Dear Dr. Date, I a…

Dear Dr. Date,
I am a sad lowly freshman. My first boyfriend broke up with me for no good reason. We didn’t date for that long, but he had been a good friend of mine.
Anyways, do you have any suggestions on how to “get out there?” I don’t like getting drunk and I enjoy lots of guys’ things, but I’ve never been one to be the girlfriend. I want so badly to date. Any suggestions?
Yes, I have plenty of suggestions. The most important could be having faith in what you are trying to do. Being a freshman can be terribly awkward for some. If you came here straight from high school, then these first two years that you spend at college could be the most influential to date. You will transform into a new person. You’re learning to think, survive and interact completely on your own. You need to do this, but know that it won’t always be easy.
When you are trying to improve on yourself everything matters. Every tiny thought, every decision, and every action should be scrutinized and then modified if necessary. Some of who we are is natural and shouldn’t be changed, but a lot of our behavior is ridiculous habit that we picked up from a bad influence.
Next time you’re in the cafeteria or other social environment take a look at all the people around you. I think you’d be surprised to know how many of those seemingly well-adjusted people feel just like you do. Examine how you are thinking. You take in all the information, make a decision based on that information and then act on that decision. Somewhere in this process, you are ending up in the wrong place. The goal then is to modify this failure of a thought process.
Shyness usually starts at the very beginning with misreading the information before you. For instance, when you think of yourself talking to a stranger, do you automatically assume they won’t want to talk to you or that they’ll probably make fun of you? This is typical shy person thought, but there’s no evidence to justify thinking like this. A good all-purpose rule for shy people is to process your surroundings as normal, but just set aside your first gut reaction before you act. Come up with a couple of alternate ways for you to look at a situation and then pick one that isn’t typical to you.
So, as you read this, there’s probably someone interesting to talk to within fifty feet. Look at that person and process your feelings as you think about striking up a conversation. Set aside your first reaction and see what else comes in. I promise the answer to your problem is in these other reactions.
Good luck!