Being Type A in Mexico Part 1

By Kathleen Frost

I had never heard the terminology “type A” until my first day of English class Freshman year. It was a “high honors” class, the most demanding English class Freshman could take, and our teacher was explaining to us his grading policy, class expectations, and the essay assignment for the next day of class.

Halfway through his syllabus, he paused and smirked at us from behind our desk. “But I don’t have to go into detail about what happens if you don’t turn in your homework because you’re all so Type A I don’t think you could let yourselves do that.

The class giggled and nodded along with him.

“The kids who take this class are like the type A of the type A!”

I snickered along with everyone else, still clueless about what being Type A meant but i guess it’s pretty Type A of me that I went home that night and googled it’s meaning. Yup, I was and still am very type A.

American culture awards the type A personality. We like and want to be on time, we love being scheduled, making schedules, and following schedules. In my own experience, procrastination is a vortex of destruction and I try as hard as I can to avoid it’s tantalizing ways. I can never be too prepared for a meeting, do too much research for a paper: my thesis can never be tweaked “too much”.

And that’s just how my type A personality comes out in school. I also know, for better of for worse, this kind of personality is rewarded in the workforce, often mistakenly understood as ambition and drive.

But just as a group of procrastinators can demotivate each other from getting work done, a cultural intense about finishing to-do lists and proving every thing has been checked off can can be dangerous.

I’ve recognized this in college so the more I’ve matured and grown in self-awareness, the more I’ve tailored my type A propensities to the appropriate occasions and practiced being flexible rather than anchored to one way of being.

What does all this mean for me as a classic Type A spending my summer in Mexico? Check out Part 2 of the series to find out!{:}