You're probably reading this to affirm your overwhelming anxiety, or to search for some advice from a fellow introvert. Well, you're in the right place.
In high school, I happily shared a smile with everyone in my way. Contrastingly, the first thing I learned in college was that not everyone has the same heart as you, unfortunately. Whatever you do, DO NOT let this cause you to close into your shell, because that is exactly what I did. Despite the overwhelming pit in your stomach, you have to let your wings show. Once you allow yourself to expand, you will find that people gravitate toward you, rather than yourself getting so nervous that you sound like a broken toy talking to someone.
Freshman year is terrifying for people like you and me.
And that's OK.
Take this time to become the person you've always looked up to. Stay up late to go to Sonic with the girl that sits next to you in English, or the guy that sits behind you in Bio. Tell the person on the elevator they have nice shoes. When you run into your professor of your 400 student lecture class, introduce yourself. You'll slowly learn to breathe normally near the people around you.
I always have this assumption that my existence is an inconvenience for my peers. I know this may sound really deep, but it is precisely what caused me to become so introverted and overflowing with social anxiety. I take everything personally. When I answer in class, people look at me. I know, you're thinking, "Well, duh." but I just assumed that I was being judged or sounded ignorant. But I promise everyone is just as awkward and as nervous as you. You might have an unpopular opinion, or feel stupid, or totally brain fart and ask a silly question and feel completely and utterly embarrassed when your professor responds with a snappy, witty response. Just know, I've been there, once I expressed my opinion on a law and my professor stared at me and completely stepped on my opinion because it was different than hers. I was flushed and felt like everyone would think I'm an idiot.
Just know, that literally everyone will forget a silly mistake in less than a week, including yourself. You need to embrace the fact that you are a person who appreciates being alone.
When you cancel plans to stay in your dorm with friends, do not feel defeated, feel empowered. Use this time to recharge. Read a book, watch Netflix, if you're a Christian, READ YOUR BIBLE! Your alone time is the best time for some Jesus. When you disconnect from the people you're around all day, you have time to dive into the word of God with an open mind. You will grasp the Gospel in ways you did not know possible. God knitted you in your mother's womb to work for him. We are always told to leap out of our comfort zones, but sometimes, that's so hard. Use this quiet time to realize that you're perfectly normal.