Author: Rick Dunetz
August 13, 2015
I’ve always been a shy person who resisted the process of trying new things and changing up my routines. When you go to college, it’s an entirely new experience where you are completely out of your comfort zone, and I had to get better at it quickly.
Getting through those feelings of shyness is all about willpower. I don’t know many people who are naturally confident. We have all had to work at dealing with being shy and nervous. In high school, I always had friends who went through new experiences right alongside me, but at college there wasn’t anyone I was as close to yet. Joining clubs or events can be a little intimidating to you now, but here are a few things to keep in mind when you are leaving your comfort zone and trying new things at college.
This always helped me, whether it was getting familiar with the schools I was considering attending, taking a new class or joining a club. Talk to others about what they thought of it. It doesn’t hurt to know what is going to be expected of you in an unfamiliar situation.
Other people can’t tell how you feel or how shy you are. Acting like you’re not shy is a great way to become less shy. “Fake it ’til you make it” is an actual method of building self-confidence and dealing with shyness. So stand up straight and project an image of confidence (good posture can even fool your brain into thinking you are more confident!) even when you don’t feel like it on the inside.
The worst that can happen is that you don’t enjoy the new thing you’re trying or you’re worried about embarrassing yourself. You have to keep a more optimistic and realistic view that the world is pretty boring and NOT a sitcom where the most embarrassing possible thing always happens! The most likely negative outcome to going to that club interest meeting or joining that intramural team is that you might not like it. Sometimes when you try things, they’re just not for you and that’s okay!
Start out by sticking with things you’re already interested in so its not completely unfamiliar territory. You probably shouldn’t start leaving your comfort zone by getting on a plane to another country by yourself!
Even if everything doesn’t work out, you are going to feel good about trying something new and it will make the next time a little easier.
Keep these in mind and you’ll do great! Since I’ve gone to college and used these tips, I’m not only being less shy but I have also noticed that I’m more willing to try new things overall. And one more little tip, a lot of the time you are not the only one feeling nervous and shy when leaving your comfort zone, so encourage others too!
Do you have any other tips to share? Comment below!