Transitioning from a small high school to to a school like Brown University is hard when you’re not super outgoing. I’ll admit, I had an absolute mental breakdown when I got here. My best friends back home had already found friends, whereas I didn’t even have a roommate yet. My last month has been pretty silent, except for the few times I’ve gotten calls from back home. But it’s not all that bad. So for all of you shy, introverted people, here’s how I survived my first month.
1. Find Your Extrovert™
The greatest thing for a shy person is to find someone who talks… a lot. Here’s a tip:: look like a very lost, confused person and hope that someone approaches you first. They’ll introduce themselves and ask about you, and there’s your chance to be brave, and go along with the conversation. They’ll do the talking–you’ll open up naturally from there.
2. Practice rooms
Perhaps the best thing ever invented for a shy musician. Feeling useless and bored cause you have no one to talk to? No problem, just head down to the basement of Steinert and lock yourself in a practice room. Pick up piano, do karaoke on your own, or play any other instrument! That way you can at least say you’ve practiced music in your free time when someone asks.
3. Be a morning person
…aaaand I hear the groans. I sleep late every night, so waking up for my 9 AM is the absolute WORST. But trust me, when you’re the first one to class, the next person to walk in will start a conversation with you. And as for weekends, the mornings are the best: the air feels cooler, the world feels more relaxed, and you end up feeling more energized. Bonus: a cup of English Breakfast tea can add to the aesthetic and help keep you caffeinated!
4. Try something new, I dare you
A dare from an extrovert is always somewhat insulting. My friends have dared me to “knock on three people’s doors in the residence hall and make friends,” or “go sit with a random group of people during lunch,” or “leave your door open for people to come in.” Trust me, these “dares” have never worked in my favor. All I’ve gotten are weird looks, especially after knocking on someone’s door and then I’m standing there like a stuttering, awkward mess. My personal solution: clubs and workshops. They’re amazing. You can be the invisible person in the room while learning about something new and being involved in something interesting… Finding an extracurricular activity is a fantastic way to occupy yourself without relying on your “social qualities,” or lack thereof.
5. Studying in your common room/lounge
Because you won’t be the only one doing it At some point, someone will crack from the exhaustion of studying, they’ll ask you what you’re working on, and then you’ll both be able to take a much needed break: a win-win situation.
They’re tiny,cute instruments. What’s not to love? The ukulele is super easy to learn, and will attract non-music people just like adorable puppies do. So learn the uke–t’ll be your best friend. Plus, it might also get you more best friends!
…because if all else fails, we get free TV on Philo and HBO Go using your Brown login. Also check out that discount with the Spotify+Hulu package for students. So wind down and stay caught up on your favorite shows.