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Please help, I just want to change, and don't know how...

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    #1

    Sorry, this post is going to sound very whiny, but I have to ask.

    I'm a 19 year old girl, and my teenage years have been really difficult for all sorts of reasons, resulting in low self esteem, depression, eating disorders (only for a while) and all that sort of thing. When I was 14 or 15 I started at a new school where I knew no-one, and was really insecure- I was so badly bullied that I found it difficult to speak to anyone after that, even if I knew them quite well. I had a small group of a few friends.
    I'm now on a gap year, starting uni in October, and turn 20 in November. I had always thought that by now everything would be better, that I'd have changed, but I haven't, everything is the same as it always was. I'm at home, with no money, no friends because I live in the middle of the countryside on a farm, and although I'm proud of what I achieved- really good a levels, good uni- I feel as if I've wasted my teenage years, and that the last year is slipping away.

    So I need to change, quickly. I'm quite shy and anxious, and a perfectionist. I guess people find me sharp, defensive and difficult, but I don' t mean to be! How can I change? I need to find some way, in short, of feeling happy and wanted for once in my life. Being here day after day without seeing a single person is making me so unhappy. I had so many ideas of what I wanted to be and do when I was younger and none of these have happened, it seems like they never can or will. I feel so trapped, and useless, and alone. I have loads of things I enjoy and am good at, I just have no-one to share them with.
    I regret closing myself off to the world do much now, and I don't know how I can ever put it right. I need to escape- I can't remember the last time I had any fun, I've never felt wanted or loved by anyone. I am almost certainly very depressed, which, of course, doesn't help.

    Sorry this is such a long post, I really had to let all of that out somehow.
    #2

    Please listen really carefully to what I'm going to tell you because I was in your exact same situation when I was about to join uni. Normally I tell people not to change who they are but if it's causing you all this upset then this is what I strongly recommend.

    Be someone you're not. Nobody at uni knows who you are so they will never know you have changed. Start developing your new image as of tomorrow. You need people to do this so if you're still at college just start changing. **** it you won't ever see them people again anyway.

    I went to college and I changed my dress sense, I pretended to be bisexual which instantly put some close minded people off me but the girls took to me, they found me interesting and wanted to get to know me. I got my tongue pierced, I started adding random people on Facebook who do like for likes, if people think you're popular they will naturally take to you.

    I changed the way I dressed a little bit... I went from chavy clothes to more designer labels, ripped jeans and changed my footwear. I was even going to dye my hair black to my blonde eyebrows would of conflicted lol.

    I also made myself appear really really smart, now it's a bit of a challenge because being at uni they expect me to get awesome grades so I'm constantly learning which to be honest is a good thing. I always take 15mins a day to learn something about someone else’s subject so little by little I build a knowledge relationship with those people.

    I was really shy to go out to clubs but one day 2 girls asked me if I wanted to come out one Friday night and I just said yes without thinking twice about anything. I had the most amazing time and even though I know I was dancing like a **** I was drunk and so was everyone else so nobody gives a ****.

    Now onto uni. Once you arrive at uni, your Facebook will be set to go, you already have people who like stuff you post and it really seems silly but trust me Facebook is a huge tool. Add random people as family members too to give the impression you have super closer friends.

    Practice being this new person everyday while at college or even just walking down the street. By the time you get to uni you will be set to go and trust me it's really really simple to make friends at uni.

    I always pretend to come across as a really motivated person, I'll always talk about success and moving forward in life. People admire this and being around a positive person makes you positive. People like that.

    So now I have created this entire fake person that as far as everyone knows is the original me, I have friends, people talk to me when they have problems, I go out and get drunk and I love uni life.

    At first this may seem completely insane but the reality of it is, I'm living the life of the person I secretly wish I was. Good luck and I hope you have an amazing time at uni because it will be the best experience of your life
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    Please listen really carefully to what I'm going to tell you because I was in your exact same situation when I was about to join uni. Normally I tell people not to change who they are but if it's causing you all this upset then this is what I strongly recommend.

    Be someone you're not. Nobody at uni knows who you are so they will never know you have changed. Start developing your new image as of tomorrow. You need people to do this so if you're still at college just start changing. **** it you won't ever see them people again anyway.

    I went to college and I changed my dress sense, I pretended to be bisexual which instantly put some close minded people off me but the girls took to me, they found me interesting and wanted to get to know me. I got my tongue pierced, I started adding random people on Facebook who do like for likes, if people think you're popular they will naturally take to you.

    I changed the way I dressed a little bit... I went from chavy clothes to more designer labels, ripped jeans and changed my footwear. I was even going to dye my hair black but my blonde eyebrows would of conflicted lol.

    I also made myself appear really really smart, now it's a bit of a challenge because being at uni they expect me to get awesome grades so I'm constantly learning which to be honest is a good thing. I always take 15mins a day to learn something about someone else’s subject so little by little I build a knowledge relationship with those people.

    I was really shy to go out to clubs but one day 2 girls asked me if I wanted to come out one Friday night and I just said yes without thinking twice about anything. I had the most amazing time and even though I know I was dancing like a **** I was drunk and so was everyone else so nobody gives a ****.

    Now onto uni. Once you arrive at uni, your Facebook will be set to go, you already have people who like stuff you post and it really seems silly but trust me Facebook is a huge tool. Add random people as family members too to give the impression you have super closer friends.

    Practice being this new person everyday while at college or even just walking down the street. By the time you get to uni you will be set to go and trust me it's really really simple to make friends at uni.

    I always pretend to come across as a really motivated person, I'll always talk about success and moving forward in life. People admire this and being around a positive person makes you positive. People like that.

    So now I have created this entire fake person that as far as everyone knows is the original me, I have friends, people talk to me when they have problems, I go out and get drunk and I love uni life.

    I'm so used to being this person now that from the moment I wake up I just start acting like this made up person I don't even need to think about it.

    At first this may seem completely insane but the reality of it is, I'm living the life of the person I secretly wish I was. Good luck and I hope you have an amazing time at uni because it will be the best experience of your life
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    (Original post by SepticArt)
    Please listen really carefully to what I'm going to tell you because I was in your exact same situation when I was about to join uni. Normally I tell people not to change who they are but if it's causing you all this upset then this is what I strongly recommend.

    Be someone you're not. Nobody at uni knows who you are so they will never know you have changed. Start developing your new image as of tomorrow. You need people to do this so if you're still at college just start changing. **** it you won't ever see them people again anyway.

    I went to college and I changed my dress sense, I pretended to be bisexual which instantly put some close minded people off me but the girls took to me, they found me interesting and wanted to get to know me. I got my tongue pierced, I started adding random people on Facebook who do like for likes, if people think you're popular they will naturally take to you.

    I changed the way I dressed a little bit... I went from chavy clothes to more designer labels, ripped jeans and changed my footwear. I was even going to dye my hair black but my blonde eyebrows would of conflicted lol.

    I also made myself appear really really smart, now it's a bit of a challenge because being at uni they expect me to get awesome grades so I'm constantly learning which to be honest is a good thing. I always take 15mins a day to learn something about someone else’s subject so little by little I build a knowledge relationship with those people.

    I was really shy to go out to clubs but one day 2 girls asked me if I wanted to come out one Friday night and I just said yes without thinking twice about anything. I had the most amazing time and even though I know I was dancing like a **** I was drunk and so was everyone else so nobody gives a ****.

    Now onto uni. Once you arrive at uni, your Facebook will be set to go, you already have people who like stuff you post and it really seems silly but trust me Facebook is a huge tool. Add random people as family members too to give the impression you have super closer friends.

    Practice being this new person everyday while at college or even just walking down the street. By the time you get to uni you will be set to go and trust me it's really really simple to make friends at uni.

    I always pretend to come across as a really motivated person, I'll always talk about success and moving forward in life. People admire this and being around a positive person makes you positive. People like that.

    So now I have created this entire fake person that as far as everyone knows is the original me, I have friends, people talk to me when they have problems, I go out and get drunk and I love uni life.

    I'm so used to being this person now that from the moment I wake up I just start acting like this made up person I don't even need to think about it.

    At first this may seem completely insane but the reality of it is, I'm living the life of the person I secretly wish I was. Good luck and I hope you have an amazing time at uni because it will be the best experience of your life
    Don't do this. :nah: This type of facade is likely to fall apart eventually, and you'll end up feeling like you did before- lonely.
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    I'm sorry you're feeling rubbish, I know what it's like.

    And I'm really sorry, but please don't take the advice above. Facebook friends and a new look? That's only surface stuff and your problems sound much more deep-rooted than that. I know people who have changed themselves (usually for the worst) to get popular and they don't seem very happy to me. In fact, they seem unhappy and constantly over-compensate and sorry, but I have much more respect for people who manage to be happy and stay true to themselves.

    First, you say you're depressed. That makes it difficult to do a lot of things and nearly always makes you feel awful about yourself and low confidence can make it difficult to socialise and make friends. Have you been to a doctor or talked to someone about it? I think it might be difficult to fix the other things without sorting out the big issues.

    Have you got plans for your gap year? If not, make some. Get a job, maybe one which involves lots of inter-acting with people as this is a sure-fire way to get you comfortable in those kinds of situations (it will be scary and hard at first, but it gets better) and when you get to uni you'll find socialising comes more naturally. You're also likely to make some friends. Give yourself goals, whether it's raising money to go travelling or doing a course in something you enjoy.

    You say you're good at lots of things and have no one to share them with? Find people! What sorts of things do you like? For example, I love writing and have found writing groups at a few of my local libraries which I'd like to join. I have a friend who likes photography and a local photography shop runs a club and she goes to that. Whatever you're interested in, there are going to be others. Maybe you just need to do some digging. I live in a big city, so I realise it's far easier to find these things here but there must be a fair amount of things you can get involved with, even if you have to travel a little. You'll meet like-minded people and get to socialise a bit too.

    Try and get out as much as you can. I often fall into that trap where I feel kind of depressed, so I push everyone away and stay alone and think way too much and become REALLY depressed. Try and get out every day. I imagine it's far easier to fall prey to this if you're on a gap year and you don't have lots to occupy you. Even if it's just for a walk down to the shops or something, you'll feel better for it in the long run.

    Find ways to build your confidence too. You could change your look, like the poster above, if you think it will make you feel good about yourself. You seem to feel trapped and closed off to the world, but it's your mind that's keeping you prisoner and at the end of the day, only you can free yourself. You can't just change yourself overnight. You might look different to the world, maybe you'll even fool yourself, but deep down you'll still have the same insecurities and you won't be happier for it. Make little changes. You're lucky you have a whole year to rid yourself of all these doubts which are holding you back. You have to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself. It will be hard and you'll want to give up and choose the easy-route. Sometimes you'll feel awful and the depression and low self-esteem will rear their ugly heads again and again but it's a process and sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. That's the important thing, though - they will get better if you push yourself - even if that just means getting help, even if it just means admitting you need help.

    Posting this was the first step and you just have to keep pushing through, really. There's no easy way.

    Good luck!

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Updated: April 19, 2012
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