I'm starting college in several weeks, and I was wondering if any of you have any tips for me. I'm a pretty shy person and some say I can come across as stand-offish, but really, I just have a hard time talking to people. I'd really like to make lots of friends, and I'm afraid I'll be really lonely. Also, how hard is dating in college? I'd really like to date but I feel like my shyness might get in the way. And how can I meet guys when I don't like going to parties? Are there any guys in college looking for serious relationships or do they all just want to go casual? Any help is appreciated. I'm both excited and really nervous!
Posts: 255 | Registered: Jul 2011
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Hi, Roxie102! I had almost the exact same worries as you did when I first started university. I was really scared and anxious, but also excited. You might notice that as the years go by and you make more friends on- or off-campus (classmates, roommates, random acquaintances at your residence or campus or city) you might find yourself feeling less anxious about school and more excited.
Feeling nervous is completely normal. Your life is changing in a big way, and feeling the way you are is perfectly okay. So many people - as well as myself! - have gone through that! I'm also a shy person like you; but I can honestly say that university life helped me open up a little bit more. I became a bit more open and would say hi or talk to people sitting beside me in class; and due to my residence being smaller and community-oriented, I made new friends and felt like I belonged somewhere.
One thing I want to tell you is that many students - first years and up - feel shy and nervous, like you do. Even in my fifth year, the first day of school made me nervous! What you can do is, before class starts on the first day, find your classes and buildings beforehand; so you can enjoy the sights and focus on new faces (and possible acquaintances!) on your first day. One other thing I noticed is that you can usually sit near or beside anyone in a classroom and can strike up a conversation (one of my trademark starters was "Did you do the readings or homework?"). One of my closest university friendships happened by me sitting with a girl and offering my notes for her to borrow.
Do you have a roommate? Are you living in a residence on-campus? Usually, colleges and universities have some kind of orientation week where the students play games and get adjusted to college life. Many students find it beneficial. If you're shy, don't beat yourself up if it takes a while for you to get used to everything and meeting new people. Everyone wants to feel accepted and to make friends, so remember that you're not alone! Do you know what you'd like to study? You could always sit with a student or two and talk about the class topic with them (like Psychology or whatever class you're in), and go from there. I don't like parties either, but you can easily meet people on-campus, in class, and in on-campus coffee shops and stuff. I'm sure you will make new friends! Be yourself! If you ask someone how they are and how they're liking school, that can always help you both in maintaining a good discussion!
As far as dating goes, in my own opinion, there are people at college who want either serious dating relationships or just casual relationships. I've seen both happen at my university. I didn't date a whole lot, but I had friends in serious relationships, short-term dating relationships, and casual relationships. It depends on to whom you're attracted, but you'll probably find a good mix of people who would want what you're looking for!
If you're in a residence, one other thing you could do is walk up to people who are sitting at a table eating or watching tv and join in. In my own experience, university is so much more accepting than high school: I could sit at a random table and suddenly get people being nice to me, and friendships could form (two friendships happened that way); so don't be afraid to just sit with people. I know that sounds really nuts - and I sometimes can't always do this if I'm feeling in a shy mood - but try it when you're ready, and see what happens!
I'm not one for clubs and stuff, but colleges have a TON of clubs (college-sponsored or not); and you could always join a club regarding something you enjoy, go at your own leisure, and meet some people there. Your college might have some club fairs going on during the start of term.
I really hope you feel better, and that your first term goes well! Congratulations on this new step in your life! I'm sure you'll be fine!
-------------------- "I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can) Posts: 692 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2012
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Thanks for the tips. My university is smaller too, so I hope it makes things a little easier. I'm living on campus, but I have a single room. I'm kind of worried about being stuck lonely in my room but I've already met a few people on my hall through Facebook and they seem friendly. I guess I keep comparing it to high school and in high school I didn't have many friends and it was of course really cliquey, but it's nice to hear that college isn't like that! We do have orientation week so I hope that will help too. I've heard good things about it. I just don't want to immediately scare people away; in the past people have said I look mean and stuck up, but I'm really not...just shy! I'll try to remember to smile and say hi a lot. I know it'll get better even if the first few months are hard. I'm also going to try joining a club or two so I know that will help.
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