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How to cope with freshers when I'm extremely introverted and have social anxiety

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    I'm starting at Bangor University in two weeks time and I'm worrying about what to do when it comes to freshers week. I've struggled with medically diagnosed social anxiety for a few years now and due to that I'm a pretty introverted person. Drinking is not something I particularly enjoy doing. That's not to say I never go out, I enjoy the odd night out every so often, but doing it all the time is somewhat of a nightmare for me. That's what's got me worried about freshers week.

    It's not as though I don't want to be involved in freshers week, some of the activities look worthwhile, but the idea of going out every night getting completely hammered and feeling horrendous the next day really does not appeal to me. I didn't come to university to spend three years drinking every night because that isn't me and never has been.

    It's a difficult thing to balance. I want to get to know the people in the university, however, I would prefer to meet people who I have things in common with, rather than randoms I meet at a bar. I don't particularly want to force myself to be someone I'm not just in order to 'fit in' or just to be the same as everyone else.

    I'm also completely up for pushing myself out of my comfort zone, however, forcing myself to spend the first few weeks of being away taking part in things I do not enjoy whatsoever and cause my mental illness to spiral out of control is not something I'm particularly wanting to do. Then at the same time, I don't want to isolate myself from people, but forcing myself into a situation that causes me serious issues to the point of a panic attack, isn't going to be he best way to start my first few weeks at university and isn't going to help the fact I'm already going to be extremely homesick.

    I just want advice more than anything. There's a big chance I am over thinking everything but that's just me in a nutshell.

    I'm similar to you, I am an introvert and I am not very fond of the thought of drinking alcohol frequently and waking up with terrible headaches. I think that the best way to put yourself out there is to join clubs and societies and they will be advertising them during the Freshers fair. Because by then you would have had the chance to get to know your flatmates or those who live in the same building as you, try to explore the fair and the university as a group. Join the gym and go frequently so that can take your mind off things and you can become friends with other gym staff and members. Try to see if there is a TSR forum for students who are attending Bangor University and are living in the same halls or attending the same course. That way you will feel more comfortable and assured knowing that you have already made friends before you have even got to university.

    Good luck and I hope that you have an awesome time! x

    I can't stress this enough.

    Freshers Week is not some kind of Laconic rite of passage to be endured.

    I have never seen any compulsion of pressure to do anything.

    You can do what you like and not do what you don't like.

    It's up to you to make the most of it - but some effort will be required to make friends. Of course, a lot of people will want to go out on the beers, but it will be really easy to find some people who want to do something else. Believe me, no one will remember that you weren't at club x or bar y.


    This time last year I was feeling exactly the same as you! When I told people I was going to uni they were all really enthusiastic about the nightlife and what freshers would be like. I, like you, am really socially anxious and am not very good at meeting new people, and stuff I'd seen about freshers made me think that all the people would be wild party animals. The first day I moved into halls the rest of my flat were going out. I made an excuse not to go with them and sat in my room, convinced that I would never find anyone else like me.

    Bangor uni has over 10,000 students. Amongst that crowd there will be some like you! After finding it difficult to make friends for as long as I could remember, I couldn't believe it when I found myself in my room with some people I'd met, discussing things that didn't include getting drunk beyond recognition or vandalising bus shelters. I'm still good friends with them now.

    Everyone in freshers week is desperate to make friends and some think that the way to do that is by drinking vodka together out of the same casserole dish. Okay I've had some good nights out, but most friendships are not formed when drunk.

    Freshers is all about new experiences and if you're okay with coming out of your comfort zone, you're already onto a winner. People are always going to judge you anyway, so they may as well judge you for who you are. You've probably read it 1000 times, but just be yourself.
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