Doorstop wonder

Oct. 17, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

What requires the most energy for you? P-sets, working out, going to lecture? The answer is different for everyone, but mine has always been people. Talking with others, being around them, navigating small talk and juggling invitations is as draining for me as it is for my computer to have 10 Chrome tabs simultaneously running.

Don’t get me wrong — I love interacting with dormmates and friends, meeting new people and getting to know them. Nevertheless, as an introvert, these rapports take a lot of effort and call for some recharge time afterwards. Scheduling them can help: If I know there’s a dinner with someone coming up, I’ll be more wary of what I do before. Being careful about how often and how many things are planned also helps. In the past, therefore, I have been a “Google Calendar extrovert,” that is, I enjoyed social interactions as long as they were planned, spaced out and didn’t detract from other priorities.

But this year called for something different: a doorstop. I like spaces that are relatively private yet not closed off, and since the doors in Kimball are heavy, my roommate and I prop ours open. However, it seems that open doors are a rarity in upperclass dorms — and as with any rarity, people can’t help but come a little closer to observe.

Since the beginning of the year, people have been trickling in and out of the room, saying hello, asking for tea or just looking for company to do homework alongside. At first, I did enjoy meeting everyone and getting to know them, but I remember being glad this was a two room double — later in the quarter, when things would start picking up, I thought I would be relieved to have the option of closing the middle door.

And yet, as things progressed, I looked forward to having people walk in. I was eager to ask them how they were doing, how their day was going and truly focus on their answer. It’s not very often that we ask these questions as anything more than small talk. Even when there was work to be done, it was always nice for someone to come in and start talking about an essay, a performance, their plans for the weekend, or to simply get comfortable on the bed and type away.

As an introvert, leaving my door open has been a counterintuitive yet effective way of making time and finding energy for others, as well as interacting with people in a more comfortable environment. So introverts, extroverts and everything in between: Prop your door open, and let people wander in, or walk around and step through open doors. Ask the other how they’re doing and actually listen — you’ll be surprised what you might find.


Contact Axelle Marcantetti at axellem ‘at’

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