My concern with a summer program

<p>I really just can't see myself going somewhere entirely foreign to me, not knowing anyone, but managing to make new friends and have a ton of fun! Does anyone have any encouragement, relevant stories, etc. to help me out?</p>

<p>Sort of. I'm a pretty shy person and I've had some bad experiences with summer camp when I was younger, but I decided I wanted to try going to a summer program since I didn't want to sit around bored all summer. I went to BU summer challenge this past summer, and even though I was REALLY nervous before I left, I made some pretty good friend and had tons of fun. I highly recommend going to a summer program. It might feel a little scary, but just take a leap of faith, go, and I'm sure if you try you'll make some friends. And if you're feeling really weird about going to one, find one that's relatively short. So if end up not liking it (which probably won't happen), then at least you won't be stuck there for a really long time.</p>

<p>I've never been away from home for more than 3-4 days, and then last summer I spent six weeks away. I wouldn't say I was nervous, but I was defintely concerned about whether or not everybody would like me.</p>

<p>What you have to remember is that pretty much everybody is in the same boat - nobody knows each other, and so everybody WANTS to make friends. I'd say it's much easier to make friends in a group of people where nobody knows each other. That's why I'm looking forward to college ;)</p>

<p>And yep - summer was a blast, met some of the bestest friends I have, and keep in touch with nearly all of them :)</p>

<p>I have to agree with both people before me.</p>

<p>The first time I went away for the summer, I was kind of nervous but excited. I didn't want to be a loner there and, during the program, I definitely wasn't alone. I agree with tako, where at summer programs, nobody knows each other, so everyone is friendly. Even better, at residential programs, you room with at least one other person, so you become friends with them really easily.</p>

<p>About the foreign place part, well...after a couple of days, the place becomes so familiar, it doesn't feel too foreign anymore, especially since you will have been living there for days. During the beginning of the program, since everyone is new, everyone will be in the foreign environment and learning to adjust with you, which helps in forming friends.</p>

<p>Summer will then become really fun, and you might even make close friends from just several weeks.</p>

<p>I used to be very shy (still am...I'm working on it!), was terrified and terrible at meeting new people because I was worried I wouldn't fit in, people wouldn't like me, etc. </p>

<p>Summer after grade 10 I went to a program where I lived on a university campus for 1 month with about 50 other students from all across the country. Going into it, I was nervous, partly because I would be the youngest person there, and partly because I'd be living away from home for a whole month. Looking back though, that was probably the best summer I've ever had. Everyone was incredibly warm and welcoming; none of us knew each other going into the program but by the end of it (heck, by the end of the first day), it felt like we were one big family. As previous posters have said, the great thing about everyone going into it "alone" is that everyone is eager to meet new people and make friends, so it's really easy to fit in (unlike say at school, where often people have known each other for years, and it's hard to join a group)</p>

<p>I am INCREDIBLY shy around people I don't know, and always have trouble just talking to someone for the first time and making friends, and back in middle school (where the shyness honestly peaked) I went to a Math/Science summer camp and has no problem making friends. Everyone is shy and awkward but usaully programs group you by your rooming group or something intially and within the first day your just sort of forced to make friends with the people housing around you. By the very first night of camp, I was having a blast playing spoons and laughing hysterically. </p>

<p>So I would defiantely say go for it, making friends is suprisingly easy since (as everyone else has said) no one has friends so you all just instantly click.</p>

<p>I grew up being a pretty shy and introverted person as well, but the attitude I think you should have towards going into a summer programs is that you have nothing to lose. If you're in a new place with new people, why not take the chance to step outside of your shell and make the best out of it? go up to people and introduce yourself, cause as Tako said, everyone is pretty much on the same boat the first week so it's easy to make friends.</p>

<p>For the foreign place, I'd say do some of your research like things to do around the area or if your summer program has outside trips, definitely take advantage of those. </p>

<p>I did Harvard SSP the past two years, and I have to say, it has been an AMAZING experience (hence why I did it twice!). I went in with the attitude that I had nothing to lose and only friends and great experiences to gain and that's exactly how my outcome turned out.</p>