College is one of the most opportune times for people to learn as much about themselves as they can before entering into the “real world.” Often this is brought about through new experiences, ever-changing relationships and intense story-telling. But college also offers opportunities to discover more about our base personalities and the capabilities that we have through them.
I have observed that a persistent factor in many Southern Nazarene University (SNU) students’ conversations this semester and last is the Enneagram personality type test. According to the Enneagram Institute, there are nine basic personality types that are interconnected to form our personalities at different points in our lives.
The hope is that, by taking this personality test and learning about the different types, people can have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses that allow them to perform at a healthy level for their individual personality type.
SNU’s Renew will be holding an Enneagram event, during which the Well will facilitate a discussion about the nine personality types with an Enneagram expert so that students can expand their knowledge about themselves.
SNU student, Claire Tillis, who is skeptical of personality tests, thinks that the Enneagram tries to measure the extremes of personalities. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to measure which extreme works better for me because sometimes I feel like I fall into both categories,” said Tillis.
She recognizes that the Enneagram does allow wiggle room for diversity because the wings communicate that “we can’t narrow people down to one number, but I wouldn’t say it is any more effective than Myers Briggs.”
Tillis is a Type Three, the Achiever. The Three is known for being “adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.”
The Enneagram personality test provides information about base personalities that encourages growth and healthy interactions between the different types of personalities. It gives moldable advice about how to cope with our internal and external battles with ourselves and others.
Last year, OKC First College and Community Group pastor, Brit Bolerjack, did a series in which she discussed each of the nine personality types with students. “I saw so many lightbulbs come on. Students said things like ‘Oh, that’s why I do that,’ and ‘I understand you so much better,’” said Bolerjack.
The Enneagram personality test, then, becomes less about simply oneself, and becomes more about a collective “ourselves.” Learning about the personality types can give students the tools to have more empathy for their peers and how they carry themselves. But, with understanding types should come caution. Bolerjack warns students: “Don’t limit people to their number description and don’t put people in a box. Most importantly, it’s so important not to have any bias or prejudice toward and number.”
Bolerjack is a Type Nine, referred to as the Peacemaker. Her type is known to be “receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent.”
The Enneagram Event will be held on February 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Heritage Room. Students can look forward to snacks and great conversation. Those who are interested in attending the Enneagram Event can sign up here.