I’m not a super outgoing person. It’s just not my personality. Quiet, reserved, shy, all these terms and many more apply. This being said, maybe you can begin to understand the anxiety I faced upon arriving to college freshman year. Just imagine, I had worked my way through four years of high school, slowly building relationships, opening up my life to others and generally getting comfortable. And then, all that work came to an end once I walked across the stage at graduation. Going to college meant starting from the bottom (but now I’m here! – thanks, Drake) and having to put myself “out there” all over again. And trust me, I am not a fan of putting myself out there. Thus, the first couple months at CNU were pretty intimidating. It was easy to be friendly to people on my hall and in my classes, but friendliness doesn’t guarantee best-friendship, and as an introvert, I longed to cut the small talk and start working on deep relationships with these people.
College stretches me in new ways every single day. I’ve found that I’m tons better at striking up conversations with strangers now, and the college me is already so much more friendly and approachable than the high school me. The other day, for example, I was standing in the nacho line at Commons, and I ended up having an almost five-minute conversation with a girl I’d never met before. Afterwards, I immediately told my suitemate, and we celebrated my small small-talk victory.
Also this semester, I’ve been enrolled in a public speaking class in the Communication Department. I’ve found that English majors have much in common with communication majors, but we definitely diverge on several points. One of these being how we express ourselves. It’s almost a given that communication majors are fond of talking and all things verbal (not to generalize, but this has been my experience thus far). On the other hand, English majors tend to enjoy writing more, although I know several English majors who could talk your ear off all while using the proper grammar. However, I tend to fall into the group of English majors who loves writing (obviously, I mean, I’m blogging right now) and is less enthralled with talking. Because of that, I was definitely nervous about taking a public speaking class. In fact, the only reason I took it at all was because it happened to be a prerequisite for admittance to CNU’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program.
But, here I am, ten-ish weeks into the semester, giving speeches IN FRONT OF PEOPLE every other week.
And, I’m enjoying it.
Because you still have to write the speech before you give it (at least, that’s how I function). And, writing is a passion of mine.
I am so grateful CNU has given me the opportunity to take something I love and look at more facets of it. What is writing if you have no readers? What is speaking if you have no listeners? I’m learning (slowly) that it’s OK to express myself. I may not ever become truly outgoing, But, CNU has put me on a path of self-discovery, and I’m loving every second of it. I’m truly finding my voice.