Can College Cure Shyness?

by Lance Jenkins

This article is all about me. I seemed to have been with an extra chromosome for shyness, and this can be such a disability especially through those teenage years. The teenage years for those who are not shy are years where you feel you do not really seem to fit into the whole world yet. Imagine being painfully shy on top of that!

I was always the boy at high school who never went to parties. I was not a study at home guy, but the thought of being in a room with people of any age chocked me with fear. That fear followed me through to college on day one. Well day one and on and on.

On that first day where the butterflies were winning the battle in my stomach, everyone else who had never met each other before were laughing and talking. Instant bonding. For me I could only look in awe as these people who had the social skills that were far from possible for me. Even if someone would venture to say “Hello” to me, I could only follow that through with a quick “Hi”, and then my eyes went down to a magazine, and I had cut the conversation and perhaps a future friend dead.

Now if we move on a few more months where everyone is really bonding and having wild pool parties and nights out, I am home alone. I so wanted to join in, I so wanted to experience this relating to everyone else experience. I also wanted to get laid too. But the chances of that happening are the same as man landing on Mars in my lifetime.

In the end I did something that every American seems to do. I went to see a head doctor. I felt stupid saying my college days were scaring me as I was shy. I had about six sessions, and I was truly surprised that half way through I was making progress. I won’t go into the results her as they are far too personal, and to embarrassing to write on the internet. But I could see now the problem was me. I knew that before.

But now I knew the road to start to improve my all. I knew I had to start small at first, I mean I could not suddenly switch from Clark Kent to Superman in one day. So I decided to pick on a guy who was an average guy. He was a class favorite and funny. He was not a leader, but not really a follower; he was in the middle ground and had great humor that made him that class favorite.

I made a point of sitting next to him during an essay editing class, as I knew he struggled with English language. I would every couple of minutes show concern, and help him make ongoing corrections. I cannot say he got ten for his essay editing, but he got much more than he normally did.

He was truly thankful, and we hung out for weeks, and very gradually I met his mates and I went to my very first party that did not involve my parents. There was no stopping me now. That night was not just my first party but also the night I was no longer a virgin. All this from making an effort to talk to one person in a class. Shyness is crippling, and I do not want to make it sound easy to fine the cue or strength to get over it. I merely say everyone can.

This post was written by Lance Jenkins

Lance Jenkins is still a little shy, but happy to have a good group of college friends.

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