I have posted quite a few “self care” type posts with basically the principle being that it’s okay to check up on yourself and say “no” to things without justifying yourself. Now, this isn’t supposed to be contradictory, but it’s very important to know the difference between always saying “no” and staying in your comfort zone and missing out on potentially fun things and putting your mental health first.
I’m often tempted to skip out on invites, plans, events, etc. because it simply is comfier, safer, and easier to stay in and watch Netflix. While it’s not bad to sometimes let yourself have a break and take a chill night in, but something I’m working on this semester is putting myself out of my comfort zone more. For example, this morning I went to an optional service project with my honors society group where we planted trees at 9:30 in the morning. Had you asked me a year ago to plant trees (something I have zero experience in along with other yard work) with people I barely know at 9:30am..I would have said no for sure. But I ended up having fun, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and making some new friends. Sometimes excuses want to slide right out of my mouth: “Oh that sounds fun, but I don’t think I can, sorry! I have so much homework!”, “Ah sorry, I’d love to but I have plans..!”, etc. That’s the easy route out. Right in my comfort zone. However, I realize I’m not truly living and enjoying life in my comfort zone. Whenever I stop those excuses with a “Yeah, sure! That sounds fun!” I feel my confidence boosting, my shyness decreasing, and I almost never regret saying “yes” to plans.
So especially, as a shy college freshman myself, my best advice is “just go for it”. Go to events you never would have thought you’d like, you’ll often be surprised and make friends along the way. There’s definitely plenty of downtime in college, especially with the long breaks we get, make the most of your time.