Enneagram Five: College Edition
Learn about the Grace College Experience through the lens of an Enneagram Five: The “Investigator” or “Observer”
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!
Fives are known as the “Investigator” or “Observer.” They are the Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated.
Why do you identify as a five?
I have been a healthy, average and unhealthy five, and since I’ve experienced each stage, I know that I am definitely a five. I am always wanting to grow in knowledge, and learn new things, big or small. I’m also very cautious about my surroundings, wherever I may be, and most of the time have a plan to get out of unwanted situations. I am much more of a thinker than a feeler when it comes to making my decisions, and I often take the way that avoids unwanted interactions with people. I am almost always observing, no matter where I am, even if I have been in a place hundreds of times.
How has that played into your college experience?
There are a lot of requirements that make me feel very uncomfortable at Grace. However, I have seen how they have assisted me greatly. My friendships, relationships, and work environments at Grace have helped me grow, even if they’re outside of my comfort zone. Grace has helped me go from the unhealthy side to a very healthy and thriving side of a five.
What study tips do you have for your fellow fives?
Study tips are hard since I am a heavy procrastinator and I get distracted by other topics that are interesting to me; however, one method I have forced myself to use is to sit down and get the homework or studying done early. This gives me time afterward to hang out with friends or do things I want to do and not worry about getting back in order to get the assignment done on time.
How are you involved on campus?
I attend growth groups, go to sporting events, and work at the campus post office. Over the past three years, I have been a Resident Assistant, Growth Group Leader, Teacher’s Assistant, Grace men’s soccer team equipment manager, and Physical Plant employee.
Things to Consider While Selecting a College:
There are so many things to consider while choosing a college, but here is a factor that might be extra important to consider as a five.
Stimulating Scholarship — Beyond the major you choose, be sure that the school is fostering further scholarship opportunities such as opportunities to present research, honors societies, and campus forum discussions (at Grace, our Office of Faith, Learning, and Scholarship is dedicated to this). These avenues for learning will broaden your scope of knowledge and give you more to think on, research, and learn about.
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 five would be good in these fields. However, given your natural tendencies, you might just have a knack for one of these.
- Museum Studies — Can you imagine immersing yourself in new facts every day and getting paid for it? Every step forward was paved by the past. In museum studies, you can utilize your keen observation to investigate history and discern why it matters.
- Chemistry — The chemistry major opens doors to many jobs in laboratories. This work setting is where introverted fives will thrive–enabling them to delve into learning without the distraction of other people.
Campus Involvement Opportunities:
As a five, the temptation will be to not get involved at all. However, there are many ways in college that you can develop your innovative spirit and exercise your hunger for knowledge.
- Work at the Library — Find a campus that hires student workers in the library. This work setting will serve as a playground of endless knowledge for you.
- Academic Competitive Teams — Find some kind of academic club that aligns with the subjects you love to learn about. Use you wide range of knowledge as a competitive advantage!
Grace College alumnus gives advice to college students who identify as a five.
John Sloat, 2009 Graduate, Enneagram 5
- Take classes outside of your major that can stretch your mind.
- Listen to podcasts.
- Talk to others about what you’re learning.
- Be ok with being embarrassed.
- Make friends on and off-campus.
Ways to Pursue Growth:
Here’s a practical growth step for you during your college experience.
Pursue Humility. Ask questions in class–it’s ok to not play the subject matter expert every time. And it’s ok to let other people know that you don’t know everything.