Ways to Become Outgoing in College

If you’re anything like me, you considered yourself a fairly quiet and reserved person in high school. I was the type of teenager who only spoke when someone addressed me first and my friends dominated all our conversations. I never minded being shy, it was just a part of who I was — and everyone knew it.

When I first came to college though, I realized this was the perfect time in my life to try to be somebody different. I was no longer stuck being who I was known as in high school. If I wanted to, I could be the loud, outgoing one in my friend group. So, I decided what the hell and went for it. Now, as a senior, I’m by far the most outgoing one in all of my friend groups and I’ve even had some of my quieter friends ask me to help make them less shy.

If you’re in your first few weeks of your freshman year, or even if you’re just tired of being the reserved one, here are a few tips and tricks for forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.

1. Leave your door open

This was a huge benefit to living in the residence halls freshman year. There’s always people walking around the halls, and at the beginning of the year everyone is in the same boat as you — everyone is looking for friends. Instead of sticking with the one or two friends you’ve made so far, or have from high school, do your work or watch TV with the door open so people can stop by and say hi.

2. Go into people’s rooms who have their door open

This is essentially step two of the first tip, but go out into the hall and introduce yourself to people that have their doors open. I promise they’ll be nice, they left their door open for a reason after all.

3. Join a few clubs you’re passionate about

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clubs on campus, especially right after Gobblerfest. It may seem like the best approach is to join as many as possible, but remember quality over quantity. Join a few that you’re seriously interested in. This will make it easier for you to make friends with similar interests as you, which will in turn boost your confidence in your ability to make friends.

4. Ask questions in class

This one may seem a little strange, but I promise it works. The more you begin talking in class through asking questions and answering ones prompted by your professor, the more you’ll talk outside of the classroom. It almost feels like a domino effect — soon, you’ll be asking questions to people you’ve just met and you’ll get to know them that much easier.

5. Always say yes to hanging out

In college we’re going to class, studying, doing homework, participating in organizations and sometimes even working. It’s easy to get caught up in all you have going on and just wanting to go to bed after a long day. I urge you to instead say yes to going to dinner with someone, go hang out with someone in their residence hall or even go play volleyball in your quad. You’ll be so glad that you decided to take a break for an hour and make some new friends.

College can be stressful and overwhelming, but it can also be a time to grow into yourself and find out who you truly are. Just because you’ve been quiet in the past doesn’t mean you need to be for the rest of your life. Make some friends, try something new and above all, enjoy the four years of undergrad you have!  

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