The MBTI® INFJ and College

INFJ personality types (Introverted-Intuititive-Feeling-Judging) tend to be reserved and imaginative individuals. They are normally well-prepared when managing any situation and often bring a sense of originality to their academic work and eventually to their chosen occupation. Commonly, INFJs submissions for assignments will have some type of artistic, poetic, or creative spin to it. They also tend to be very optimistic individuals who have a profound devotion to their internal conceptualization of overall human potential. Their often dominant function is intellectual clarity, and they tend to be one of the most intellectually independent of all the MBTI® personality types. Because of this, INFJs often prefer to have a theory to explain everything, with an inclination for innovative solutions over established instruction. This personality type often perceives situations from an unusual stance. INFJs have been known to come across as assertive, spirited, and conscientious. These innate personality mannerisms may convey an appearance to some that INFJ personality types may be inflexible in their judgments. Conversely, others may view them as charismatic visionaries. However, considering most students who have a preference for their Introversion function tend to focus on their own inner world, paying attention to their thoughts, feelings, and impressions, INFJs can be perceived as quiet and reserved as well. Individuals with this personality type are often energized by and direct their energy toward their inner experience. Roommates may find them to be composed, stable friends who have unique interests and who will always follow through on their commitments. It is common for most INFJs to prefer to have all of their coursework to be completed before they can allow themselves time to relax.

Learning Styles and Being Studious

INFJ Personality Types

Learn about INFJ Personality Types and how they function in College settings. Including an INFJs major choice, how they handle stress and learning tactics.

Studying for Intuitive types often is the process of theory comprehension. INFJs typically prefer a quiet environment for study and concentration. They often prefer to study individually, and being assigned group projects may be a cause of stress for them. They tend to employ above-average time management skills and are often innately organized individuals, which coincidently may lead an INFJ down a path of academic success. Their Intuitive function preference may place an INFJ to enjoy focalizing on theory-related assignments and an innate ability to find an underlying meaning within their studies. This personality type also tends to be self-reliant and often has no trouble providing an opposing viewpoint to their professors or authority figures. INFJs often learn best by studying under professors who inspire them with a conviction for education. This personality type has been found to be most comfortable when they have the ability to apply their Intuitive function in an array of tasks, yet also in a clearly structured and organized setting. INFJs commonly show a preference for environments that encourage individual initiative and display objective achievement for their efforts. INFJs generally learn most beneficially by taking brief hesitations to envision possibilities and to reflect on their findings.  They are also known for being more proficient learners by being validated and appreciated. Most INFJs plan their assigned work well in advance and work steadily toward their goals, always driving toward closure.

This personality type has stated to prefer faculty who give discernable lectures. They commonly will want professors who advocate for education that is free from discrimination. INFJs also tend to prefer faculty members who develop a mutually understanding, personal relationship with their students. However, they have been known to like formal instructions as well. INFJs value dependability and may find it stressful if they have professors who frequently have substitutes. Most will also prefer their professor to be highly organized with an efficient, systematic method to their instruction.

Reading and Writing

INFJs tend to be driven toward occupations that have an elevated quantity of required reading, therefore, it is common for them to state having little time for non-required reading. However, this personality type has been known to place a high value on written material and may read additional information which relates to their assigned reading. INFJs have been known to read between the lines. These Intuitive referenced students typically become aware of the definition and relationships that go beyond the information that is presented. It is common for them to grasp the big picture and try to focus on the essential patterns leading up to it. Additionally, INFJs have been known to want to relate to their material personally and, if possible, intertwine their personal values with what they are learning.

When writing, an INFJs inner creativity is often expressed and their best writing is executed when they are given the freedom to unreservedly express their strong convictions. Intuitive Personality Type individuals tend to do better on essay questions, especially when given the opportunity to discuss abstract concepts and draw out implications. However, it is common for INFJs to get so far away when writing their answer that they may forget the question. It can be helpful for individuals with this personality type to learn to support their conclusions with facts. Also, when writing final drafts, it can be helpful for INFJs to make revisions by fitting their original ideas to better match the instructors’ requirements.

The typical writing approach which INFJs have reported to assist with combating writer’s block are to:

Write from ideas                                                                          Communicate personal viewpoint

Jot down ideas before writing                                                   Enliven content with human examples

Pause to think ahead while writing                                          Anticipate reader’s reaction

Find quiet to concentrate without interruption                    Writing guided by sense of flow and overall tone

Discuss concepts and implications                                           Narrow options, decide topic quickly

Try out new approaches                                                              Follow a set schedule to completion

Attend to interesting complexities                                           Work on one project at a time

Say it with a flourish and with subtlety                                   Work from present materials

*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.8)

College Direction and Major Choice

INFJs typically do not rush decisions when selecting a college major. They have been found to complete extensive research on their future options. Even though they are very careful when choosing a major to pursue, they also often trust an intrinsic view to assist their decision-making. They commonly seek majors that will lead to an occupation where they have the ability to discreetly aid in the personal development of individuals and communities. Due to their Intuitive Function preference, INFJs tend to focus on possibilities for the future. They also tend to like to decide things by considering what is most important to them or to others who are close to them. Typically, INFJs base their decisions on instinctive, people-oriented ideals. This personality type also tends to like to have matters concluded, often making decisions and then moving on to the next task. It is common for this personality type to pursue expeditive observations yet also research and reflect before reaching a final decision. INFJs may consult books and other resources on majors and careers while gathering and carefully considering information. This may be due to the commonality of this personality type to tend to stick with their decision once it’s made.

Taking a college major assessment can greatly help an INFJ by providing them with more data for their college major research. You can find INFJs frequently in fields such as:

  • Counseling/Human Services
  • Art and Music
  • Writing/Journalism
  • Behavioral Science
  • Education

Other careers which have been known to be prevalent among INFJs are Ministry and Research.

Stress Management

One of the major stress generators for INFJs is due to the usually created, extremely high expectations that they set for themselves. They may also stress when they see that others may not be as invested in their ideals as them. INFJs may also sometimes have definite expectations of others that they fail to express. This lack of proper communication can lead to extra stressors. Introverted Intuitive types have been found to experience stress in work environments that are disorganized, where their job description is too broad, and where the concentration of their day is consistently redirected to different tasks. INFJs experience stress associated with balancing their work and home lives due to their loyalty to their loved ones and to their team members. “Some common stressors for INFJs are working under ignorant, irrational, or illogical people, working in a noisy environment, being asked to violate standards and principles or to tolerate deceit, and the lack of follow-through or poor performance by co-workers.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) Some INFJs state that working with large groups of people can be draining to them. When dealing with stressors for an extended period of time, INFJs may become angry, and overreact to relatively minor problems or casual remarks from peers. They may become critical of others and experience personal physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.  They have also been known to overindulge in eating, drinking, exercising, cleaning, or organizing.

Some ways INFJs have said to aid in stress reduction are to withdraw from others and spend quiet time to themselves in order to re-energize. Others have said to find that taking a walk or going for a jog to be a helpful stress reduction remedy. Other INFJs have mentioned focusing on their hobbies or on recreational activities. It can be helpful for INFJs to schedule their downtime and be sure to make relaxation a habit. “It is common for this personality type to rely on positive thoughts, an optimistic outlook, or value system to understand and cope with stress.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) One way that INFJs can avoid stress before it begins is to remember to make their expectations clear to others. They can also learn to set realistic goals for themselves. During their time in a college environment, it can be helpful for INFJs to learn to compromise some of their ideals in order to meet professors’ expectations.

Learn More About the MBTI INFJ Personality Type

Explore additional information that delves deeper into the INFJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career-based subjects:

Click on the link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types


All College-based information was taken from the following publication: (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)

In the Grip. Understanding Type, Stress, and The Inferior Function (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP)