Enneagram Four: College Edition
Learn about the Grace College Experience through the lens of an Enneagram Four: The “Individualist” or “Romantic”
The Enneagram is a fascinating personality typing system that teaches there are nine different personality styles in the world. If you don’t know anything about the enneagram, visit the Enneagram Institute online to learn more. If you are a self-proclaimed “Enneagram-er,” read on!
Fours are known as the “Individualist” or “Romantic.” They are the Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental.
Why do you identify as a four?
I love to experience a variety of emotions very deeply which is characteristic of fours, but also because of the high individuality closely associated with this type.
How has that played into your college experience?
At Grace, there are so many people who have an appreciation for the enneagram, and will actively seek out ways to help them improve their relationships with people of various types. With that being said, I have met a variety of people who’ve made an effort to understand me better and have accepted me in my active pursuit of individualism. Furthermore, the emphasis on community has encouraged me to let down my walls, and connect with others despite my natural preference for solitude. This community has enabled me to be a healthy four, embracing and authentically connecting with those who don’t think like me.
What study tips do you have for your fellow fours?
Don’t be afraid to step outside of what we perceive as traditional studying- the quiet reading during late nights with highlighters and a textbook. If you need to talk over the material, move around and act it out, draw it out, or take frequent dancing breaks- do it! Be patient with yourself, and even if you have to cry a little to get through it, do it. Just take your time.
How are you involved on campus?
Things to Consider While Selecting a College:
There are so many things to consider while choosing a college, but here are a few factors that might be extra important to consider as a four.
- Outlets for Creativity — Does the school you are looking at have clubs and groups that help you foster your creative edge? In the midst of a heavy class load, and friendship management, these types of creative groups will help center you and help you express your emotions.
- Aesthetic / Vibe — Any creative would admit that aesthetic matters. If you don’t feel inspired by the spaces you are occupying, you might find that your creativity is stifled. Find a school with beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring spaces.
Majors that You Might Thrive In:
We aren’t saying that these are the only programs that you would fit in, nor are we suggesting that every enneagram four would be good in these fields. However, given your natural tendencies, you might just have a knack for one of these.
- Worship Arts — This major is great for a four who is musically gifted. A worship arts major enables students to pursue a variety of roles in production, direction, leadership, and technology. Consider it a splash pad to try out the many layers of worship.
- Creative Writing — Fours tend to feel things very deeply and with great force. This is one of the reasons why fours also tend to be amazing writers. A Creative Writing Degree is a great path to turn the things you are naturally good at into a career!
Campus Involvement Opportunities:
Again, these are not cookie-cutter placements, but here are some ways that, as a four, you can develop your creative gifts and exercise your individuality.
- Forensics — Do you enjoy writing out your emotions? Do you enjoy speaking them? Forensics club is a great opportunity to evoke emotions and warrant a response from your listeners.
- Open Mic Night — Do the campuses you’re looking at have these? Do they offer them on a monthly or quarterly basis? This just might be your favorite outlet to share your creative endeavors with your peers.
Grace College alumnus gives advice to college students who identify as a four.
Kamry Williams, 2018 Graduate, Enneagram 4
As a self-preservation four having my own space is extremely important for my emotional and mental health. College can be challenging because finding your “own space” in a shared living community is next to impossible. I found my “cup” so to speak running empty frequently because I didn’t prioritize time to get into a creative space to deal with emotions and thoughts. It took me until my senior year to recognize the value in being intentional with myself. I also wing 3, so I feel the constant battle of trying to entertain/impress/woo people in an extroverted manner. But my four heart desperately needs time and space of my own to be in a healthy mental space.
To any four starting college, I would encourage them to find their outlet in which they can feed their soul, emotions, and heart to maintain healthy boundaries with others and themselves. I found when I was ignoring personal time the most is when my emotions buried me and I was overly reactive to almost every situation.
Ways to Pursue Growth:
Here’s a practical growth step for you during your college experience.
Find a creative outlet. Don’t let yourself become so busy with school and friends that you quit making time to channel your creativity.