Social Anxiety and Living in Halls?Watch
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?
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
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.
but the good thing with uni halls (unlike private-sector accommodation) is that they will usually let you get out of your contract.
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)
i've just moved into halls and i'm not eating properly because my flatmates are always socialising in the kitchen, it's awful but i can't bring myself to go in there and cook a meal out of social anxiety
Some advice I would give you is to keep snacks in your room so you don't get too hungry. Try to stick to healthier stuff though. Also, cook foods that can go in the oven so you don't need to stand in the kitchen watching over it the whole time. You could set a timer and then go into your room and come back out when its done.
I would say try and socialise with your flatmates but I didn't do that because of social anxiety, so it would be kinda hypocritical for me to say. Good luck though. Feel free to pm me if you ever want to talk
In the end my anxiety got so bad I had to take a year out after my first year otherwise I would have failed. Looking back now, I don't regret taking that year out as I did gain confidence and made some friends which I lived with for two years. I'm now in my third and final year and I am able to manage my anxiety much better, I do still have some bad days but I always pull through.
To be honest, I'd recommend making friends from your course and then house share in your second year.
i am literally in this exact place at the moment, and i feel my health is being affected as a result. I have lost so much weight recently, due to not eating enough. My flatmates have people round in the kitchen who i have never met before, and i just can't seem to force myself to go make anything whilst they are there, but it's been hours and they don't seem to want to move. I'm so homesick as well, but i know if i go home it will make it worse and i will absolutely never want to come back. I hate university already eugh.