Tips for Shy College Students With Introverted Personality Traits


To succeed, shy college students need to see their introverted personality traits as a strength! Also, remember that shyness, social awkwardness, and introversion aren’t the same thing. They’re often confused because they’re related to each other, but they’re different.

Some college students think they’re shy or socially inept when they’re really just introverted. If you aren’t sure what an introvert is, take this Test for Introverted Personality Traits. Below, I define introverted personality traits. Then I offer several tips for overcoming shyness and social awkwardness for college students – with a focus on introversion.

“Unlike extroverts, who wear their personalities on their sleeves, introverts often keep their best to themselves. With extroverts you see what you get,” say Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen, authors of Type Talk at Work: How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job. “With introverts, what you see is only a portion of their personality. The richest and most trusted parts of an introvert’s personality are not necessarily shared with the outside world. It takes time, trust, and special circumstances for them to begin to open up.”





If you’re worried that your shy or introverted personality traits are preventing you from finding work you love (either now in college or later), read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.

And here are tips for shy college students to help determine if they’re introverts or not…

College Students and Introverted Personality Traits

College students with introverted personalities have an inward focus and aren’t usually the “life of the party” – which makes it seem like they’re shy and socially awkward. But what seems like shyness and social anxiety may just be a need to be alone.

Introverts have a strong sense of self that can make them feel highly self-conscious around other people – making walking into a crowded room a little nerve-wracking. Introverts have a hard time being goofy in front of the camera and telling jokes to more than a couple of people at a time (but they can be extremely witty!).

Introverted Students…

  • Enjoy time alone
  • View only their deepest friendships as true friends
  • Feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun!
  • Are often good listeners
  • Appear calm and self-contained
  • Think before they speak or act

For more information about introverted personality traits – and to find out if you’re an introvert – take this Test for Introverted Personality Traits.

Tips for Shy College Students With Introverted Personality Traits

introverted college studentsOkay, I’m not calling this “How to Overcome Introverted Personality Traits for College Students” because being introverted is not something to overcome! It’s part of who you are — and there are alot of benefits of being an introvert.

But, shy college students who are socially anxious can make changes in their life that will not only help them succeed in college, it’ll make them happier and more fulfilled in life. Overcoming shyness and social awkwardness may be as simple as accepting that you’re an introvert!

Here is a quick list of tips:

  1. Learn the difference between shyness and introverted personality traits
  2. Figure out how introverted you are
  3. Accept yourself as a shy college student!
  4. Create a realistic, healthy school schedule
  5. Combine your natural strengths with social interactions
  6. Learn how to make small talk
  7. Find other shy college students — be open and honest about your shyness
  8. Practice making small talk with other shy college students
  9. Spend time one-on-one with friends who understand you
  10. Join a college club that stretches — yet fulfills — you
  11. Avoid or limit the friends and activities that drain or exhaust you
  12. Get counseling help if your shyness or social anxiety is becoming unhealthy or holding you back from achieving your goals

For a full explanation of the first five tips, read How to Overcome Shyness, Social Anxiety for College Students.

And if you have any thoughts about shy college students, please comment below….



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2 thoughts on “Tips for Shy College Students With Introverted Personality Traits

  • Laurie Post author

    Hi Nikki,

    No, don’t flee or quit college! Are you a shy student — and are you introverted? Probably, or you wouldn’t be here 🙂 But I ask because sometimes we call ourselves shy or introverted, when really we’re struggling with social anxiety or low self-confidence. It can be really helpful to identify your specific feelings and fears about interacting with other college students.

    Is this your first yer of college? Were you shy or introverted in high school – -and how did you cope then?