As someone with SM who really cares about her schooling, my online classes have been perfect for me. I feel safe and comfortable in online classes in general, but there is something about a class that is on a topic that I love, like mythology, that makes me want to open up even more than I would in other classes. I am an active participant in all of my classes, and have found ways to continue to be in touch with my classmates even after school ended.
For me, history and mythology take me to a different world. It is kind of a place where I forget my anxieties and get more overtaken by my excitement for the subject. In my mythology and classical history classes, I open up to both my teachers and my classmates without hesitation. I don’t just answer questions and prompts, but ask them of my peers. I am even in touch with many of my classmates from these classes outside of the classroom. My classmates from my classical classes and I have formed email groups and chat groups in which I am very active. I enjoy interacting with classmates in my mythology and classical history classes so much that I don’t even think once about being an introvert with SM.
It really is a bit strange – taking these classes in subjects I am super excited about has broadened my education, but even more, the classics have helped me see what it is like to overcome my introversion and SM tendencies. When I am interacting with my classmates from these classes, I am just one of the kids, bantering back and forth. For example, in my mythology class, we were interacting on-topic a few weeks ago about who started the curse of the House of Atreus, a mythological bloodline including many woebegone myth protagonists such as Tantalus, who was cursed to never be able to eat or drink in the Underworld. I had my own opinion, and was not at all shy to share it and respectfully disagree with classmates.
Another example happens almost every day: I interact with my classmates outside of the classroom very often, in ways where we take what we have learned to the next level and apply it to real life. In one group, about a month ago, they held an election and formed a Third Triumvirate of the Roman Empire. The elected classmates then randomly appointed other people roles such as Centurians of the Cohorts, Legates, and such. We then challenged ourselves to get the chat chain to 1000 chats before the end of the year, and I participated in posting chats so much that I got promoted to become one of the ‘rulers,’ and we formed a Quadrumvirate.
These interactions have helped me put aside my SM to have fun with other kids my age, so much so that I now check my email every day to make sure I don’t miss any fun conversations. I think the reason I am so easily able to have fun with classmates despite my SM is because I really love the topics of classical history and mythology, so I don’t have to struggle to want to be actively interacting with peers. I think that doing that can help anyone with SM. Just find a topic or subject or anything that you love and enjoy, whether it is academic or not, and it’ll be much easier to be chatty with other kids.