Dear Yeti, I'm a freshman at UM and living in the dorm, and I have been an introvert all my life. I am feeling lonely with my family so far away and I am having problems meeting people. Since I am shy and insecure, people think I am acting arrogant, but that is not the real me. Everyone has told me that college is the time of your life. So far it's been terrible. My life is becoming very boring and I want to make some changes. Maybe I'm stuck in a rut or maybe my luck is bad. Is there something I'm doing wrong by being how I am or is this normal. No one seems to really be responding to my personality in the past and lately. I'm not a boring person; how can I get out there and meet somebody? Lonely Guy, Ann Anbor, MI
Dear Lonely Guy
I understand your dilemma. I’m 8′ foot tall, covered in hair, and I rarely bathe; you came to the right place. Now allow me to cut through the subtext of your letter and save us all a little time. In the beginning of your letter you say “I’m having trouble meeting people” but at the end you say how can I meet “somebody.” You’re obviously talking about the opposite sex.
Your attending MU, which because you are writing from Ann Arbor, I can assume means Michigan and not Missouri, Marquette, or Mankato. First off this is a big ten school; they like to party, partying is a great way to shed your shyness and interact. You’re a freshman which won’t allow you to troll the bars, you’ll be looking for house parties mostly. Which is a good thing. It’s very important to meet a group of people with whom you can cruise the campus. This is unlikely to happen in your next world of warcraft marathon. It’s important to remember that everyone in your dorm is also new to the environment so they are as likely as you to want to meet new people. Do not cling to the one guy you kind of know from your hometown and your older sister’s best friend. Instead look for groups of people. They’ve got clubs for everything from Religion to Ultimate Frisbee. Go online and check out the Clubs, Sports, & Greek Life Section of the MU webpage. It’s important to remember two things: get out of your room and start interacting and always be your self.
These are some of the best times of your life because you are free to evolve and reinvent yourself according to who you want to become. Sitting in your dorm room cranking Prince’s “get off” may draw in a few skanks but that’s not a good game plan. It’s not the 1950’s and you’re not at a sock hop. Try to meet groups of people to hang out with. In this group there will be the opportunity to casually meet women, (or Men) with whom you already have something in common. That’s how you meet people, and the larger the circle the larger the opportunity. Lastly be reasonable with your expectations. Right now you’re taking advise from someone who wipes his ass with pinecones and hasn’t let anyone take his photo in 50 years. This type of change in your social behavior will not happen overnight.