It can be difficult being a shy kid. It can be extra tricky being a shy kid that is just about to enter their first year of college. The most immediate concern, of course, is going to be how to make friends. If you’re not naturally extroverted, this can be a struggle.
Making friends can be quite hard when we’re younger, especially in the adolescent and teen years. But it can be much more comfortable making friends in the college years. Think about it: this particular college drew a specific type of person for a particular reason. The people in our environment are not just an aspect of circumstances and necessity, but also desire and mutual interest. In college, you’re almost guaranteed to find friends to vibe with.
Still, it can be hard to do if you’re shy. Even knowing that there are people, you’ll like might not help you find the courage to approach them. But you can also think of college as a way to reinvent yourself.
Even if you’re naturally shy, you can come out of your shell in an environment you feel safe and accepted in. This is your chance to do things and meet people you never have before! This is your time.
1. Join a club or activity.
This is one of the best ways for you to find an outlet and a community. It’s great to get involved with your school and not just wall yourself into your dorm room. What’s great about joining a club or starting your community or project that you think others would be interested in is that you get to be a part of your school’s community, but you also get to be part of your peers’. Is there a particular social justice topic you’re interested in? A creative endeavor. Most likely, there’s going to be a few people around you who are also interested! Don’t let fear hold you back from these opportunities.
2. Keep in touch with the people you meet.
It can be easy to meet a ton of people all at once and forget about them. In your first year, you’re meeting people all the time, so much so that it can be overwhelming. But try and keep in touch with the people you feel a connection with. For example, when you meet someone you get along with really well, make sure you get their name and contact so that you can stay in touch. You’ll be glad that you did once you become friends.
3. Put yourself out there.
This can go along with starting your project or club, but putting yourself out there in your first year can allow you to gain a lot more confidence in yourself and others. Try something you never have! It can be hard to do, but ultimately so worth it. Plus, don’t you want someone to gripe about your eventual student loans with? (Just ask Elfi about that.)