It is normal to be shy and timid when you first start college

When you come to college, it is normal to have no friends. I mean, no one knows each other yet and people are either too shy or too scared to put themselves out there and try to meet others.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what you have to do in order to get friends. You have to be friendly. You have to be willing to start conversations with complete strangers or sit next to someone new in your classes. You have to leave your dorm door open and smile and greet people as they walk past. Basically, if you want friends, you have to be a friend.

I know when I first started college, I was shy and timid. I barely left my door open, I would avoid eye contact with everyone and I would choose isolated seats in all my classes. It wasn’t until I realized how lonely I was that I noticed how antisocial I was being.

How could I expect to make friends if I wasn’t being friendly? So slowly but surely I started to open myself up to others. I left the door to my dorm open and smiled at the people who passed. I stopped in other people’s rooms with their dorm doors open and commented on something I liked in their room. Sometimes I would even walk into a room and introduce myself. I began sitting next to people in class and initiating conversations, even if it was just small talk about nothing important.

At first it felt funny, but the more I did it, the more comfortable I became and the more other people started opening up to me as well. The same people whose room I commented on would walk by and comment on mine. The people I sat next to in class began initiating conversations with me as well. Soon I realized that I was starting friendships with these people.

Sure, some of the friendships were just casual ones. Others, however, evolved into stronger relationships that would last for a long time. I am still friends now with some of the strangers I met four years ago. A little bit of friendliness can go a long way.

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