There are a lot of youtube videos and blog posts and wiki answers about how to deal with being awkward and shy, but as someone who is shy and awkward myself, I often felt like whoever was talking about it didn't understand, or that their advice didn't really help me.
The first and most important bit of info/advice I can give you is that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY AWKWARD PERSON! There and loads of people who are just as shy as you - I know that it can often feel like you're not normal, when everyone else finds it so easy to do even the little things like putting their hand up in class, and still to this day I find it basically impossible to do that, but trust me, you are.
Another important thing is to surround yourself with your friends whenever you can. Personally, I feel so much more confident around my friends, even if there still is people who you don't know there too. Having a bit of back up can make all the difference - also, they can introduce you to new people which makes it less awkward than you having to introduce yourself. Gradually, you may feel yourself feeling more comfortable around these people. This also works with people who you sit next to in lessons, as you are often forced to talk for pair work - remember, it's the same as everything: the more you do it, the easier it is. Seriously though, I'm not lying.
Also, never let anyone make you feel inferior just because you're a bit more quiet than them. Just because someone has a bit more confidence than you doesn't mean that you are more stupid than them, or that they are better than you. If you have good friends, hopefully they will stick up for you, but it is also important to stand up for yourself. Don't let people work all over you, as it's harder to stop after the first time!
So there are some quick tips, hope you find them helpful! :)
- L x