5 ways to survive Freshers’ Week if you're shy
Whether you’re moving to a different city or staying in your hometown, starting university can be one of the most exciting, yet daunting, times of your life. If you’re shy or socially awkward, it can seem even scarier - but it shouldn’t! So, today, I’m going to give you advice on how to step out of your comfort zone and make friends at university.
1. Attend Freshers’ Week taster events
While Freshers is stereotyped as a week of drinking and spending too much money, it’s important to use it as a chance to find out about different societies. Societies are your gateway to making new groups of friends. Even if you decide not to join any, you’ll still end up meeting new people through the society inductions. It can be understandably anxiety-inducing to turn up to an event by yourself, but it’s important to remember that everyone is in the same boat.
2. Plan ahead
If you’re shy, the prospect of the unknown can be terrifying, so make sure you plan what you’ll be doing and have a few key Freshers’ Week events marked in your diary. This will encourage you to not only attend said events (rather than backing out at the last minute) but will also help you get excited about them. By planning and researching events, you’ll allow yourself time to prepare for new situations and they won’t seem as overwhelming. Why not invite people from your halls to events you’re attending? You’ll have the added security of attending with people that you know but still have the option to branch out and mingle with others.
3. Make extra effort with people on your course
Whether you’re attending the course introduction talks or chatting on the course’s group chat that will inevitably be created, this is a good place to start when talking to new people. Hey, you’re going to spend the next three or four years with these people, so you have to start somewhere! Remember that these are the people with whom you’re likely to share the most common ground and interests (after all, you chose the same subject!) so you can use this as a basis to strike up conversations.
4. Try out new activities
University gives you the chance and time to try out new activities that you might not have been able to otherwise. Other than Freshers’ Week taster events, you might see something around the city that you want to try out. Remember, you’re not limited to making friends who are on your course – there are so many circles out there!
5. Be yourself
In situations like these, it’s easy to be caught up in the moment and focus more on fitting in than being yourself. At the end of the day, whether you’re going out to nightclubs every night or exploring what’s on campus, it’s easier to just be you from the onset. Trying out new situations and being yourself is incredibly brave and can be exhausting. If you feel you need it, make sure you carve out some ‘me’ time to allow yourself to recover and adjust to your new lifestyle.
Just remember, many introverted people find that they overcome their shyness when they go to university and come out the other end feeling like a different person. University really is the best place to meet like-minded people and put yourself out there, so just go for it! Remember that there are many people who are feeling the same nerves as you.
What tips do you have for overcoming shyness and putting yourself out there?