Ever since I can remember, I have always been a very reserved person. I’ve kept to myself, made little friends and didn’t really speak if I didn’t need to. While my shyness isn’t necessarily a problem for me, it has made it a bit challenging for me in school. For one, I hate talking to people or in front of them so group projects and presentations have always been my worst nightmare.

It’s not that I’m scared to do either of those things. I just don’t want to. I am one of those people who prefer to work on my own and turn in essays rather than work in groups to create PowerPoints. Some people might think I’m crazy. I mean, who would rather spend hours writing a paper than maybe 20 minutes working with other people to compile a basic slideshow? Me, that’s who.

Of course projects and presentations aren’t the only ways my shyness have limited my comfort in school. I have never really been good at talking to people either, meaning I was never one of those girls who sat in a group with ten friends around them. I would just keep three to four friends who I would hang out with. I’ve never wanted to be included in a large group of friends. Instead, I like to keep my circle small so I can be close to all of them and still have my own space as well.

At some point, I decided to change that. I still didn’t want to have many people around me, but I did want to be more confident in school. So, I took some steps to get to that point. I’ve always loved writing, so it was only fitting that I chose to take journalism my freshman year. I kept up with that throughout high school. I joined the school newspaper and even made it to editor-in-chief.

This especially helped me come out of my shell. I had to interview teachers, assistant principals, students and even the principal. I had no choice— I had to talk to people. At first, it was really awkward. I was hesitant to get people out of class or approach teachers during their off periods. However, as time went on I got used to it. It was no longer awkward, but an everyday thing. Talking to people suddenly became easy.

For me, becoming the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper was really helpful because I was always talking to people I never would have before. The entire class was very close-knit and it made me open up. I became more confident in speaking to people and it made me more comfortable around others. Now with college beginning, I look forward to growing as a person and being more outgoing, while still maintaining some of my reserved and shy personality traits.

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