The Shyness Project

Meeting New People On the First Day of Class

About two weeks ago I had my first day of school at the other college I take classes from.  The day started out stressful because I couldn’t find a parking space despite getting there 50 minutes early. Eventually, I just ended up driving across the street and parking in the overflow lot.

I hurried to my class, and found the building right away, though I did have to ask someone where the room was.  When I got there, there were some people waiting outside.  I stood there with them for a bit too.  Finally I decided to walk towards a girl and start talking to her.  I asked if she was waiting for the Abnormal Psychology class to start.  She said she was, and I asked whether she was taking it for a GE or for fun and talked about the crazy parking.  It was difficult talking to her though.  I was asking questions, but she wasn’t asking anything back, and she didn’t seem like she really wanted to talk or be friendly.  It was a little frustrating.  Then the door opened and people started filing in to the room.

I had noticed a girl who was standing by herself quietly, and had a hat on her head and seemed like an artistic person for some reason.  I thought I could either keep trying to talk to this girl who wasn’t all that friendly and didn’t seem to want to be friends, or I could try talking to someone else.  I decided to start over and talk to someone else.  The seats were paired up so I took the seat near the back next to the artistic looking girl which was also nearby the other girl.

I got my textbook out (as it’s a good conversation starter) and put it on my desk.  I thought of what I could say to the girl next to me to start a conversation.  I felt a little self-conscious about trying to talk with the new girl while having the other girl right there who kind of brushed me off.  But luckily, as I was thinking over my options, the artistic girl pointed to my book and asked, “How much did the book cost?”

Yes!  She wants to start a conversation with me!

I smiled and said I got it off Amazon and went into that. I introduced myself too and offered my hand, and she said her name is Kim.  (I quickly wrote her name down right away because I hate forgetting people’s names, and wrote my name in the top right corner of my notebook too so she could see it.)  I asked her if she was taking the class for a GE and found out that she wants to major in psychology actually and loves it.  I told her I love it too and am considering that and Sociology for a major.  I also went into how I’m thinking about Occupational Therapy.  We then talked about the parking and our schedules and what other classes we had, and she was really friendly and sweet.  She asked me a lot of questions and I asked her questions back too.  Often I feel like an interrogator the first time I meet someone because I ask more questions about them than I get asked in return, but this time I could tell she totally wanted to befriend me.  We both enjoyed the class and liked the professor.  We exchanged numbers and at the end she waited for me to gather my stuff and asked where my next class was.  I said it was in the Liberal Arts building, and she said hers was too, so I said we should walk together.  We did and talked and it was nice.  She asked me if I like the cold and I said not really, and neither does she.  We talked about the high schools we went to, and I said how I had played tennis matches against the tennis players at her school and they were a really good team, and she said she plays badminton.  Then when we got to our class we parted ways and said we’d see each other Thursday.  It was a great start to my day and it was so nice to meet someone so friendly and eager to know more about me.

Then I had Women’s US History 1877 – present.  A lot of desks were already taken and I had to make a quick decision of where to sit, so I chose a seat next to a girl with her phone out.  I try and pick random people to talk to and usually just pick a seat that’s going to put me around several people and go for it.  She had a straight face and I couldn’t read if she’d want to talk to me or not, but I decided to ask “This is the women’s history class right?” and she smiled right away and said yeah it was and she wasn’t sure about that at first either.  From there we talked a lot about the crazy parking, expensive bridge toll I have to pay each day, the parking fee, about other classes and teachers we had that we really liked.  She was very outgoing and was very eager to talk to me.  I’m glad I broke the ice and found that out.  Her name is Priscilla.  The teacher for the class seems awesome- she wore a black and white checkered skirt with tights, and a bright red and white blouse.  The front bangs of her short hair are dyed blue too even though she’s probably a 40ish or so aged woman.  I could tell I was going to like her already.  She was nice too and was really into having us use creativity with our assignments.

Then I had US History before 1877.  I went into the class and there weren’t many people there so I just took a random seat in the second row near the middle.  Sometimes I like to leave it up to chance who will sit next to me instead of picking out someone to sit next to.  Usually that works out ok.  This time, it didn’t.  Two girls who were already friends came in and started planning where they could sit so they could have their two guy friends sit nearby.  They took the two seats in front of me, then had their guy friends sit behind them in the seats next to me.  They were really loud and disrespectful, and reminded me of how some of the “popular” people in high school would act.  They were putting their heads down and didn’t do the writing assignment, and when some people would speak up they would mock them quietly to each other.  It was really irritating sitting next to them.  I tried talking to the girl next to me a little, but she was kind of hard to talk to because I don’t think she knows much English.  She seemed to kind of want to keep to herself too and didn’t seem interested in talking.  The teacher was kind of monotone also, but he seems like a gentle spirit at least.

It was a great day overall though!  It was nice meeting different people and breaking the ice with them.

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22 thoughts on “Meeting New People On the First Day of Class

  1. way to persevere. 🙂

  2. Good job. It’s nice to know new people. They may become a close friend. Way to go. 🙂

  3. I hope people appreciate the effort you put into every conversation and interaction, Brittany!

  4. Barbara Markway on said:

    Your classes sound so interesting. Makes me want to go back to college. Oh wait, there’s homework, and tests…

    Some time give us an update on your career “search” (not that you need to know anything yet!)

    • Abnormal Psych is probably the best one, then Women’s History. And haha, yeah, that’s the downside of college! It will keep you busy and will make you stressed from time to time.

      Well I’m thinking I’ll either get a general degree in Sociology or Psychology, and maybe combine that with something else. Or I could get an Occupational Therapy degree, but then my only choice of school is San Jose State. I have to decide if I’d be willing to go there for that or if I just want to get a general degree nearby like at Sonoma State then possibly get a masters in OT somewhere else. Still haven’t quite figured it all out and if OT’s really what I want to do, but we’ll see! I want to take some more classes, probably some Anthropology for fun and then some Anatomy and Physio to see what I think. And I want to go to a college where there’s a good swing dance place nearby so I can actually take classes and get really good. 🙂

  5. My first day of college classes, I walked into my first class of the day to find that the professor was late. I walked directly up to the board, wrote my name, and began teaching the class. My classmates didn’t know me and were convinced that I was really the professor. Moments later, I looked to my right to discover the stunned young lady professor watching the scene from the doorway.

    I think I had watched something like this once in a movie. I dunno.

    Great way to hit it off with new people though 😉

  6. My first day introduced me to some people who were much more similar to the loud ones in your class. They were the ones I first hung out with, they’re fun to be with, had great laughs and all, but at the end of that day I came to realize that they’re not my lot.

    On my second day, I gave the same group the “hey, nice to see you again” remark but nicely walked past them off to the next group, where I got the sense of I-belong.

    • Glad you realized they weren’t the kind of people you wanted to be friends with! It’s good to sit somewhere else if you realize you don’t like where you’re sitting, that’s what I did in this case for the next class and I’m very happy about that choice. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Gosh it has been a while since my college days. During my first day of classes, I was kinda shy so I just sat in a quiet corner before realizing that there were many people around me minutes later. We did the usual introduction and asked about our next classes and all and decided to stick together as a group cuz we didn’t know anyone else. Believe it or not, during the duration of our college years, we became a group. It wasn’t an exclusive clique cuz we do hangout with other people but we tend to stick together. It’s kinda amazing what a simple ice-breaker can do!

    This is a wonderful post and all the best with your classes! 🙂

  8. next week friday on disney they’re going to show a movie called radio rebel. i saw the trailer and i thought it would be interesting because it’s about a shy girl who conquers her fears. Maybe you guys might want to see it?

    • Ooh cool! Thanks for spreading the word, maybe some readers will check it out! I personally don’t have cable but that sounds like it could be interesting! Thanks Emmie for sharing!

  9. I feel sorry for the two people who seemed as if they didn’t want to talk. I wonder if they really did want to talk but weren’t able to. But I think you totally did the right thing in moving on to others. You would have felt frustrated if you’d persisted.

    • Yeah that definitely crossed my mind because I’m aware of that sort of thing. But with the first girl, I really did get the vibe that it was more out of disinterest because she seemed to look down on me when I said I was still in my first year of college while she was in her second. From some people you get that feeling that they only want to hang out with people their own age. And the last girl, she dropped the class and didn’t really seem all that together, so I dunno. If I had gotten the vibe that they had wanted to talk but weren’t able to I would have tried harder, but I really didn’t get that feeling.

  10. Sounds like a great first day!

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