(Original post by Anonymous)
What I say goes against most people's advice, but I don't think it's right in every case to suggest to someone who is unhappy that they should go and make friends.
When I was at uni I hated it so much -my course was okay (reasonably interesting) and wasn't too difficult (it was challenging but not beyond my capabilities) but I was uninspired and couldn't see the point of anything in life anymore. I didn't hate uni itself - I just hated it because it was a part of life and I didn't understand life at all/the point of it. I was treated for depression (medication) but it didn't help.
I didn't make any friends at uni because initially I tried societies/sports clubs precisely because that is what people suggested I should do in order to become happy but I found it completely exhausting pretending to be happy/sociable towards people when inside I just wanted to curl up under my duvet and be left alone. It wasn't their fault - I knew it was me - I just needed time alone to deal with it, without putting on a brave face to friends. So I stopped trying to make friends - so then there would be no one who I had to pretend to. Lectures/tutorials are so easy to attend without speaking to anyone - no one bats an eyelid. I didn't act 'anti-social' - I didn't purposefully avoid people e.g. if someone made small talk I would engage in a friendly way. But I didn't initiate any friendships.
I stopped pressurizing myself to proactively make
friends and to do things that society expects. I finished uni this year and got 2:1. That's what I primarily went to uni for -my degree. I got what I went for. In order to save myself from completely losing the plot I moved home with my family who were incredibly supportive and I focused on getting my degree. Some people might think it's sad etc but it was my way of coping at that point in my life - and I felt relived at not having friendships at uni. At that point it would have hurt more to have friends.
Some times in life you have to listen to you own needs - in those 2/3 years I needed to find myself and I couldn't do that by pretending to be someone I wasn't just to make friends. So basically, there is no 'right' way to go through uni. I have about 3 people on facebook that I know from uni - we're not 'friends', more like aquaintences - we never went drinking together or hung out in the student union etc. They are people that I had a few conversations with (from halls and my course) and we got on well, but they weren't friendships that I made an effort to establish by attending a society and having small talk. I didn't sit with them in lectures everyday etc - I just passed them by in my department/the library/halls every so often and had a nice chat once in a while. So yeah, don't feel like you have to be a certain way, have a certain 'uni life', certain group of friends etc.
Now I feel ready to make friends because I've worked though a lot of issues. I know who I am because I had the time to come to realize myself alone
. It just so happens that I wasn't ready for friendships in the last 3 years which also coincided with my university life. I was a teenager/early twenty's - I was having an identity crisis and needed to be alone and figure myself out. I was lucky really that I was in uni because if I was in employment I would have been forced to be much more sociable. You have the liberty at uni to be whoever, and you don't have to conform to anything if you feel uncomfortable.
I know that my depression/identity crisis may not be relevant to your situation at all but there my be something in there that you can relate to.
I'm in a really good place (compared to a year ago!), mentally, and have been since finishing uni. I needed those 3 years to find myself - people do that in different ways - I happened do it by reflecting on myself alone. I don't need people to feel sorry for me at not having friends during uni because I needed it to be that way - now I'm ready to make friends. You can't force yourself to be anything that you're not, just give yourself space and time, be patient with yourself, and remind yourself that you are worth the effort to find yourself.