How do I refrain from embarrassing myself at my prospective grad school?
February 15, 2012 10:02 AM Subscribe
How can I overcome (or at least convincingly mask) my near-paralytic shyness and social awkwardness before my upcoming GradSchool visits? Help! I'm a very special snowflake...
posted by Dorinda to human relations (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I've been accepted into two top-tier English PhD programs (hooray!) and am waiting on the results of my other apps. I've been invited to visit both campuses for a recruitment weekend (school pays all expenses), and along with the rest of the admitted cohort, I will be traveling to these schools in the coming weeks. The purpose of the visits is NOT to conduct interviews (admissions process is complete, I'm in and they are essentially trying to woo me..awww, shucks!) so there is no real "pressure" for these visits......
HOWEVER: I am incredibly shy, and ridiculously awkward, especially in situations where I feel intimidated or have a tremendous amount of respect for the people I'm supposed to be interacting with (definitely the case here). I'd really like to make a good impression not only on the Profs who I will be working under, but also with the other students in whose company I will be wasting away for the better part of the next decade. I am practically incapable of carrying on a "normal"/"friendly" conversation without a bajillion super-awkward silences while I try to think of something appropriate to say, and I would rather DIE than initiate conversation with a stranger or (god forbid!) a superior.
So, beautiful and socially capable MeFites, what are some strategies I can employ during these visits? How can I make them into enjoyable/useful/informative experiences (which is what they are meant to be) instead of trips into the bowels of introvert hell?