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Being a shy student at college can be totally terrifying, especially if you don’t know anybody there. If you’re starting college, changing courses or simply moving to a new location, you’re probably already fretting about who you’re going to sit next to, how you’ll be perceived and what your lecturers will be like.  And while it may seem like the students with self-confidence blasting through their veins always come out on top, here are some healthy reminders that quiet students can also out from the rest in class.

You’ve Got The Smarts

You know that scary incident when the lecturer looks at you for an answer to a question and puts you on the spot in class? While your stumbling to find your words, someone else  (typically the loudest , most boastful person in the room) swoops in and answers, leaving you red-faced and feeling like a pure eejit?

Yes, it’s mortifying and a bit relieving, especially when you knew the answer all along, but remember that shy students have their own unique ways to blow the lecturers minds, particularly during exam time.

Sure, sassy gals may be able to think on their feet, but give a shy student a pen, a piece of paper and a quiet room, and they can write a more reasoned argument than any defender in demand? Why? Because shy students ask lots of questions and listen to the answers so they tend to soak up way more than their more chatty classmates.

The lecturer then suddenly loves you because you’re the only student that doesn’t mock them and actually pays attention. So whoever said being intelligent, intellectual and interested in learning is uncool is so wrong, because brains be HAWT.

 You’re Kind Online

When you want to smile at someone or say hello, shyness can hold you back. This is why cyberspace is usually the perfect place for you to express what a deadly mate you really are. It’s far easier for you to post a compliment on someone’s Insta or tag them in a cat meme than to say something to their face, because of the emotional distance.

But kindness is actually a really powerful way of dealing with people. So while nasty tactics like being salty can help you stir drama to rise to the top, so too can keeping your mouth shut and killing them with kindness. And if you opt for the latter, you can just relax and watch the rubbish take itself out.

You Get What You Want

Do you ever notice that it’s usually the same person in your friend group who picks what film to see, where to go for lunch, and even what playlist you listen to on Spotify? Sometimes, it’s just easier to let an attention-seeker call the shots, rather than challenge them (after all, a shy person will do anything to avoid a fight.)

But when it comes to the really important stuff, shy students have a few tricks up their sleeves to help them get what they want. Your mild manners and soft speaking style will make your crew agree with you more to your demands, which could be perceived as aggressive if it was coming from someone with a more confident personality so most of the time you get what you ask for without being a diva.

You Have Friends Who Are Great Craic

How many pals do you actually have on Facebook? If you’re a shy person, you are probably not as many as your friendly mates in your course. But here’s the thing: when it comes to having reliable besties who you can actually call in a major crisis, shy students take the spotlight.

Sure, a blabbermouth might come home from the first day of college with fistfuls of student email addresses, but when the trend wears off, they’ll be on to the next crowd. A shy person on the other hand, observes class politics before choosing who to hang around with- you don’t want to get saddled with the class dickheads, am I right?

Instead, you spend months and maybe years cultivating your friendships, and your close friends mean everything to you.

By Ciara Mannion