Gah, I'm going back to school after being a dropout...!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by putputters, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Due to depression, I dropped out of high school in my old state. But now I live with a relative in a different state (lol, only 15 min away from the other state, so it's not like I moved far or anything) and after a year, finally got legalized in Jersey and hopefully come January, can attend the high school in this neighborhood.

    Thing is, when I started missing school back in my old state, I was already secluding myself from other people. It's been about two years since I have regularly talked to anyone outside of the <8 people I currently live with (only half of those are the ones I actually interact with everyday). I rarely go outside nowadays because frankly, I don't have the free time to (babysitting 24/7) and I'm not really up-to-date with cultural things. Also, i really honestly have no friends that are near me. I mean, I have one online friend but we rarely get to talk 'cause we've been busy and when we do talk, it's just by visual text and it's not like I can see her/hear her voice. I'm totally fine with that, but chatting by typing is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from chatting IN PERSON.

    And seeing how I've never really chatted regularly with a person outside of my family for the past two years, I was wondering if I could get advice/tips on how to interact with people. Specifically people I may encounter going to school: peers, teachers, etc. I've been scared because the day that I start school again is getting closer and closer but I've almost completely forgotten how to interact with new people and am naturally an introvert, somewhat anti-social, and really, REALLY awkward.

    Any suggestions, advice, tips, head-ups, etc? All and any would be appreciated. I'm attending a public high school in the suburbs if that helps you get any idea about what kind of setting I'll be in.
     
  2. Ah conversation.

    I'm still struggling with this in my own life but I've gotten loads better at it in recent years. I was more than just a natural introvert or shy person. I legitimately was frightened of being around people, so much so that it led to other problems and disorders. I overcame it by joining theater in my freshman year on a whim. I know, looking back on it I can't help but think, "Dear god an introvert decided to go up on stage and ACT?!"

    It broke my introverted shell into a million pieces. Not only did I act, I ended up writing the Halloween play, co directed and acted in it.

    I was much more open to talking to people, much more comfortable with myself, and I learned to laugh at my dorkiness. It also helped that I also joined marching band a year later so I was crammed/forced to be around a ton of people. (Some of those people I hated, some of them are still my dear friends today. My best friend even came from band.) Basically what I'm trying to say is don't be afraid to join some extracurricular. It makes you interact with people that have similar interests as you, and it looks good on a college application.

    As far as small talk goes, don't think about being anti-social, don't even classify yourself as such. The more you think about it, the more it's gonna show and it's just gonna stress you out even more. Talk about the weather, talk about grades or what classes the person next to you has. Maybe you guys are in the same classes together? What college are they looking to go to? Talk about movies, books, music, etc. Stay away from conversations about religion and politics if you can. >.< Those can get messy.
     
  3. I was pretty introverted too and in the end you really just have to force yourself to go and talk to people. It's terrifying and horrible, but that is really the only way you can start to break out of your shell. It's what I did and trust me I was terrible at small talk and seeming normal but as time went on I got better and more confident ( I also joined the Army, but I expect you wouldn't want to do that. Heh!). It may seem a bit self centered but when I hop out of the shower I usually look in the mirror and think "Damn I look good." where before I wouldn't really look in the mirror. You just need to find ways to boost your confidence! The things Zen suggested are really good too.

    If I remember right a good way to be involved in conversation without seeming boring, or focused on yourself is to actually pay attention to what the other person is saying and then decide on what you can ask or add to the conversation. If someone is talking about a new video game or book you could ask them what made them choose that book. Whether you should get it for yourself. How long it is and how much it costs. There are a million questions you can ask and most of them won't sound boring to the other person because it means they get to talk about themselves more. This is really useful if you aren't good at talking about yourself, besides everyone likes to talk about themselves.
     
  4. Be yourself, be confident and be polite! That's what I do, even if I have to fake being confident. It works.

    And when I say be yourself, I mean it! Just from what I've seen you post here at Iwaku, in the general section and such, you seem like a intelligent and interesting person : )

    Also remember the first day is always the hardest, from the moment you walk out the door it's all down hill!
     
  5. @Zen
    I understand that feeling of more than just shyness. Lately, I've realized that going to places with crowds sometimes physically makes me ill. I'll try to find some clubs and extracurriculars to join. I really do rarely ever have free time to spend because of babysitting, but I'll definitely work something out.

    *Nods*. I'll keep from thinking such thoughts. Religion and politics are touchy topics, so I'll be sure to stay away from them. XD

    @Super Cat
    Practice does make perfect I guess? I'll take it from you and try to talk more, even if it's painful at first. You joined the army? Thank you for doing so, I appreciate what you've been doing/done for our country! Speaking of army bods, my sister's a marine, so I know exactly how a soldier's physique looks like. XD Telling yourself you look good sounds like a funny idea, but I've heard it's really efficient at boosting confidence, so I'll try it!

    A way to make friends is to listen to them and ask questions about their interests? Sounds plausible. I'll put it to the test once I start school. :3 And now that I think about it, there actually are tons of questions I can ask people. I just hope I don't choke and ask weird ones. ^^;

    @October leche
    "Be yourself", eh? I'll trust in myself to do that at school. I tend to stay really quiet because I get nervous in new environments and around new people. I'll try unzipping my mouth once I go!
    xD Thank you. Though, I contradict both of those half of the time. :D
    Yup! Thanks for reminding me. I keep finding myself imagining how the first day's gonna go down: frolicking in the hallways with new friends while smiling and giggling as we all have sparkling and glowing auras surrounding us. Yeah, I desperately needed a stabbing reality check. LOL. I'll hope for the best but expect the worst, I guess.
     
  6. Smile. Don't do the big fake stalker serial killer smile of course, but people that smile are easier to approach and the extroverts are more likely to pull you into their whirl wind world if you do, and if you don't wanna be in a whirl wind that's okay, cause you might be able to attract some of the introverts to you as well. You can have sad days and rough days of course, but if on average people see your smile and not your frown they'll be more inclined to deal with you. No one wants to make friends with a grump.
     
  7. True story! :3 Thanks for the advice, I'll try to grin more.
     

  8. I've totally been there; dropped out twice during my sophomore and senior years due to mental health issues and started fresh at three different schools. Its totally overwhelming and yes, you will feel like a fish out of water for a while. Its only natural after isolating yourself for so long, you may feel some anxiety being around large groups and that's fine, the key for me was to accept it for what it was. Sounds like you already have, which puts you ahead of the curve already.

    Now...When it comes to relearning to socialize, I found that just sticking myself in groups of people in between classes wasn't enough. I've never been one for small talk, for me it felt artificial and I got nervous really easily. What I needed was to be in an environment which encouraged interaction with other for a purpose. Now you may ask: "But Dead, wherever can I find this meaningful interaction?"

    The answer? Extracurricular activities my dear! Sports, clubs, event planning committees, band, dramatic productions...These are all situations that provide students with the means to meet others with similar interests. By going to events you enjoy you're more likely to make friends that you'll enjoy hanging out with. This saved my social life in late high school.

    Anyways, thats my two cents.

    Best of Luck!
     
  9. Thank you! I really appreciate this pretty in depth explanation. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who's been through this. It's really nerve-wracking to be around people in general, but I hope by taking your and everyone else's advices, I'll be more comfortable with socializing and such.