Hi There! I’m Flora, a 21-year-old Scottish girl who studies in the beautiful city of Dundee! Below is a blog post all about overcoming shyness as a student.
Being shy in nature is far from easy. People can often preserve this as being rude, cold and just down-right boring.
If you are a shy person then you’ve no doubt gone through the very difficult experience of high school which is without a doubt one of the worst places to be shy. Being shy already has enough obstacles without having the added pressure of always feeling like you need to have a massive friend group, to go to lots of parties and to always be seen and heard.
When you’re in high school being shy isn’t cool. If you’re not in a friend group with 20+ people and always going to parties every weekend you’re seen as being an outcast.
It can often feel as though being loud is the only way to ensure that you get anywhere in life and that if you’re shy you’re doomed to be miserable and forever be “the quiet one.”
If you are a shy person and just so happen to be going away from university for the first time you’re probably filled to the brim with anxiety and probably have a million questions going through your head.
“How am I going to make friends when I’m so quiet?”
“Will people get irritated with me for being so shy?”
“Will I have to go to lots of parties?”
It’s also likely that people have told you that you need to come out of your shell and throw yourself into the deep end if you want to make friends at university.
And to be honest I guess they are kind of right. University is throwing yourself into the deep end in all aspects which can often mean going out of your comfort zone.
However, that doesn’t mean that being shy is necessarily a bad thing. You can still be shy and have a great group of friends and have a great experience at university. It’s just all about not letting any anxiety stop you from having any experiences that you’re going to remember forever.
I’m still a very shy person and can still get very anxious from time to time but I’m now at a point where I’m a lot more outgoing and open to different experiences which I feel has really shaped how I’ve grown as a person and my overall experience as a student.
If you’re going away to college or university for the first time and are worried about how you’re going to overcome some of your shyness than here are some of my top tips:
- Remember that everyone else feels exactly the same way as you do. Yes, even the most super confident people in the world will be feeling incredibly nervous and anxious about what their first year away from home will bring. So, if you’re ever at a party and can feel your stomach doing about a million somersaults while you all gather round for a game of beer pong you should take comfort that the feeling among the most people in the room is mutual and that they’re just probably hiding it a bit better.
- Fake it till you make it: Like I said in my previous point, most people who are in their first year at university will be feeling just as nervous as you are but just cover it up a bit better. Faking confidence is probably one of the best ways to overcome shyness. If you act incredibly confident then other people will start to feel more at ease around you and start to open up as well. And when I say act confident I don’t necessarily mean that you have done lots of crazy dance moves and sing lots of cheesy hits at the top of your lungs (though of course there’s nothing wrong with that) it can be as simple as being chatty and smiley and asking people lots of questions about their life. If you continue to fake confidence than soon enough without you even noticing the confidence will become legitimate.
- Go to lots of events: During freshers week there’s bound to be lots of events that you’ll have the opportunity to go to. While this can seem daunting at first it’s definitely worth giving it a try. Even if you end up not enjoying them you can be left with the comfort that you made an attempt to go and make some new friends. And there’s bound to be a few things that you attend that you end up enjoying. Going to events will give you a good chance to mingle and find lots of people that you have stuff in common with. So even if it’s a just get to together at someone else’s flat I’d still strongly advise going because who knows who you’ll meet while you’re there. You could meet your future spouse or a future bridesmaid/best man. The possibilities are endless!
- Talk to people in your course: It’s likely that you’ll make a majority of your friends with people who are studying the same course as you so get talking to them pronto! Even if you’re waiting outside to go into a lecture it could be wise to strike up a conversation with them. And if you’re not bonding over how much you’re loving a topic you’ll be bonding over how much you hate it! (yay!!) And what’s even better about this is that you can all get together to discuss the content that you’ve been learning about for exams! And yes, sometimes your study sessions will consist of anything but studying but hey, at least you got to have a super chill half hour with your new b.f.f’s right??
- Be the negotiator sometimes: This is sort of related to my second point. I’m sure that when you go away to university that you’ll be super duper popular and get invited the coolest of events but it’s important that you don’t just wait to get invited to things and that you invite people to things too. Even if it’s just a trip to Tesco’s it might be worth asking your flatmates if they’d like to tag along with you. I mean who knows? You might even end up becoming super close because of your shared pain of having to buy Tesco’s own chocolate spread instead of Nutella. You could even be helping someone out a ton without even knowing it. If you are shy than I’m sure that you’re incredibly appreciative to people who try to get you involved and make sure you don’t get left out so one of your goals as a student should be to try and make everyone feel although they’re involved. So, if you’re going out with some of your friends and you notice that one of your flatmates never seems to leave the flat much you should ask them to come. Even if they say no you can be left with the reassurance that you made the offer. And if you invite people to things, you’ll get invited to things in return and meet even more people that you can add to your super long friend list!
And that’s just about the all advise that I can think of. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading this and wish you all the best of luck in kicking your shyness in the butt and having a super amazing first year of university or college.