How to be Smarter: I always think it is better to go through life dancing around, and then maybe feeling one second of embarrassment if the neighbors come over and tell you to keep it down, then to tiptoe through life, only to find out that the neighbors had been on vacation that week anyways. Embarrassment is always fleeting, regret lasts forever. How to be Prettier: Love these easy, creative wall-decorating ideas.
How to be (less) Awkward: Just telling someone you feel a little self-conscious/shy/anxious makes you feel better because you have shared how you feel, and usually telling someone you are in need of a little more support gives you an ally. (For example, if you whisper to your classmate before you make a presentation that you are super nervous, they will probably both agree with you that they hate public speaking too, and also give you a reassuring smile from their seat as you start talking).