Here’s What You Hated About High School, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

When I started my senior year of high school, I was excited to face a new year of opportunities. And then, as I sat down for my first class, I immediately remembered: I don’t love high school. Nobody really loves high school.

Yes, we meet great people and gain experiences and privileges we never had before. And prom is fun. But there’s just something about high school that gets on each teenager’s nerves.

Find out what each of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types hates in high school. #MBTI #Personality #INFJ #INFP

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Discover what the 16 personality types are like in high school. #MBTI #Personality

Here’s What You Hated About High School, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

The ENTJ: Unmotivated peers

Unlike other teenagers, ENTJs tend to go into high school knowing exactly what they want to achieve. Whether they’re researching clubs, looking for leadership positions, or starting a side-hustle tutoring other students, these are the students with a plan. Pretty soon, they’ve moved past the “obscure freshman” status and have become powerhouses on campus.

However, this ambition can be lonely and even frustrating when the ENTJ teenager can’t find anybody to match it. Being the only ambitious person in their vicinity, or the only student who regularly raises their hand in class can discourage their initial drive.

To improve your high school experience: Apply to summer study programs or internships outside of school. Colleges such as Harvard and Columbia host high school study programs where teenagers can study subjects from medicine to law, with others as driven as them. These programs are a good way to meet people who will encourage you.

Find Out More About ENTJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ENTJ

The INTJ: The rigid nature of classes

INTJs care about good grades, but they crave something deeper and more intellectually fulfilling than regurgitating facts or pleasing a teacher. First and foremost in any academic pursuit they choose is the ability to truly explore a topic. They love to analyze things on their own, forming their own opinions on controversial ideas.

This is why most high schools’ rigid class structure can feel stifling to INTJ teenagers. Between cramming for the test and learning through years-old lectures, there’s almost never any room for real intellectual exploration.

To improve your high school experience: Find ways to learn outside of class. You could read earth science magazines to verify that what you learned in your AP Enviro class was true. And by keeping up with world affairs and national news, you can connect history class to something relevant

Find Out More About INTJs: The 10 Best Careers for INTJs

The ENTP: Being told what to think

Let’s be honest: even though they are often promoted as such, high school classrooms are not the place for open debate. Even during class discussions, when students are asked to share their opinions, the goal is to get everybody thinking the same way. The symbolism in books have established meanings, and any other interpretation will make you fail the test.

Almost nothing makes ENTPs feel more trapped than being forced into a school of thought, or having their opinions mean nothing compared to the points in a syllabus. Because of school’s one-size-fits-all approach to the material, intelligent ENTP students check out of classes.

To improve your high school experience: To both air your opinions and gain a great extracurricular, find a medium that is exclusively yours. Start a school podcast or get your own column in the school newspaper.

Discover More About ENTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ENTP

The INTP: Being made to feel like a slacker

Thoughtful and logical, INTP teenagers are natural learners who love to figure things out. The subjects in school are often easy for them to absorb, and when they apply themselves, they are among the top students in their classes.

However, INTPs don’t always apply themselves in their classes – because they care less about what a teacher thinks and more about competing with themselves. And often, their interests lie in dozens of subjects: not just what they are being prescribed in class. Unlike their judging counterparts, it’s more important that they chase pursuits that make them feel satisfied, rather than working hard for an institution they’re not sure they believe in.

INTPs’ choice in where they direct their attention often causes outsiders, such as parents and teachers, to view them as slackers – a judgment that usually isn’t true.

To improve your high school experience: To combat low motivation toward school work, use the five-minute plan. Usually, we’re reluctant to begin working because we anticipate that the work will be harder than it actually is. By telling yourself, “I will work for just five minutes at a time”, you give yourself room to start. Then, as your brain realizes that there’s nothing to be afraid of, you will usually end up working for longer than that.

Find Out More About INTPs: The 10 Best Careers for INTPs

The ENFJ: Constant burnout

If there’s one part of ENFJs that serves as both a strength and a weakness, it’s their tendency to be people-pleasers. Eager to experience the opportunities life has to offer, and averse to disappointing others, ENFJ high schoolers make commitments that put a strain on their schedules and themselves.

They’ll volunteer to run the bake sale if nobody else in the club comes forward. They’ll sign up for every possible honor society and AP course, because they’re usually high achievers. And they will have a hard time backing out of plans with friends because they don’t want to miss out on the high school experience.

But while ENFJ high schoolers delight in their busy schedules and flourishing friend groups, it can all add up to be too much. Teenagers need sleep and time to relax, which can be difficult with a packed schedule.

To improve your high school experience: Say “no” to one thing a day. It could be the pull you feel to spend an extra hour color coding your notes instead of sleeping. It can look like ghosting the Signup Genius for the volunteer day and spending the afternoon watching a movie. I know it can be difficult, but you have to take care of yourself, too.

Find Out More About ENFJs: 10 Must-Read Books for ENFJs

The INFP: Feeling surrounded by inauthentic people

To INFPs, being true to yourself and your values is the most important thing. While they desire the approval of others, they won’t sacrifice who they are to do so. This desire for self-expression, coupled with their creativity, results in INFP teenagers pursuing avenues such as art, music and writing.

However, their unconventional hobbies and idealistic nature can leave INFPs feeling isolated in a campus full of people they subconsciously view as shallow. High school can be a breeding ground for inauthenticity, with its encouragement of herd bullying and mindless trend-following. INFP teenagers can feel disillusioned by the perceived cruelty and shallowness of their peers, and lean out of participating in school or group events.

To improve your high school experience: Realize that it’s okay to participate in trends. As long as you don’t cross any moral lines, give popular artists and clothing a chance – you may be robbing yourself of good experiences by passing on trends. Also, participate in pep rallies and go to dances. You’ll wish you did when you graduate.

Find Out More About INFPs: How to Communicate Effectively with INFP

The ENFP: Having to cram facts

ENFPs are the students either in the very back or the very front of the class, with their phones in their laps and their legs doing a little dance on the floor under their desks. The teacher is lecturing, but it’s near the end of class, the ENFPs’ notebooks are already crammed with notes they know they won’t be able to memorize, and they just want to be done.

Everybody hates having to memorize dates and facts for class, but for ENFPs, this hatred runs deep. ENFPs, especially as teenagers, would rather explore creative ways to apply learning to their lives than regurgitate facts for a test. They grasp topics as they interest them, so sitting down to repeat obscure facts until they stick is hopelessly unappealing.

To improve your high school experience: Unfortunately, memorization is just a part of the school system that we all have to endure. To make it tolerable, reward yourself after you finish memorizing. After you have a certain number of terms down, let yourself watch YouTube for thirty minutes, or call a friend to talk in between study sessions.

Find Out More About ENFPs: How to Communicate Effectively with an ENFP

The INFJ: The overstimulating environment

To any introvert, and to INFJs in general, a high school environment is a little much. You’re surrounded by hundreds – or even thousands – of other students, yelling at each other from down the halls and brushing past you to get to class. The bright, unrelenting fluorescent lights make it impossible to relax, and there are thousands of little factors vying for your attention.

INFJs prefer environments that are more relaxed. Because of their gentle, introspective nature, they would rather be given quiet and intimate places to learn. They’ll pay attention in class and get the work done, but school’s hectic atmosphere makes for plenty of dread every day.

To improve your high school experience: If you can, spend your breaks and lunch periods in the library. This doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from other people – in fact, you should bring some friends with you – but you need your quiet time. By ducking into the library, or any classroom in which you feel safe, for a few minutes each day, you give yourself the stamina to tackle high school.

Find Out More About INFJs: The Top 10 Best Careers for INFJs

The ISFP: Being pressured into decisions

It’s indisputable that the modern school system puts far more expectations on students today than ever before. Students from ages 14-18 are expected to figure out their life goals, pick out a college and major, and maintain their grades all throughout the process.

To ISFPs in high school, the pressure to make these decisions feels even bigger. Individualist experiencers of the world, they want to dip their toes in many things – and they’ll do it through sports, drama class, clubs or jobs. However, society demands that they make decisions pertaining to their futures as soon as possible. This can feel overwhelming to ISFPs who learn as they go rather than map out their entire future while under constant pressure to perform.

To improve your experience: You are a natural explorer – so see your college search as an exploration. Instead of listening to people’s insistence that you attend a college based on its prestige, look for ones that have good programs for your interests, and interesting classes. There are so many bastions of education that are full of intelligent, curious people like you.

Find Out More About ISFPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISFP

The ESFP: Having to sit through long class periods

Any high schooler knows that to sit through an entire period of class is a trial and tribulation. Your stomach is growling, you’re tired even though you got a full night of sleep, and the lectures get more and more boring (which you didn’t know was even possible) as the class wears on.

ESFP teenagers want enjoyable experiences right now. They find it difficult to pay attention to a lecture that is boring, or sit still in an uncomfortable chair, or wait to have fun later. While ESFPs are well-known in high school and try to find ways to make the process fun, they may struggle in actual classrooms for this reason.

To improve your experience: Sit next to friends who will keep you focused (no, not your friend who makes you burst into laughter just by looking at you funny). Find a table with people who will nudge you awake during class or whisper the notes that you may not have gotten down in time.

The ISTP: Lessons that are too abstract

ISTPs are individuals of action. They learn best in a kinesthetic, hands-on way and enjoy experimenting with tools or objects to make their thoughts and lessons tangible.

Learning formulas in physics seems useless if there are hardly any labs to see how they come into play. Reading about how atoms join together to make molecules is boring if you don’t get to mix real substances in chemistry.

As soon as they get their hands on something, ISTPs will learn the material better than anybody. However, because many teachers don’t utilize hands-on learning, these students tend to feel bored and underwhelmed in class.

To improve your high school experience: If your high school offers them, take career centered classes: classes that teach high-schoolers about jobs from engineering to culinary arts through actual experience. If these are not an option, take an online class to build your skills outside of school.

Find Out More About ISTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISTP

The ESTP: Slogging through tests and assignments.

ESTPs are brilliant. They know how to creatively interact with the world around them to find opportunities and amazing experiences. On top of that, they enjoy figuring out how things work; whether that be a new motorbike or a scientific theory. Their intelligence, combined with their natural charisma, can open doors for them to take harder classes and join exclusive clubs and honor societies. But often they find themselves bored with the sedentary, structured nature of high school life.

While ESTPs are drawn to new opportunities in high school and desire to do well, they hate going through all the motions required to succeed. Namely, assignments and tests. These students have little patience for the tests and homework, the little, boring things needed to achieve their exciting dreams.

To improve your high experience:  You process information better when you’re active. Find ways to study while in motion. You could listen to an audiobook for your required reading while you jog in your neighborhood. You could make origami ninja stars during a lecture so that your hands are busy. Between classes you could arm wrestle, do some jumping jacks, or otherwise get some energy out so you’re not bursting at the seams during class.

The ISFJ: Being seen as a goody-two shoes

ISFJ teenagers are the kids all parents wish they had: they’re usually studious and focused on the future, saving their money for college. They often have a steady social circle, but don’t get into trouble with their friends.

However, these types’ good-naturedness can provoke teasing from peers who are testing murkier waters. ISFJ teenagers are too often made to feel like they are “too innocent” or boring for not giving into negative influences.

To improve your experience: Keep being yourself. Look out for yourself and make good choices. Don’t try to be someone you’re not; you’ll regret it later and you’ll shake your head, wondering why you cared what the other teens thought. Making responsible choices gives you an upper-hand at having the life you really want down the road.

Find Out More About ISFJs: 5 Tricks for Succeeding in Your Career as an ISFJ

The ESFJ: Constant social pressure

ESFJ teenagers are the ones who know at least one person from each club and clique. They pride themselves on their ability to make friends with anybody, and delight in the group of true friends they’ve amassed over the years.

However, the number of people who rely on ESFJs to organize get-togethers and mediate relationships can get to be too much. Soon, the ESFJ high schooler finds themself caught between a million different passive-aggressive fights, awkward situations and tentatively formed relationships. The amount of social pressure on them can become overwhelming.

To improve your experience: Be careful about how much you carry from everybody else: You can’t carry everything. Even though you love being there for your friends, you have to give yourself room to breathe by yourself.

Find Out More About ESFJs: A Look at the ESFJ Leader

The ISTJ: Unreliable relationships

ISTJs are not the type to play games, making them a breath of fresh air on high school campuses. When they befriend somebody, it’s because they genuinely like them. And they feel this friendship so deeply that they support their friends no matter what.

But this isn’t always reciprocated. In high school, kids are trying to figure out their friendships and how to relate to other people, creating unnecessary drama and messy situations. ISTJ students can go into relationships knowing what they want, but they have no guarantee that the other person is as committed.

To improve your experience: Accept that high schoolers by nature don’t always make reliable friends – but don’t settle because of that. If you settle for friends who aren’t invested in the relationship, you’ll go through a million groups over your high school years. But if you search for true friends from the get-go, you’ll find them.

Find Out More About ISTJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISTJ

The ESTJ: Dealing with drama

In some ways the most straightforward type, ESTJs see high school as a place to do their work, learn what they need to know, and leave. Rinse and repeat. No time (or patience) for nonsense or drama – they just complicate life.

It’s a shame that this sentiment does not carry over to the rest of the student body. Between the boring nature of classes and repetitiveness of school every day, students need some spice in their lives and unfortunately look for it in the lives of others.

This means gossip and unnecessary conflicts, which seem shallow to the ESTJ. ESTJs feel annoyed when they try to work hard in swim class every day, but members in their team are fighting. If their friends are acting unnecessarily hostile towards each other, ESTJs will tend to back out of the situation.

To improve your experience: Do your best (in appropriate situations) to solve the problem, if your friends are being affected. And then, sit back and let the situation resolve itself. In high school, it usually will.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any insights, experiences, or stories you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type,  The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer.

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  1. INFP. I always resented having to take math and science. Math was especially hard, and I was diagnosed with dyscalculia when I was 38. Don’t know if an earlier diagnosis would have made my life easier, but I might have been able to get some tutoring.

  2. Sorry don’t think this gets near the mark for many students who either struggle in the school system or like I was gifted but emotionally disturbed. It has been written by someone who doesn’t seem to comprehend what actually goes on in the heads of many students. The article has been produced from a theoretical base. Sorry you are right off the mark.

    1. I know this article won’t apply to every single individual because there are so many nuances out there, especially when you’re dealing with emotional distress. That said, Muna, who wrote this, is a high school student herself who has been studying type for many years. She based this on her experiences and interactions in high school with friends as well as surveying other teens.

  3. Loved reading this! As an ENFP though, I absolutely loved memorizing the facts that I found interesting and loved history and learning about world cultures and languages. Math and science=not so much!

  4. ISFP here. I didn’t like making decisions then, and I don’t like making decisions now, 25+ years later haha. In college, I took lots of different classes, both required and extracurricular, and looking back, it was perfect for me. Choir, acting, dance, biology, chemistry, foreign language, psychology, literature, economics, what didn’t I take LOL! Part of the decision-making issue caused me to change my major several times. In the end, I had taken a lot of extra classes that I was able to double-major. So it wasn’t too bad haha

  5. INFP here. I’m in middle school, and I can really relate to the INFP, INFJ, INTP, ENFP, ISFP, and ISFJ struggles. Yes, it sucks. I don’t think I can handle it all.
    Vent: I was always my own weird, awkward, but innocent and happy bubble. But everyone just made me feel so insecure about my identity that I just couldn’t take it. So I took the whole of 7th grade to learn social norms, to try to apply them, and I became this gangster version of myself to gain popularity. It worked wonders for the majority which didn’t like me, and they became much more friendlier, but to my own real ISFJ friends, they became hurt of the way I was acting and mistook it for the real me. I became so hurt and I didn’t know how to explain my emotions to them because the gangster personality had really got into me. In 16personalities, one of the description says that nothing makes INFPs more uncomfortable than pretending to be someone they aren’t. That’s why my life is so messed up right now.

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