It’s not easy being an introvert

wooden bench in a sunset
Made in Canva

Making a phone call to a stranger? Speak in front of other people? Networking? Finding friends? Shopping for clothes? Think again. An introvert needs to brace themselves mentally before doing any of those. It can be easy if you’re an extrovert to just do it. It’s not easy being an introvert. Everything is a struggle and sometimes it feels you don’t belong in this extroverted world. You might feel differently than I do. It really depends what kind of a person you are. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because you’re an introvert. This post is about how I see it. Feel free to disagree.

What I dislike the most about being an introvert is other people pointing it out. I don’t need people saying I’m quiet and withdrawn. I won’t become what they want me to be. I don’t go around pointing out to talkative people for them to be quiet because that would be rude. Just because I don’t easily talk to strangers, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get to know them. It just takes more time. Every time I go to Helsinki Design School my classmates don’t talk to me. They don’t ask me anything. Maybe it’s a Finnish thing. We only meet twice a month but still, they should be interested at least a little. Even it’s a struggle, I still try to talk to them. But it feels forced. I don’t like starting conversations. That’s why I don’t like networking. I get tongue-tied and I want to leave. It feels like people think I’m intellectually disabled because I give short answers if they ask something. Once when I went to business school, this classmates asked me if I had a drivers licence and of course I said no. And that was it. It was a really weird question. I don’t know what their point was. I didn’t talk to them so they tried to make fun of me or something. It’s probably only in my head I thought so. It doesn’t really matter what others think. They don’t know me. They only assuming what I’m like.

People seem to be in a hurry. If you don’t talk straight away, they don’t even bother getting to know you. They expect introverts to act like an extrovert because that’s what gives you success. Sorry, but being an introvert doesn’t work that way. We can’t just switch it off. Instead of competing against each other, we should learn from one another. Labelling doesn’t do anyone good. You would think people would want to get to know new people. But I guess you have to adapt to the extroverted society. It’s always been said you should be yourself and yet you shouldn’t be. So it must be OK if you’re extroverted but if you’re not you should change. No one should try to change you just because someone wants you to. I like to get away from people when I’m around others. Too much noise makes me tired. I don’t want to be something I’m not. Being an introvert shouldn’t be an issue. This planet is for everyone and we should all be in this together.

A journey to the unknown

open road
Made in Canva

A journey doesn’t only mean travelling to another city or country. It can also mean a journey to a new life situation or in my case, learning a new skill. It’s not coddiwomple for me because I don’t really know where this road is going. Graphic design is not a new journey for me because I studied it before. But it was such a long time ago so things have changed. I haven’t worked in this industry so this is new to me. I don’t really know how it works. In every school, there are different teachers who have different learning styles. In Helsinki Design School, the people who educate us, have seen the real world in graphic design. Professional teachers don’t have the same experiences as they do.

After learning web design, graphic design seemed to be the next step I wanted to take. One of the reasons was that I wanted to hear professionals opinions about my skills. We have assignments we must do and then the teachers give us feedback on what we have done. At the same time, we learn new things. Last I studied graphic design, photography was my main thing which was the reason why I applied to the school. Things have changed since then and I want different things. I’ve always been praised for my visual skills. That was my strongest suit. Most people in my class haven’t experienced with web design so that’s my advantage. There isn’t much difference between them. The difference is web design is online and graphics in print. I want to concentrate more on the digital side.

Since I’ve had clients before, I’m not totally a rookie in that field. I did it for free so I don’t have experiences with the financial side. I wish I could get paid for doing design but I don’t know if anyone wants to buy my ‘product’ It’s not only about the work. It’s also about marketing which is something I’m not good at. Hiring an outsider to do the work costs money and I don’t have any connections who could do it for free or for a small fee. I don’t think I’ll find any in this school. Finns are not exactly easy with networking. You have to start a conversation to even get any attention but that’s nothing new. Fortunately, there are other ways to network and not just face to face. My classmates all seem to have a lot of experiences and they’re younger than me. The only thing we have in common is wanting to learn graphic design. It’s still early to say what’s gonna happen. It’s quite difficult to get to know people when there’s so many of us and we meet only twice a month.

This journey has just begun and there is a lot to learn. I hope I get better as a designer so I can make a living of it. I already know a lot about creativity. More I see graphic design, more I love it. There’s a lot of good ones out there and I wish I could be as good. When this school is over, I hope this journey will be a coddiwomple because so far my life has gone in different directions without a special goal. I want to combine things I learned in life and get better at it.

 

Some fluffy design

phragmites and cloudy sky
Made with Canva

First day over in Helsinki Design School. Travelling is tiring and a lot of information is filled in my head. This one will be a short one because I could fall asleep any minute. After all, I did wake up at 5 am and tomorrow the same. Actually, I just want to go and sleep in my fluffy bed.

Well, to make the day short, after the information about the school and the introducing ourselves, which went OK even if I was nervous. I absolutely hate that part. I don’t even know if they heard me but I don’t really care. I don’t even know what I said because I wanted out of the situation as soon as possible. I don’t know how many we are but there’s only one guy and the rest of us are girls. Oh, how fun. It’s too soon to tell what kind of people I study with. I don’t even remember their names. A lot of them haven’t done anything in graphic design. A lot of them seem to work in marketing. They’re not very talkative but I guess that’s a Finnish thing. Or they don’t want to talk to me.

We had studying as well. It was about what is good taste and the teacher showed us what is good and what is not. We also got an assignment. It’s making a made-up magazine cover. I’ve done it before so it’s not that hard. Tomorrow we’re having another teacher. She the graphic artist of the year. It’s gonna be about the history of graphic design, the present and the future. So tomorrow is another day in the graphic design world and another assignment. No more head in the clouds after this weekend that’s for sure.