Shy freshmen?

<p>Recommendations for schools that would be most comfortable for a shy freshman? This is a video-game-playing guy who loves to be near the crowd, but not comfortable being the life of the party.</p>

<p>A non-preppy state public university.</p>

<p>Check out liberal arts colleges. The small classes, nurturing professors, and variety of activities might make it easy for a shy person to find friends. I've seen shy students go to LACs and flourish there due to the nurturing atmosphere and small classes. </p>

<p>I would be concerned that a shy person might get lost in the large crowds at many public universities.</p>

<p>There are a lot of those guys in the Engineering type depts at any number of schools. Is he interested in the tech-y fields? He would be highly likely to find kindred spirits there. Also in the Honors Dorms in a number of schools.</p>

<p>Well, DD has met a whole lot of them at Rice. I think you find them all over, just be sure you look for a good match for academics. You didn't say what his interests are besides video game playing - which he will find on any campus.</p>

<p>Consider the University of Maryland at College Park.</p>

<p>One of its distinguishing characteristics is the large number of special programs it offers to groups of freshmen, who live and take some classes together with others of similar interests. These programs help to make a huge campus seem smaller and they bring together freshmen of similar tastes. </p>

<p>If your son qualifies for the Honors Program, he would likely find many kindred spirits in the honors dorms and in the small honors seminars. If he does not qualify, he might be offered a place in College Park Scholars, a less selective set of programs focusing on a variety of special interests. I suspect that if he chose the Science, Technology, and Society program (which my son was in at UMCP), he would find many people with whom he could make friends easily, thanks to common interests, including gaming.</p>

<p>I agree with Marian about U Md. College Park and the variety of small programs it offers to bring together students with similar interests. Check out its website.</p>

<p>Shy freshmen are everywhere - I wouldn't try to pick a school based on it.</p>

<p>The Colleges that Change Lives are very good at helping shy students flourish. Check out the book by Loren Pope and the website.</p>

<p>I've never been convinced a small school is necessarily better. I think shy people are in all facets of life, and all schools, and they can all do just fine in a school that suits them on other dimensions.</p>

<p>It has an intuitive appeal that small LACs should be better- if you don't think about it too much, it seems like "small and cozy" should match shy and quiet- but I don't think it's necessarily valid. </p>

<p>Just as strong a case could be made for a large school where you have more opportunity to find "your people'; with a million clubs, schools, activities, dorms, you can find your niche. Likewise, small classes at a small school might require more participation which may not be as desirable to a shy person.</p>

<p>I second post # 8. Put the student in with like-minded peers at a school they feel comfortable in and they will blossom. Some people are introverted, not shy, and need the alone time. Let your son look at schools that match his academic interests and his other priorities, such as location (N,S,E,W), weather, religion, public/private. He may surprise you.</p>

<p>"Likewise, small classes at a small school might require more participation which may not be as desirable to a shy person."</p>

<p>The plus of the small classes and opportunities for discussion is that the shy person would learn the social skills to overcome their shyness, something that can be difficult to do in huge lecture classes.</p>

<p>Shyness doesn't have to be a permanent condition. It is something that people can overcome with practice and help. I say this, incidentally, from my own personal experience as well as reviewing the research on shyness.</p>

<p>IMO LAC colleges are wonderful places for shy people because the professors like to teach and also like to help young people develop -- including develop social skills. </p>

<p>Larger universities tend not to attract the same type of professors. At large universities, research, not teaching is the main focus of professors. </p>

<p>I know a young woman who is shy and is at a state flagship public where classes are so large that she doesn't even have to attend some classes: She watches them on TV. Most of her social interactions are via Facebook.</p>

<p>She's now a senior, and seems to be the same shy person she was when she entered.</p>

<p>A shy friend of hers went to one of the colleges in Colleges that Change Lives, and has blossomed, including having the guts to spend a semester abroad.</p>

<p>My own son was still a bit shy when he went to college, a LAC, Rollins in Florida. He has greatly enjoyed the coursework, gotten very involved in ECs -- including several that he had never done before -- and has made wonderful friends. He literally has blossomed. He has had a much more pleasant experience and has made more personal strides than I did as a shy person at an Ivy. </p>

<p>So my advice is to take a close look at liberal arts colleges. One additional feature that you'll probably like is that guys are at a premium (another plus for shy guys, who may wonder about dating possibilities), so are first in line for things like merit aid.</p>

<p>Another vote for a small LAC with either a large nerd component, or a liberal arts honors program. </p>

<p>I'd suggest looking for a school with a freshman seminar which involves small groups of students working with a teacher in a round table discussion. </p>

<p>At S's LAC there are way more women than men. His freshman dorm had 17 guys, 41 girls.</p>

<p>My oldest son is a fairly shy gamer who is doing very well at a small LAC. One of the things that really helped him was signing up for the freshman outdoor pre-orientation adventure. Journey</a>, Freshman Outdoor Leadership Pre-Orientation Program - Roanoke College - Salem, Virginia There were less then 20 students that did it and they really bonded.</p>

<p>Yes, the freshmen preorientation activities are wonderful ways particularly for shy students to make friends and feel comfortable in a new place.</p>

<p>A shy gamer? Any school with a strong geek subculture (which is strongly correlated with strong sci/eng schools) will put him in good company.</p>

<p>Northstar mom, I concur. I was looking to give an answer regarding what a shy person would prefer. As for benefit, I absolutely think it depends. Lots and lots of kids change after getting to college, and we can't necessarily know what factors lead to it. Maturation alone, or being on ones own, or having a new circle of friends, may be enough. All we have is anecdotes. </p>

<p>As someone with a D like this, I'm sensitive to the issue. What has helped her is a lot of practice in all facets of her life (and I completely agree about practice and pushing out of one's comfort zone). Volunteer work, being responsible for doing things on her own, travelling extensively- also on her own- meeting new people and such. However I don't see her HS, which is very much like a LAC to have helped on that dimension- very small classes, teachers very focused on development, everyone knows everyone. Great for education, and yes she participates and does well, but in that small environment, she feels her identity as the 'shy one' is only reinforced, that it's hard to break out of expectations and roles, which can be very powerful. She seems to blossom in new and diverse and big environments and in places where she can find her circle. Maybe its just her brand of shyness but I can relate. I always felt way more at ease and outgoing and myself in the diversity and anonymity of NYC than a small town.</p>

<p>One think about freshmen orientation. S went to the last session, as it was for OOS kids. Classes started right after orientation. It was great, because who he had met was/were still fresh in his mind. His roommate had gone to the first orientation in June and couldn't remember anyone he had met by the time school started.</p>

<p>My niece is very shy & chose a large OOS U because she didn't want to be singled out & called upon. She was very happy at her OOS U & is now at another OOS U getting her teaching certificate while her boyfriend gets his degree in physical therapy. She refused to apply to any small schools & was very happy with her choice.</p>