As a little kid, I was painfully shy. I'm an only child, so I wasn't used to be around other kids, and that really has shaped me as a person. I'm still shy, the more unfamiliar a social situation is to me, the shyer I am. I'm involved in a psychology club at my school because psychology is my passion and major, but I never speak at our biweekly meetings. I'll just sit in the back at our meetings, and I've never missed one, but I haven't been able to force myself out of my shelf enough in there to meet someone in the club to help pull me even further out of my shell. Because I'm so closed off, no one at these meetings really approaches me and when they do, I'm too shy and awkward to have a good conversation with them, and I know I come across as rude. It can become a vicious cycle.
By the end of high school, I had a wide enough network of friends both in my graduating class and in the grade below me that I became more of an extrovert. High school was an incredibly small world compared to college, and I was louder in that world than in this one at my college. I would make friends in each class, we would talk and laugh in the halls and even in classes and be those obnoxious people you wish would shut up. I was in theater and was a former band kid my senior year; I had a lot of different friends. Now in college, all of those people that I would wave to in the halls, talk to during classes, eat lunches with, and have auditions with, are all out of my life. Senior year really shows you who your true friends are, and I realized all but two of these people I spent every day of high school with weren't going to be able to stick it out with me.
I had a significantly smaller network of people to hang out with and talk to following graduation, and it's become even smaller since moving to college, which has isolated me in a way. Yet in college, I've met and will continue to meet, so many new, amazing people. I'm a proud member of Chi Omega at my college, and part of why I decided to go Greek in the first place was to be able to have a friend group much more sincere and larger than the ones I had in high school. I have found that, but after a semester and a half with my sisters, I still find I'm very introverted, especially when I'm not with my family in the sorority.
Bid Day is the last day of rush where you get an official bid from a sorority and then you run home to meet your sisters. It's one of the happiest days ever, but it's also one of the days I've had in college so far that's made me acutely aware that I am an introvert. When we got back to the sorority house, there was a big party to celebrate all of the new members. New girls were meeting older sisters, eating shaved ice, and taking a cute picture on a fire truck together. I was so overwhelmed and so far out of my comfort zone, I may have said two words the whole time had we not been prompted to talk with ice breaker activities. I kept cutting conversations with girls short, as I wasn't sure how to keep them going because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of people I was with. All the older sisters already know each other, I found it hard to approach them because of that. I know at the time I came across as standoffish, I've had people tell me they were intimidated by me that day.
I'm not really the type of person to reach out myself or to initiate conversation. I think a lot of my shyness is me being in my head but there is some of it that just is my personality. Quiet can come across as rude or intimidating though, and I really am not either of those things. I'm just not outgoing enough around strangers or people who I'm not comfortable with. I used to think that being extroverted came with being confident, but I now think that it just comes from how we were raised and who we are as people, not so much how we see ourselves.