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College helps students cope with shyness

By Paityn Viall
On February 23, 2017

Shyness is a noticeable commonality between students in schools around the world. According to, “About 47 percent of teens identify themselves as shy, especially around peers they do not know well.” 

Being shy or introverted itself is not necessarily a bad thing and in many cases, is just simply a part of one’s personality. However, this trait can come with some unintended problems, especially as a student grows older.

For instance, many college courses include a participation grade. For students who are introverted, this can prove incredibly difficult to manage. These students often lose points in their courses not because they are “bad” students or are not paying attention but simply because they are unable to speak up in front of other students in the class.

Kirkwood Community College student Jamie Halverson is currently working toward an Entrepreneur Certificate and said she thinks there are many ways shy students can be successful in a school environment. “The best thing you can do to overcome shyness is just to be in the present moment. Don’t worry about what may be coming up. Overthinking will only cause you more stress,” said Halverson. suggests that students looking to gain confidence interacting with others should be, “taking small steps by joining a club or organization on campus.” Kirkwood has many opportunities to get involved on campus. A lot of these opportunities also come with added benefits like being resume builders.  

Being shy may simply be a personality trait but it is important to remember that there are ways of coping without a complete personality change. If this becomes too overwhelming, there are many resources available both on and off campus. 

Kirkwood’s Counseling Services has many resources available online at Counselors are available for students to meet with Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. On Kirkwood’s main campus, students can stop by 108 Iowa Hall or call 319-398-5540 for counseling assistance.

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