Posted on: 4 April 2016Share
If you are a college student who has social anxiety, you might feel deeply ripped off by your college experience. It might look nothing like the college experience that you see so often in the movies, with parties every night. Instead, you might find yourself spending more time alone in your dorm than you might prefer, with your grades suffering because you can't get past your social anxiety to go talk to professors for help with topics that you don't understand. This is a very difficult situation. Here are some tips for dealing with social anxiety as a college student.
1. Stop Beating Yourself Up By Comparing
Your first step is to not mentally beat yourself up by comparing the way your life looks now to what you imagine the popular people's lives look or the lives you see of college students in the movies. The movies are not accurate, since no one seems to spend any time studying, and you don't actually know what the life is of the girl that sits a row down from you in chemistry that always talks to people. You only know your own situation. If you are not constantly comparing your life to the stories you made up about the lies of others, you are going to have a little bit more confidence and less shame over your situation, making talking to other people and overcoming social anxiety easier.
2. Set Goals for Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
It can feel safe to simply sit in your dorm and watch Netflix, but it isn't making your situation any better. You know what you would like your life to look like, or at least what you don't want your life to look like, and in order to make changes, you will need to go outside of your comfort zone. Set a goal for a number of times that you are going to leave your comfort zone each day or each week. Then, do everything you can to meet those goals. Join a club that gives you responsibility so that you can use the guilt of people depending on you as a motivating factor to leave your room. Find a volunteering job that you love that only has you interacting with animals or children, especially if puppies and kids make you feel less anxious but still get you moving. Buy yourself a nice latte after you go talk to a professor. Do whatever you can to get yourself out of your comfort zone.
3. Keep the Door of Your Dorm Room Open
Finally, keep the door of your dorm open. This will give people the opportunity to come in and talk to you. Inviting people into your comfort zone can be easier than leaving it some days.
For more information, talk to a professional counselor specializing in anxiety, such as those at The Center for Family Counseling, Inc..