The first time in my university life I was scared to approach someone was during my first Clubs & Societies (C&S) week.
In my first days at university, although I was able to overcome my shyness and make friends, I never had to actively approach someone, meaning that I would usually talk to people who were next to me and happened to be around.
I never had eyes on someone, in particular. However, during my first C&S week, I had my eyes on a very special booth.
And being the shy introvert that I was, I was scared to approach those people at the booth to register for that particular club.
For the curious reader, it was the Performing Arts club (and if you know me personally, you would have guessed it a few lines earlier!).
Drama club, theatre and acting, you name it. That was the one campus activity I 100% wanted to be involved in. I had been excited about signing up for the performing arts club even before landing in Malaysia.
You see, I have been involved in theatre and drama since I was in primary school, and I wanted to experience it in a foreign country.
How did I approach them?
So how did I come up with the courage to finally approach the people at the Performing Arts booth?
After going back and forth on the same row of C&S booths around 3 TIMES (it’s like dating—pretending not to have seen it), I told myself this:
If I don’t do this now, I may not have the chance to do it again. It’s either I do it NOW or NEVER.
It’s too bad I can’t remember the exact words I said out loud (hey, I’m a weirdo) to myself (also, I was probably just speaking in French) while standing next to the row of booths. But that little pep talk really shook me, so I ended up signing up for what would be the next best years of my social life at university.
Since I didn’t technically approach a ‘person’, I knew I could have signed up in the next semesters to come, but I realised that it’s harder for people to join activities after they had gone through their first semester. In Monash, that’s probably because the next semesters just get harder and harder, and you’ll be less and less likely to register for anything social.
Which is why it’s better to join a club NOW. ASAP. In your first semester. Later, it may be too late.
This applies to people you want to approach as well. If you don’t approach someone now, when the opportunity presents itself, you may never have that chance again.
Or circumstances would change and it would not be the same. Maybe you’d be too depressed, or the person would be too busy for a new friend (you).
Have the now-or-never mindset. Would you just rather NOT approach someone you’re interested in and lose the many opportunities that the encounter could open up for you? As scary as it is for shy and introverted people, approaching someone could save your life.
As scary as it is for shy and introverted people, approaching someone could save your life. That person could become your best friend, a shoulder to cry on, a tutor when you’re struggling at school, or even your life partner.
So give yourself a little pep talk every time you hesitate to approach someone and WALK ON.
What do YOU do to muster up the courage to approach someone? Let me know in the comments below!
D. K. Waye.
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