It’s hard to believe that you can have a sense of loneliness on a campus filled with people your age. But this can be your situation if you suffer from shyness.
When you begin college, it’s a time for you to start a new life and begin to deal with personal deficiencies. Shyness is not something you ever overcome, but there are strategies you can use to deal with your shyness.
- When you meet new people, play the “biography game.” Pretend you are writing the person’s biography. Ask lots of questions about their background, interests, and academic goals. When you take this approach, you have developed a coping strategy that makes conversations easy.
- Set a goal of meeting one new person each day. Typically shy persons do well when they have specific things to achieve. When you set a goal of meeting new people, you deal with shyness by focusing on something you can accomplish and measure.
- When you need to meet with someone (e.g. advisor, financial aid counselor, teacher), make a list of what you want to discuss. The check list will make it easier to accomplish what you want in the meeting.
- Enroll in a class that will help you overcome your shyness. Typical classes include public speaking, acting, and any discussion seminar. You might be surprised that you do very well in these classes. Many actors are actually very shy.
- Join an organization where you will get to know other students. When you take on a role in one of these organizations, you are putting yourself in a position where you need to reach out to others.
- Be a friend who listens to others. College is a time when many students struggle. If you become the sympathetic ear for those who are troubled, you help them and you continue to overcome your shyness.
The key thing in all of these is to commit yourself to overcoming your shyness. You’ll be surprised by how you will change in just a short period of time..