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Daisybutter - UK Lifestyle and Fashion Blog: university advice, advice for nervous freshers, too shy for uni

On shyness, overcoming it and heading to University for the first time.
So that ubiquitous time of year heralds again. The start of the University semester and imminent flocks of freshers everywhere you turn. While I've been long gone from the halls of Southampton Solent University (and subsequently the cobbles down Bedford Place), my sister is now off to Uni and fretting about being too shy for it all. Starting at a new school is daunting enough on its' own. Moving to a new town or city on top of that? Frankly terrifying.

I thought I'd take this moment to pen a tale of feeling inadequate, too shy and not good enough for University, just as a new intake - and possibly plenty of you - are headed to new hallowed halls somewhere. Let's start with an ice-breaker: I'm Michelle and I am by nature shyer than shy. I'm a deft wallflower and very happy with that fact. I loved to write. I couldn't cook. I couldn't talk to more than 2 people at any one time. I'd email people in the same classroom as me instead of go over to ask them a simple question. And 5 years ago today I threw a leaving 'gathering' in my back garden for 5 close friends and I to mark leaving for University, a hundred miles away from home. Unbeknownst to them and about 95% of the people I knew, I was absolutely terrified about it all.

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As a seasoned graduate, I can hand on heart let you know that you're not too shy for University. You're not. The experience of starting at a new school and moving away to a new town is 97.5% new for everyone else you meet on that infamous Moving In Weekend. Take things one step at a time. Move your things into your matchstick box sized room and unpack slowly. Savour making your room your own because this will probably be your safe haven during any downtime.

The first week of Uni is commonly referred to as Freshers Week. It's pretty much a week where you induct into the semester, have events every night and generally make the most of your newfound freedom. If I'm honest, I found Freshers Week super intimidating and out of my comfort zone. But you learn to adapt and make the most of the situation. My fear of not-having-friends outweighed that of going to a huge party with hundreds of people who had never met each other. Like I said, everyone else is pretty much in the same boat as you. Equally though, don't be someone you're not; make friends in the same way you would elsewhere. Break the ice and compliment someone on their shoes/bag/brows or (if you're not already tipsy) ask which halls they're staying in. Ask questions and give semi-lengthy answers.

Being shy at University is 100% fine. I began my degree as a naive, sheltered and very introverted individual, then decided to start a blog, which - 2 years later - led to me hanging at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards because I'd been shortlisted for Best Fashion Blog, not to mention getting to go to London Fashion Week in my first year of Uni for my blog. University is a whole other world. Small and sharp decisions could lead to the biggest things. I'd be nowhere if I didn't pester Toni to walk with me to our first lecture. (We were across-the-hall flatmates.) Or if I didn't sit down and finally set up my blog. Sometimes it's those small, unmediated choices that take you to where you're supposed to be.

18 comments

  1. I was SO scared when I started uni (especially as I started a week later than everyone else) and it was such a rollercoaster but meeting new people definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! I'm still shy but much better than I used to be!


    Maria xxx

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  2. Aww, I love your anecdote about how you made friends with Toni - sweet! I think I managed to fake confidence in Freshers' Week which led to me making friends, but really I'm still so shy, at least on the inside. And awkward. There's some great tips here for those who are just about to start uni though - honest compliments definitely always really help :)

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure xx

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  3. I was petrified when I started uni. I moved 150 miles away from everyone that I knew and I hated it. I cried all the time and nearly dropped out, but I didn't. I didn't enjoy freshers week, or many of the weeks spent there, but now as I'm about to start my second year I'm kind of looking forward to going back and being with like-minded people and the select group of wonderful friends I made on my course. It's super intimidating but a learning curve for sure, I feel like a much stronger individual after making it through my first year and I'm incredibly proud of myself for doing so. x

    Charlotte / coloursandcarousels

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  4. This is some really good advice, your sister's lucky to get some real down-to-earth advice from you! I was really really shy at the start of uni, I was too nervous to talk to anyone and Freshers week was really daunting. I could've done with a bit of encouragement, as I was pretty much a wallflower for my first year and didn't mingle very well!


    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

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  5. This has helped me a lot to relax a bit, I'm very tense and stressed just thinking of starting uni once again (as a PG student). Even though I've already seen a glimpse of uni life with my UG degree, I was close to home and now I'm moving more than half-way across the country. I'll make the best of this year and try to find like-minded people to enjoy uni life with (even is my shyness and introversion may get in the way sometimes ;b)!

    whispersofanarcissus.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. This has calmed me a lot really. I'm quite shy naturally, when I'm first with people anyway and I thought as soon as I got there everyone would be so confident and 'out there' and I'll be all left on my own. I'm going to try my best to just talk to everyone and obviously be friendly but I know it's all a bit awkward at first, thanks for the post!
    Helena / helenaterry.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. Me too! It's such a crazy period of time, I can't really put it into words properly. I'm still fairly shy but Uni has made me a more well rounded kinda girl (:

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  8. Haha thanks Tamsin! I think faking confidence is kinda key and universal in Freshers' Week - no-one is 100% confident in such a new environment. I would say I'm still super shy but I'm better at taking the situation in hand and trying to come out of my shell now.

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  9. Aw Charlotte! Fun fact: I almost dropped out at Christmas in my first year and only just decided to stay on. It's such a crazy 3 years but so worth the experience and sometimes struggle. Always an email away if you fancy a natter or some advice, lovely!

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  10. Thank you Saskia! I gave her SO much sisterly advice last week haha. I was that girl too - with no older siblings to guide me, it was simply terrifying. I just did some awkward introducing etc. with the mindset of 'I have nothing to lose and everything to gain' (:

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  11. Ah I'm so glad to hear that Jun-Ying! I won't sugarcoat things: moving away is really daunting. But just remember that there are plenty of people in the same boat, I was and am super shy and introverted, but there'll be other people equally as shy and introverted. Hope all goes well for you lovely! ^_^

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  12. I'm so glad to hear that Helena! I was SO terrified on my first day because I'm naturally very shy and introverted too and I realise now that the more I worried about it, the more nervous I got. Not everyone is ultra confident - given the situation, it's quite the opposite! Just be lovely and friendly in your normal ways and friends will come naturally. (:

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  13. Aw that's amazing! Heading to have a little read of your post now Pippa (:

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  14. I think this can be applied to anything in life really. I am very anxious when doing anything alone for the first time.
    It is a shame in my opinion that they seem to push people to be extroverted when it isn't in their nature but I think it is good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't treat your shyness as something to over come but as part of who you are. Its perfectly fine to be shy!

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  15. I agree with the comment below as this really can apply to so many situations in life, starting uni being one of them. It sure is a scary thing to do but it was one of the best decisions I made, I move away too and knew nobody and was and still am incredibly shy.
    University is an experience with good parts and bad, I know it has helped me in more ways than none, not just with having that certificate.
    Amy x

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  16. It's good once in a while to try new things. I definitely agree with some of the points you make Melani!

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  17. University was such a personal learning curve for me (:

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