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Social Anxiety and Living in Halls?

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    I know there's a thread about living at home or halls, but I'm looking for specific experiences, paticularly from people who have had or know people who have had social anxiety or are generally a bit awkward when it comes to socialising.

    I live 20 mins away on the train from the university I'll be going to in September and at this moment in time my plan is to stay at home.

    Financially it makes no sense to move out. On the other hand, hearing all the stories and reading all the stories on here about people who have stayed at home or lived alone and regretted it, it makes me worried that I'm going to be isolated and miss out on the whole experience.

    The main problem is I have suffered from social anxiety/phobia throughout the whole of high school, meaning I've not had the nicest time there at all and found it very difficult to make friends or be happy. In the last couple of years I've gradually taken more and more steps to get over it, but I'm still very socially awkward, and I'm worried that if I did move into the halls I'd absolutely hate it, and there would never be any escape from it. And if I did end up moving back home, then there would still be that hefty wasted annual rent I'd have to continue paying.

    On the other hand, it might have the opposite effect and force me out of my shell, end up making friends easily with people (which I might not be able to do if I lived at home), and overal I'd adapt and become more sociable. Also it means I'll be living in the city, so I'll be able to do more things (technically) and I also want to join a couple of clubs, so it wouldn't matter what days I was timetabled to be in class or not. It means I wouldnt have to travel just to go to the club for an hour or two. I also really want to become more independant. If I had the money and was in a position to do so, I'd buy my own flat outright and live there and not worry about the halls. But I don't. And that's unlikely to happen for a few years.

    I've suffered 6 years feeling like an outsider, and it's always been my plan for university to be the time that I change, and become the person I want to be and who I am behind all the anxiety, so I don't want to ruin my chances by isolating myself to begin with if it's going to have a negative effect. :\

    Anyone have any insight?
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    I had a similar story to you. 30 mins from uni, went to halls, social issues, didnt like it, moved out, went back next term, enjoyed it . My advice would be to talk to the accommodation team (or your disability service if its an actual medical thing) if you could delay halls untill the second term so you can take things slowly in terms of getting to know people and adapting to your new life. It is what I would of done. And I know it's not as simple as tke advice from random internet person and youre cured but it helps to try and realise that people who dont know you well don't care about you. This may sound like a bad thing but it is actually a good thing, i.e unless you started doing really weird things noone would notice you as being odd simply because they dont care about you enough to spend time watching and analysing your every move. hope that helps.
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    No experience of social anxiety myself, but the good thing with uni halls (unlike private-sector accommodation) is that they will usually let you get out of your contract. Around here, you can either get out of it immediately if you find another student tenant, or you can just pay for another 28 days.
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    i'm veery socially awkward too and i've lived in halls for the first year, but i didn't really get a choice since my uni is like 7 hours away from home..

    if you arent tooo worried about money then i'd suggest that you live in halls at least for the first year. Someone above said that moving into halls just after the first term might help to ease you in, but i completely disagree. In the first term there'll be a lot of fuss around freshers, getting to know people and stuff like that.. living away during this period would be very uncomfortable, and if you live at home + are socially awkward you'd probably be tempted to just stay at home and not socialise and miss the events. Also, from my own experience I can say that if i hadn't lived in halls i probably would have literally no friends at uni. I don't like most of the people here generally, but being geographically in the middle of everything made it easier to find people that i like and sort of remind them of my existence by being more visible walking around campus and stuff..

    ..either way it's not going to be easy.. i do still feel painfully lonely living in halls, but if you really make an effort to socialise you should be okay. You've got the advantage that you'll be able to visit your parents more regularly while still being independent. Also, i don't know what it's like for you but i find living at home quite emotionally suffocating.. so living in halls is quite liberating, eventhough it can be difficult with the lack of emotional support and free food and stuff..

    anywayy.. good luck whatever you decide))) ..i'm sure you'll find a way to enjoy uni no matter where you live
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    As someone who once had severe social anxiety - give it a go. You may surprise yourself.

    It won't automatically make you more social (as your flatmates might not be your 'type', as mine weren't), but it gives you the opportunity.

    It'll be difficult at first but as you join societies and mix with your course mates you'll find likeminded people and the 'uni experience' will begin. You're not just restricted to socialising with your flatmates but being in halls makes you much more accessible for house parties and what not.
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    but the good thing with uni halls (unlike private-sector accommodation) is that they will usually let you get out of your contract.
    That's actually really unusual. Unless you live somewhere where there is a real shortage of university accommodation (London?) then you will normally be tied to a contract until the end of the year.
    At most unis, halls are completely full at the start of the year but then some people will withdraw and there will be some international students who were expected but then at the last minute they couldn't get a visa. So there are always spaces after the start of term.
    My advice to the OP would be not to move in at the start but to approach the accommodation office after a few weeks and see if there is any way they can negotiate a rolling contract (where they can give notice if they're not liking it) or one with break clauses (perhaps at the end of the term so if they don't like it, they only have to pay for the remainder of the term)
    But a lot will depend on the situation at that uni in that year (this year, for example, we've stayed really full all year because of the high demand at the start which meant we had people in temporary accommodation and yes, we would release people during the year)

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Updated: May 24, 2012
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