Say Hello to Ambiversion

Although I hate being labelled as much as the next 90’s kid, there come times when you discover a word and find yourself hugely relieved and validated- as in, “I knew I was not the only one to miss winning ឆ្គិះសត្វ and watching badly-translated cartoons in the morning this much”. *Hint hint*, the label, 90’s kids, anyone?

There is also another label that recently made its way into the cold bottom of my heart and snuggled in close. And that label is ambivert.

For those of you who are not sure, an extrovert is defined as someone who actually get energy (mental and physical) from being around people. They mostly get their inspiration from interacting with things/people outside of themselves.
In contrast, introverts get energy from reflecting. Large social gatherings sap their energy, and they think best when they’re left alone.

But then there are people, like me, who like to spend time alone (very much) but also have no problem getting excited for a huge event. And those people are called ambivert.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s obvious no one can be strictly extroverted or introverted since it’s a continuum. We’re all ambiverts, somewhere in between, to a certain degree.

However, if you, like me, who like parties, but also have down days. Who like to talk to new people, but sometimes would rather binge-watch a show for three days straight. If after several attempts at the 16-personality test, and you still get like 52% extrovert, then you, my friend is quite strictly an ambivert.

Here are some social life hacks I’ve found that suit the ambivert personality and can hopefully give you some ideas:

1. Seasonal fog:
There are times when you just want to get out and party every single day. Then there are times when you want to wrap yourself up in a big blanket and not meet a single soul for a month. That’s what I call seasonal fog. You just have to let go and accept that it’s part of your cycle. The moon has days when it’s full and days when it’s not. You’re also part of nature; it’s only normal to have your own cycle as well. I find it very helpful to just accept and go with the flow. Feeling social? Let’s click “going” to all those Facebook social invitations. Feeling introverted? Time to lost yourself in the glories of shows your friends have been nagging for you to see for months.

2. Social quota:
Apart from the seasonal fog, most of the time, you are both introverted and extroverted in the same freaking day. You might get up, full of energy, ready to socialize. Then 6pm comes, and suddenly the thought of you rotting in your coffin is more tolerable than running into an acquaintance and having to make small talks.
And that is perfectly acceptable. Try to observe your daily social energy pattern and you’ll come up with a quota time soon enough. For me, it’s mostly at 6pm. Schedule dates and meetings when you know your social quota will be full. And put all those writing, and reflecting activities when your social quota is down! Win, win.
3. Gathering with a large group of strangers:
When you are contemplating if you should join a new social gathering with complete strangers, it’s helpful to ask yourself if you’d have a common goal/interest to discuss or not. I bet if it’s just a casual party where everyone is there to get drunk, then you might not find yourself all that comfortable in repeating the same “Hi, how are you?” to ten different strangers. Make sure the group of strangers have a common purpose. Maybe it’s an art gathering, or social politic café. I find myself extremely charged whenever I get to talk to strangers who have the same concern/common interest. Also, if the place has a dog, you’re good to go.
4. Party:
Maybe, I’m being in my comfort zone here, but sometimes it’s great to be comfortable, you know. Parties can sometimes be your best goddamn time, or your worst cringe fest because you will be meeting all these beautiful, interesting or down-right crazy people, and what should you do? For me, I like to make it absolutely sure that I either have a close friend with me, or that more than 30% of the attendants are my acquaintances, or again, that there’s a dog there.

Well, there you go! Small tips that have made it much easier to not judge myself for my crazy social energy spikes and fall. Would appreciate it if you could also give me some of your coping strategies as well!

Prep Yourself for College- Part II: What to Do

Yesterday, I’ve posted the first article of the Prep Yourself for College series by listing what you should have before you start your freshman days (read it here), now onto the second one which is just basically a list of general tips.

Bear in mind that here are what I’ve personally learnt during my college days. Feel free to try them out, or not (it’s up to you; you’re legally an adult now).

  1. Read a lot: yes, read. And no, don’t just read those boring assigned books you’ve done in the past, I mean read! Read odd topics such as the history of war, or pho origin or female prostitute-turn-powerful-pirate, or stars, or whatever.
    Expand your mind! College is a pause for breath before you dive into the workforce, so why not spend this time exploring as many topics as you can? Don’t graduate an uncultured swine (I love you if you get this reference).
    You can get a membership (costs 3 USD in average) in many small libraries. My favorite ones are:
  • Hun Sen Library in Royal University of Phnom Penh (check it out here)
  • Toshu Fukami Library in the University of Cambodia (check it out here)
  • RUPP’s Department of Media and Communication Library (check it out here)If you want to own a book instead, check out these bookstores (they are my heavens):
  • Monument Book (check it out here)
  • D’s Books (check it out here): I actually like hanging out in D’s, just strolling or sitting in its café. Very relaxing music, and quite many books to choose from!
  • Bohr’s Books (check it out here): very different selections from D’s, yet beautiful all the same.If you’re like me, who are quite frustrated at not being able to find a particular book in Cambodia, these free e-book sites are e-heavens for you:
  • (heaven, I tell ya!)
  • (an even bigger heaven)If you do not like the uncomfortable feelings caused by starting at your mobile devices while reading, I sincerely urge you to consider buying yourself a Kindle. Investing a couple of hundred dollars for a life-long path to heaven. I’d say that’s fair enough.
  1. Volunteer: you’ve probably heard of how volunteerism helps you. Yes, it does help your resume. Yes, it does help you make friends, and yes, it does help with experience. But most importantly, volunteer because you genuinely care. There are many (and I mean MANY) aspects of our society that needs improving, and more than ever, youths play an important part in that process. You need experience, and they need a helping hand. Win-win. And please, please do not just go for the sake of appearing to help. Think long and hard before engaging in any volunteer project. Make sure that you are really passionate about the cause before applying because once you are in, you will need to put efforts in driving the cause forward. Please don’t just show up, snap a selfie, and leave. You won’t learn anything, and it actually damages your credit!
  2. Make new friends: it’s very rare for high school friends to stay close in college. I really applaud those who can, but most of the time, people drift away because they are no longer heading to the same direction. College is a place where you can make new friends! You don’t need to immediately make close friends and post pictures with the hashtag #bff; it’s fun to just have acquaintances from all walks of life. Do not expect everyone to want to be close with you. The goal is just to explore and learn. Talk to new people, and learn from them!
  3. Apply for exchange programs: and not just to boast to your friends that you are capable of being selected either. Apply for exchange programs because by doing so, you can open your eyes to the differences and similarities between your country and others. Expand your mind (without fee too, I might add). You can check pages such as WEduShare (here), Youth Development Center (here), Ahladang(here), and Youthop (here) for any exchange and volunteer opportunities that might arise.

I’m sure you can now sense the underlying theme behind all these tips.

It’s to explore! Do not worry about getting your life together yet. Hell, just a few months ago, you needed to ask permission to pee! Now, you’re expected to make life decisions?

College is essentially a playground for you. Develop your own sense of right and wrong, explore, and learn from whatever means you can- people, volunteering, exchange programs or books. The most intelligent of brains can do nothing if it does not have any material to rearrange. Feed your mind!

Remember that you are shaping your life right now. Make sure you have enough food upon which your mind feeds.

Read the third, and final article of the Prep for College series on how to study effectively here!

Complementary article on why should you read literature and the third