Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at

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All the events that have taken place within the last year have slowly but surely turned me into an introvert.

After the passing of my best friend, being around a lot of people drains my energy.

People often call me quiet nowadays and tell me it is difficult to get to know me. I’m not this way on purpose; life just hits people in different ways. I used to be the ultimate people person, but now I only hang out with a select few, and they are people I’ve known my whole life.

I really enjoy solitude. It’s very peaceful and allows me to sit and reflect on things that maybe I don’t get a chance to when there’s a group of people around.

This doesn’t mean that I would prefer to be alone all the time, but I do enjoy a nice amount of alone time.

I still like to spend time with friends and interact with familiar people in social situations. With me being an introvert, after a long day of social activity, the only thing that’s on my mind is retreating to a quiet place to think, reflect and recharge.

Things are much more peaceful this way, and it keeps you out of a lot of unnecessary issues. Being an introvert helped me find peace within myself and really get to learn myself on a level I wasn’t familiar with.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at

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