Will my shy teen fit in at uni?

Teenager sitting outside by themselves on their phone

Have a shy teen? You may wonder if uni is the right choice. Find out why it could be the ideal place for them to thrive.

Being a teenager is hard. And it can be even harder for you as a parent to watch your teen go through all the highs and lows of this exciting but challenging time of life.

But if your teen is more on the shy side, you may find yourself wondering: Is my teenager too shy for university? If they had trouble fitting in at school, will uni be even harder? Is it a place where they will thrive, or will they be overwhelmed and not do their best?

Should my teen study at Murdoch?

We find there tend to be three things teenagers (and their parents) worry about when thinking ahead about university:

  • Meeting new people — “What if I don’t fit in?”
  • Making decisions — “What if I can’t pick my course or make a mistake?”
  • Trying new things — “What if I fail or don’t like it?”

We want to share a few thoughts to reassure you, and your teen, that university can indeed be a place to thrive. Even if they are shy.

A Place where Everyone Belongs

It’s not unusual to feel nervous about meeting new people. Chloe, a student at Murdoch, felt this, too. She didn’t quite fit in during high school and worried that university would be more of the same.

But her experience surprised her. She found, instead, that Murdoch created an environment that made fitting in much easier. “One of the things I love most about Murdoch is that students are encouraged to embrace who they are and what makes them different. It's the kind of place where it is possible to be yourself and make friends,” she said.

There are so many kinds of people at university that it is easy to find one’s place. As Chloe sums it up - “[T]here really is no “in” to fit into – everybody is different and everyone is themselves.”

You can read more from Chloe about fitting in at uni, here. You might also be interested in the advice Stephanie, another Murdoch student, shares about how to make friends at uni.

A Supportive Environment

Many teens feel a lot of pressure around the decision of what course to take at university. They can think they are supposed to pick that perfect thing that will determine their career for the rest of their lives. No wonder they feel stressed.

The reality is that many students take time to find their footing and may not finish their studies with the same course with which they began. For students like Jackson, it might include taking time out of studies before changing direction with a post-grad degree. Your course is just the launching point and most people will change jobs many times over the course of their career.

Murdoch creates an atmosphere in which it is okay to explore and to change your mind. Your course is not meant to be a boundary that limits your options but a foundation that expands them.

Murdoch student Abbey, who is studying criminology, needed time to find the path that was right for her. In fact, Murdoch isn’t even the university where she started. But she found a diversity of options that allowed her to specialise in something that excites her and is helping prepare her for a solid career after graduation.

For Abbey, something that has really helped her along the way is the support of the teaching staff.

“What’s surprised me about Murdoch is the helpfulness of the professors. They can really go out of their way to make sure you are doing okay and are always there for you if you need help or guidance.”

University is a time of important decisions. But Murdoch provides the support to ensure no one has to make them alone.

Finding Your Passion

There’s no question that it is easier to stick to what is familiar than to jump into an environment where nearly everything is new. Your teen may feel very hesitant about all the change that university represents.

However, new opportunities present the possibility of new gifts. Whether that means friendships that can last a lifetime or an area of study your teen has never even heard of before, the things we get the greatest joy from in life are always new when we first encounter them.

Murdoch’s variety of courses, diversity of clubs and societies, and vibrant student body make it the perfect place to discover something new. 

Murdoch is a place where your teen can find friends, make decisions, and explore their interests, all while enjoying the support of an engaged and caring community. Allowing them the opportunity to study at uni may just give them the space and independence they need to grow and to blossom into the person they were always meant to be. 

Discover more about raising a teenager and how you can help them navigate their journey to university.

Posted on:

7 Mar 2022

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