Uni coaxed me out of my shell, and I’m better for it

If you’re shy, uni can seem daunting. I know it did for me. It’s easy to feel as if you’re never going to make any friends, and that you’re destined for a life of loneliness due to your inability to look anyone in the eye. But it never works out like that. Here’s why, if you’re shy, going to uni is the best thing you can do to get coaxed out of your shell.

To be honest, everyone’s in the same boat

It seems obvious, but it’s true. And there are more shy people out there than you realise. It’s easy to think you’re the only person who’s finding it uncomfortable and hard to make conversation, but you’re certainly not alone. Everyone’s likely got first-day jitters to some degree, so it’s nothing to be worried about. Allow yourself to be nervous – don’t be ashamed of it. You’re likely living away from home for the first time in a city where you probably don’t know many people. You’d have to be exceptionally confident and brave not to feel at least a tiny bit nervous.

You’re forced into contact with people

While this may sound scary, it means you don’t have to go out of your way to meet people. You’ll constantly be thrown together with coursemates, flatmates, and other people from your accommodation, al this interaction helps to get out of your shell. You won’t have to try to meet people actively – it just sort of happens. While the opportunity is always there to organise something yourself, if that’s not your style, you’re still bound to meet loads of new people and this can help you if you have social anxiety.

Everyone’s friendly

You’ll probably scoff at this and think, ‘Well, no they’re not,’ but they are. Everyone’s in the same position – as I said before – and naturally, no one wants to come across as rude and mean. Everyone I came into contact with (more or less) was super nice and chatty, so it was a relief not to have to make a huge effort with anyone – but I even felt at ease starting and maintaining conversations with people as everyone was so chilled. Anyone who’s rude or standoffish is probably a weirdo anyway, so don’t mind them.

More independence

Even doing things like going to the shops on your own or going for walks can help build confidence – and you’re going to need to leave the flat on your own at some point. Uni doesn’t coax you out of your shell inasmuch as it drags you out – but sometimes, that’s just what you need. With a more independent lifestyle comes more scope for interacting with others as opposed to getting your Mum to do it, and though it can seem daunting, it’ll likely be just what you need for that extra boost of confidence.

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