The "socially awkward" student

<p>This probably seems like a stupid question...
but which colleges are good for a "socially awkward" student, or someone who is slow to make friends/very shy?
As in, the students are very friendly and befriend new students and shy people, the students aren't extremely cliquish or superficial (is this asking too much?)</p>

<p>I'm an above-average student but nothing extraordinary...mostly As with some Bs and a C, 1920 SAT (or 1290)</p>

<p>Trying to stay in the Eastern half of the US (Midwest->East Coast)</p>

<p>I'm not sure, but I would think that a school that has well-planned days of "ice-breaker" activities planned the week before school starts would be a good idea. But, you have to agree to participate and go. :)</p>

<p>Some schools also have activities like canoe trips/camping trips/service activities planned before school starts to also help make new friends.</p>

<p>Smaller schools tend to be more cliquish. At larger schools it's harder to for a small group of school to wield much power.</p>

<p>Look into clubs or groups associated with your chosen major. Some schools have a kind of "Get on Board Day" where clubs set up booths and students can learn about them and join in.</p>

<p>As for being socially awkward...try these tips. :)</p>

<p>1) try to have a default pleasant expression on your face. No one likes to approach someone who looks mad/angry/unfriendly. </p>

<p>2) try to have eye contact with those you come into contact with.</p>

<p>3) To make friends, you have to be a friend. :)</p>

<p>4) Ask pleasant (not nosy) questions....what is your major? What dorm are you in? What classes are you taking? What city/state are you from?</p>

<p>"Some schools also have activities like canoe trips/camping trips/service activities planned before school starts to also help make new friends."</p>

<p>Tufts. Of the top of my head I know they have that. But its a high reach for you</p>

<p>Attend your state flagship. You shouldn't have too hard of a time meeting an interesting bunch of people with whom you'll get along.</p>

<p>Although it is in Texas (not East Coast), Rice fits your criteria perfectly. However, it will be a reach for you.</p>

<p>Look for schools with "house" systems: I know UChicago has a house system where people stay int eh same house all four years: they're thrown in as freshman, and people tend to make friends with those living near them, rather than schools such as brown where people tend to make friends all over the place. House systems give you a "built-in" set of friends: I know my friend at UChic tended to do most of her socializing either within the house, or houses in her same dorm.</p>

<p>Check out the book, Colleges that Change Lives. Plenty of schools there that are smaller where a shy student will thrive.</p>

<p>here are links to a few lists found on the InsideCollege website (a fun site with lists of schools for almost every topic imaginable!)</p>

<p>Colleges</a> for Students Slow to Make Friends | InsideCollege.com</p>

<p>Schools</a> for a Socially Awkward Student | InsideCollege.com</p>

<p>Colleges</a> for the Shy Student | InsideCollege.com</p>

<p>You don't have to be awkward, it's something you can change! Try being more confident: smile a lot, participate in class, get involved EARLY, and try talking to people first instead of waiting for them to talk to you. Good luck!</p>

<p>Going to a large school is probably best to increase your chances of meeting a very diverse range of people.</p>

<p>Look for a school with a strong First Year Seminar program. That way you will have one class with the same group of people, all freshmen and all in the same place you are. Our program at Elmhurst College has students go through orientation with their FYS class, so by the time the semester starts they are all pretty well acquainted. I've taught in our FYS program the last two years, and it really helps students get connected socially.</p>

<p>
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You don't have to be awkward, it's something you can change! Try being more confident: smile a lot, participate in class, get involved EARLY, and try talking to people first instead of waiting for them to talk to you. Good luck!

[/quote]
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<p>You know, don't you, that your advice is the kind that shy people hate...as if one can will a major personality change.</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>My older son was painfully shy.... He's still a bit shy, but not nearly what he used to be. When he went to college, he got involved with clubs and groups. He met lots of people. He forced himself "out there."</p>

<p>He even joined an engineering theater group (now that's a funny sight - engineers doing parody musicals...LOL) He's had major roles and has even sang solos at performances.</p>

<p>So, yes, getting over some of your shyness can be done, if done in piece-meal. </p>

<p>One can work on a personality change....otherwise, those with rude personalities would never be able to change. I've never understood why shyness is considered a trait that can't be changed. We expect overly gregarious people to learn to "tone it down"...so certainly shy people can learn to be less shy.</p>

<p>Don't go to a huge school. Go to a school with smaller dorms instead of apartment complexes. Hope your roommate is awesome and stick to them.</p>

<p>From my experience Wake Forest was very open to shy people your Freshman year. I bet that is the case most places. Less so in other years by the time people have established their circle of real friends.</p>

<p>St. Bonaventure might be a good choice. It's small, but a match gradewise, and students seem to love it there.</p>

<p>It might help to be able to choose your roommate...either thru Facebook or some other way.</p>

<p>I believe that going to a small to mid sized school would be best because at a large university, it's too easy to be anonymous since you may not see the same people every day. </p>

<p>Whatever school you decide to go to, the best way to meet people usually is to quickly get involved in some ECs that interest you.</p>

<p>^ I agree with both these points. DD2 was quiet/shy in HS but went to a LAC and threw herself into a number of clubs. She does much better in her interpersonal relationships now.</p>

<p>TUFTS
I have never been to a school with more awkward people.
Everyone, regardless of looks, economical status, etc. is SUPER nice.
However, based on your grades, it might be difficult for you to get in.
I can guarantee you, YOU WILL FIT IN.</p>

<p>Only 24% of applicants are admitted.</p>

<p>Are you looking to find other people who are accepting of social awkwardness? Or are you trying to become more outgoing? Either is OK - it's all about what direction you'd like to go.</p>

<p>But universities which are good for the former aren't necessarily good for the latter, and vice versa. In particular, some universities may have subgroups (e.g., social circles, majors, residence halls, or activities) which tolerate socially awkward students even as the wider campus culture caters to the socially skilled and/or those who fit a narrow mold.</p>

<p>Also, consider that what you want may change over the four or so years that you attend university. It's good to be in an environment which is flexible enough to accommodate any direction you might like to go in the future.</p>

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<p>Unfortunately, there aren't many universities or other places like this in general. People usually won't bend over backwards to reach out to someone just because they're shy. You'll probably need to make some effort, even if it's to reciprocate when someone is friendly toward you.</p>

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<p>On the average, I agree with this. However, large schools can be cliquish too. Contrary to Adenine's suggestion, large schools also tend to require proactively building a social circle for yourself, something which might be difficult for someone who is socially awkward. I think it's better to look closely at the culture of individual schools rather than categorically looking at one type of school (e.g., only large schools.) "Closely" is emphasized because if a school is unwelcoming, this fact won't usually be immediately obvious.</p>

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<p>Harder, but still quite possible. Notably, some large schools are dominated by their Greek system. I'd recommend avoiding any such schools.</p>

<p>That said, I agree with your ideas on how to improve social skills.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>