to maintain social harmony.
    • Embrace your empathetic side and get involved in good works and charitable projects on campus. These works also involve teamwork, which is another strong suit you have.

Judging (J) v. Prospecting (P)

What it means: 

These are the last letters in your type. This falls under the “tactics” category. It’s how we approach planning and structure in our lives. It also reflects on our approach to making decisions and getting work done.

  • Judging (J) – Judging types are fairly decisive. They are organized and prefer structure and predictability. They often seek closure and prefer to know what the plans are. They’re not as spontaneous.
  • Prospecting (P) – Prospecting types really seize opportunities and often improvise. They’re fairly relaxed when it comes to planning. They are open to being flexible and don’t really need to know all of the details of the plan.

Applying this to College:

  • Judging
    • While planning and keeping plans can be great, leave some time open for the plans that just happen. When friends suggest a random drive on a Thursday or attending something last minute, remain calm and go for it.
    • Surround yourself with some easygoing friends. While it can be hard to not know an exact plan, keep an open mind.
    • Use your planning skills when studying to make helpful study guides and schedules. Syllabi are your best friend.
    • Your planning skills can also be great with goal-setting. Remember to set goals for yourself, they can be helpful. Just don’t make them the end-all, be-all of your life.
    • When applying to jobs and looking to the future, it’s great to be structured and apply to what makes sense, but throw a few jobs in there that might mean taking a risk or veering off of the path you desire. You never know how much of a difference it can make.
    • Don’t be afraid to seize last-minute, spontaneous opportunities when it comes to furthering your career. Remember, plans can be adjusted when something important is on the horizon, even if it is difficult.
  • Prospecting
    • Maintain your spontaneous edge and don’t be afraid of last-minute plans. With that being said, respect friends who have to finish projects and can’t come with you.
    • While it can be easy to not plan too much, when it comes to assignment and project deadlines, try to keep them in mind. Don’t save everything until the last minute.
    • Your tendency to scan for new opportunities and experiences can be super helpful in internship and job hunts. Keeping your options open and not being afraid to apply to a job across the country or in a field you’d never considered with keep things exciting. Just remember to consider most of the important factors first.
    • To feed your spontaneous side, try getting homework and assignments done early so you have plenty of time to be free and relax without worrying about meeting deadlines.

And, of course, keep in mind that your final type and the combination of your letters might lead to some variation with these suggestions! This can also be handy when you know your friends’ types…you can better understand them and why they do certain things differently or the same as you! I’ve made all of my friends and my S.O. take this…so interesting!

What’s your Meyers-Briggs type? Do you think it fits you well?

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  • I’m probably the only blogger who doesn’t know her Meyers-Briggs Personality type, haha. I just took the test and I’m apparently an ISFJ. I just read the description and I don’t agree with all of it, but I can recognize myself a lot in it as well, so I guess it’s not all that bad. 😉 I really loved your advice! I felt like it was really on-point for my personality type. I think this was such a great post idea!

    • Thank you, Amelie!! I totally get you, I feel like my type fits me super well but then a few parts are pretty off. I’m glad you enjoyed my post, I had a lot of fun researching the breakdowns of each type…it helped me to understand my boyfriend and my friends, who have very different types! 🙂

  • I am an INTP and I love your advice! I wish I knew my type when I was in college as it really could have helped haha

    • Ooh, that’s my boyfriend’s type! It’s definitely handy, I’ve started using it to figure out why I do certain things!

  • I took the test and I’m an ENFJ! This is great advice, thanks! x

    • Glad it could help! Do you think your type fits you? 🙂

      • Yeah definitely! The descriptions suit me quite well 🙂

  • This is such a cool and original post idea, Paige! I’m an ENFJ and I really identify with my personality type. Have you heard of the enneagram? It’s another personality typing system that I like a lot!

    • Thank you, Sara! Yes!! I did a post on it way back when I first started my blog, I love that test and I love all of these personality type things! 🙂

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