Communication is key… but so is being myself

I’ve always been a reserved, introverted person and communication has never been easy for me. As a kid, I used to get into trouble for being too scared to even order a sandwich. There were opportunities in life that I missed out on due to my fear of speaking up. For example, in elementary school, my teacher assigned us a project, and I did my best to do well on it. I bought toys, clay, and paint—I really went all out! But I didn’t know we’d also have to present in front of the class, and as my teacher examined my work and praised it, I refused to present, too shy to even lift up my head. I’ve always dreamed of becoming an actress, but my mother says that if I don’t break out of this shell of mine, I won’t make it. She doesn’t mean it unkindly; she’s only trying to help me, which I understand and appreciate. I’ve read about actors and actresses who are shy like me, or a little awkward like Aubrey Plaza, and it’s reassuring to know that I can realize my dream despite my shyness.

I’ve been communicating more since coming to Geneseo. I’m still scared to talk sometimes, but there have been situations where I’m able to push past the fear and express myself even if it’s difficult and intimidating. I’ve made some new friends on my own, and I try not to overthink things or act awkwardly around them. I see a lot of performing arts groups on campus, but I don’t think that I’ll join. I’m too nervous and afraid to audition, but maybe my feelings will change over time. There are a lot of confident and outgoing people in this world, and society makes it seem like you can’t be successful or happy unless you are that way too. I used to think the same thing, but now I believe that I’m fine just the way I am. Yes, I’m shy but not to the point where I can’t communicate in my own way. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a first-year is that I can go far by being myself.

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