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What if you are shy? How do you get involved at college?

I don't really enjoy being in groups. Worried about finding a way to meet other at college. #confidence #college #getting-involved #college-advice #professional-development

Victoria, many people are shy so you aren't alone. College can be scary - so many people who appear to be confident and outgoing. Most people aren't that confident :) First, what do you really like? There will be so many different types of clubs to join - I'd recommend you do that. In clubs, you'll go to meetings and hopefully do some service projects. Whatever you decide to major in, you'll find groups of people who have the same goals. Find out what they are doing and it might be something you'll like too. In college, I joined a sorority. That might be a choice - I'm happy I did. If you get a job on campus, that's another great way to meet people. I did that too. Once you get there, you'll see all of the opportunities and find one that fits you! Good luck, Stephanie Stephanie Hamilton

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Victoria,

I think overcoming an aversion to interact with people you don't know comes down to practicing. Have the discipline to push yourself outside of your comfort zone each day. Challenge yourself to start a conversation with a stranger each day. It doesn't have to be anything ground breaking - make small talk with the person next to you in line for coffee or checking out a book in the library. Smile at a stranger you pass walking to class. Strive to make small, incremental changes each day, and I think you will surprise yourself at how much easier interacting with people you don't know gets.

You will get out of your college experience what you put into it. Staying in your room all of the time is not a recipe for success. Many of your peers feel the same way you do right now. A great way to meet new people is to find and join organizations you are interested in. Get involved, meet new people, make mistakes! You will feel uncomfortable at first and the first months may be very difficult but I promise you that the juice will be worth the squeeze in the end.

I hope this helps - don't hesitate to reach out. Good luck!

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Patricia’s Answer

Victoria, I agree with Stephanie. College is often scary at first, then you meet friends that will be there for life. Like she said find clubs to join which you think would be interesting. If you are a reader, online or books join a group discussion. Also, a campus job or coffee shop job will help you to meet people and build your confidence up along the way. All the best!

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Jillian’s Answer

If you are more introverted, I think the best way to approach getting involved in college is by starting small. Start with dorming with a roommate. If your college has interest specific floors/dorms, think about choosing that so you're surrounded by others who have something in common with you. From there, think about joining a club/group/sport that you're interested in. It's always easier meeting others when you have something to bond over. From my experience, a lot of campus organizations are always open to new members. Once you create a connection with one person, it'll get easier making connections with more people. You've got this!

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Alan’s Answer

Hi Victoria,

As an introvert myself, I have had the same struggles my whole life. Some tips and tricks I picked up along the way that may help:

1. Find topics you're passionate about, learn about them, and join relevant interest groups. For me, it was volunteering. The passion on the topic, from my experience, will help alleviate the shyness

2. Set realistic and small steps goals. I still struggle to want to talk to people during a networking events. I set a goal for myself to talk to at least 1 person. It is not too ambitious and it often gets me in a groove to talk to more.

Good luck! Hope this helps!