The college years are often thought of as the most exciting times of a young person’s life-and that’s for more than just the education. It’s the time we’re supposed to “find ourselves”, have fun, and learn how to communicate with our peers.
For the person with social anxiety, the thought of entering such an intense social environment can be nauseating and frightening to say the least.
There is a way, however, for you to begin your college career successfully. Here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Social Anxiety in College, Tip #1 – You’re just as new as everyone else.
As you walk into your freshman orientation among a sea of strangers, it’s easy to think that they’re all confident, self-assured people. In reality, they’re in the same position you’re in.
Some are incredibly nervous, and others are looking forward to getting to know other people.
They, like you, are leaving behind high school and entering a new, unpredictable and exciting phase of life.
Whatever anxiety and hesitation you’re feeling, you’re not alone.
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Social Anxiety in College, Tip #2 – People are open to new friendships.
If you’ve been put off by cliques and in-groups in high school, or if your anxiety was too intense to try to penetrate already established social groups, you can put that stuff behind you.
In college, young people expand their minds and grow to appreciate others who come from all walks of life. You might still find “clique-like” groups and tight-knit circles of friends, but you’ll definitely see more and more your schoolmates growing away from that as they become more mature.
Social Anxiety in College, Tip #3 – You have the perfect opportunity to start attacking social anxiety now.
College is a major social milestone in a young person’s life. You have the chance to explore new relationships and friendships without the watchful eyes of parents.
Now is a great time to attack your anxiety and take advantage of the fertile social practice opportunities college has to offer. Your school is virtually guaranteed to have counseling services and support groups. There will be students going through the same issues you are.
You’ll also find clubs built around a wide variety of subjects. If you live in a dormitory, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go to parties and hang out with people.
Make sure you push your boundaries little by little and take things one day at a time. If you commit early in your college career to overcoming social anxiety, you’ll get much more out of the next four years and set yourself up for an exciting future.