If you’re not a naturally outgoing and friendly person, being social in school is really difficult… especially if you’re in a new environment, whether it’s high school or college. I know this from experience. I’ve always been shy and kind of introverted, so making friends has never been easy for me.
In 9th grade, I went to a brand new school where I knew only two people. It was terrifying! But I knew that the only way to get through it was to make new friends, so I had to force myself to be a little more outgoing. My version of that? I followed a girl to lunch like a creep and then asked if I could sit with her. We laugh about it now, but hey, it ended up working out: that girl is still one of my best friends today.
So I know it can be scary, but sometimes, you just need to push yourself to be a little more social. Even if you already have friends, it never hurts to make new ones. Here are 10 tips on how to be more outgoing in school, whether you’re a freshman in high school or college… or an older student just looking for some new people to hang out with. Good luck!
Project ConfidenceConfidence naturally attracts people, so if you seem sure of yourself, it makes everything else a lot easier. Even if you're not actually confident, just fake it... eventually, it will start to become a reality. Don't second guess yourself, and don't be afraid to speak up. Here are more tips on being confident - it's a lot easier than you would think. Source: ShutterStock
Join Student GovernmentIf you're in high school, student government is an excellent way to be more outgoing and social, because it literally forces you to be both of those things. Student government is a perfect way to get to know almost everyone in your grade... and it's also the easiest way for all of them to know who you are. You don't have to go for president right away, you can try for a smaller role. Being involved with student government not only means you'll meet people, it also means you'll be more involved with everything that is happening with your grade. It really pushes you to be more social. And even if you try for it but don't get picked, you're still getting your name out there! That means you can build support and try again next year. Source: ShutterStock
Talk To The Easiest TargetsIf starting a conversation with people you don't know seems terrifying to you, start with the easiest targets. This means your classmates who you already have to sit next to, people who have the same lunch as you, or anyone in the same after-school activities as you. It's so easy to start a convo when you have a legit reason. Ask about the homework or try to start a study group. Become friendly in class together, and then you can eventually start hanging out after class. Source: ShutterStock
Smile, Laugh, and Be NiceIn order to be both outgoing and social, you also have to be approachable. Always try to keep a smile on your face - people are much more likely to want to talk to someone who looks happy. Laugh at what others say if you find it funny. And be nice to everyone! Offer help with an assignment if you see someone struggling, don't spread gossip, and don't talk badly about people behind their back. That stuff gets back to people faster and easier than you realize. Source: ShutterStock
Compliment PeopleAnother easy way to come off as really outgoing is to give out a lot of compliments. Everyone loves being complimented. It makes them feel good, so it will naturally make them feel good towards you. Don't just throw them out there without meaning it - you need to be sincere in order to come off as genuine. If you see a girl wearing an outfit you love, tell her. If you hear someone say something funny, tell them how hilarious they are. Stuff like that! Source: ShutterStock
Approach People Who Seem QuietIf approaching people is intimidating to you, try to approach students who seem shy and quiet. As a quiet girl myself, I can tell you that they will most likely be really happy that someone is making an effort to talk to them. Sometimes shy people seem like they're not interested, but that doesn't mean they're trying to be rude! Source: ShutterStock
Join After-School ClubsAfter-school clubs are an excellent way to meet people and to integrate yourself into the school's social life. Whether you're in high school or college, pick something you like and go for it. Or, pick something that just seems new and interesting. I joined the newspaper and literary magazine in high school, and I made some friends there. In college I did the same, and made a lot of connections. It looks good on transcripts too! Source: ShutterStock
Go To School EventsIf you want to seem more social, you need to get involved! Start attending school events with a friend or on your own. Go to sporting events - games can be really fun even if you're not athletic! I've never been a big fan of football, but I always had fun at high school games cheering people on. And afterwards, there was always a party or something to go to that I probably wouldn't have known about if I didn't go. If you really hate sports, go see the school play, or check out the band. Source: ShutterStock
Join In On ConversationsDon't be afraid to jump into a conversation during class, lunch, or a school event. If you hear someone talk about something you know about, speak up. Or just laugh at a joke. It may be a little awkward, but chances are, no one is going to be like, "Ew, what are you doing?" Source: ShutterStock
Hang Out With Your Friends FriendsIf possible, try to plan stuff with your friends like parties where you can invite a bunch of different people. Unless your parents are really cool, this would probably be a lot easier to do in college. But you can also plan a night where your friends all bring someone new to hang out so that you can all get to know each other. Source: ShutterStock
Are you naturally shy? Did you find these tips helpful? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments!