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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As an introverted girl in a university full of thousands of people, it can often feel difficult to make friends. From dealing with social anxiety to thinking you just don’t fit in, these fears can make meeting new people feel scary. Let me be your big sister for a few moments and tell you that you’re not alone!

In a world that seemingly favors extroverts, it can be hard to get out there and make yourself known. You might feel the need to make yourself smaller, to always tell the funniest jokes, and never have a dull moment. These are my tips that have helped me make friends throughout my time at Florida State University (FSU) as a proud introvert. 

Join student organizations

I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this already, but it’s so important that it has to be the first tip on my list. FSU can feel pretty lonely when you’re just going to classes and then heading straight home. Getting involved on campus through organizations like clubs, Greek life, or academic programs can broaden your scope of people and potential friends! Jumping into an organization when you don’t know many people can be very difficult, but trust me, you’re not alone! The first step is to always try and get involved when you can. 

It’s also important to join organizations you truly care about! Busying yourself for the sake of being busy is not only unfulfilling but can feel tiresome and may lead to burnout. Joining organizations with purposes you support and agree with is much more fulfilling and can also lead you toward great friendships where you have unique commonalities! 

In my personal experience, I am so grateful that I met some of my closest friends through the Marching Chiefs. The bonds you make when having to spend hours on a group craft are irreplaceable! In addition, joining clubs like Her Campus at FSU and FSU Collegiate National Association for Music Education (NAfME) have challenged me not only socially, but also through leadership skills and career development. Lastly, I am so grateful to have rushed Greek life as a junior. I’ve met a ton of new people and have grown so much in the short time I’ve been involved. Although I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone time and time again, it has pushed me to grow and become a stronger leader and an even stronger, empowered woman. 

It’s never too late to get involved on campus. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior who’s halfway through the year, there are opportunities to get involved. From intramural sports to Greek life to student government, don’t be afraid to extend past your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of!

Be yourself

Cornyyyyyy. Just hear me out! I know how corny it sounds to say “be yourself.” Like what do you mean!? What if people don’t like me? What if people think I’m annoying? What if people think I’m not funny?

Now relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw, miss girl. The right people will find you funny. The right people won’t find you annoying. People will like you! You just have to put yourself out there in order to find out who those people are. Make that funny joke! If they laugh, that’s awesome, and if they don’t, that’s awesome, too. Throughout my time at college, I’ve learned that it’s not my job to entertain anyone. My one job is to stay true to myself. The best people I’ve met have accepted me for who I am, not a watered-down version of me. Gatekeeping your true personality takes too much effort and isn’t as fun. Being yourself is what makes life exciting. 

Let me finish with this: it’s okay to be annoying. It’s okay to say the wrong thing sometimes. It’s okay to make an unfunny joke. And it’s 100% okay to be awkward! I’m awkward all the time! Embrace your awkwardness; it’s endearing. Embrace when you’re being annoying because it’s better to confidently take up space than to take up no space at all because of the fear of what others will say. These feelings are all a part of the human experience, and it’s okay to be human.

Don’t be afraid to take up space

This is one piece of advice I wish someone had told me sooner. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand in class and get the answer wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask that one cool girl if she wants to get lunch after class. And don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone new. It’s so hard in the beginning, believe me, I know. With practice and exposure, talking to people will get easier. 

It takes a little bit of patience, self-compassion, and understanding to find your people in no time. Be proud of your introversion and don’t be scared to push outside your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll grow. 

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Karolyne Lugo is a third year Instrumental Music Education major with a focus on violin at FSU. Aside from being a staff writer and serving on the social team for Her Campus, she is also a part of multiple organizations on campus. Karolyne is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, the University Philharmonic Orchestra, and serves as the secretary for NAfME's collegiate chapter at FSU. In her free time, Karolyne likes to read and listen to music!