Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I feel a little pathetic writing this but I really need to discuss it with other people.
    3 weeks ago I started an arts course at a well regarded Russell Group uni after taking a year out. Originally I had a confirmed place at another uni elsewhere in the UK, but after a lot of soul searching last year I decided it wasn't viable financially - my family is low income, I couldn't afford the accommodation deposit and the bursary system wasn't great. I was wary of relying on a job as I'd applied several times last year with little success.
    I applied through Clearing and as I have AAB at A Level I got in fairly easily. Since I applied late there was no accommodation left, and private accommodation seemed like a bit of a gamble when I live 10 minutes from uni anyway.

    I was worried about making friends as I've only really had 2 close friends for a couple of years now, both of whom just left for uni abroad a few weeks ago. I don't drink and am a bit of an introvert generally - I prefer reading and baking to partying, but I am a very sociable person and I love people. I was hoping uni would be my opportunity to be more social and expand my friend group, and though I don't enjoy it I was prepared to do some partying if any friends I made wanted to do it.

    I chose to stay here as I thought it would allow me to focus on my studies without the added stress of money worries, but now I feel as though I'd rather live on £20 a week than remain this lonely and unhappy. My course has a lot of students, and I feel as though I never get the chance to move beyond small talk with anyone. I never have the same person in more than 2 of my classes and it seems like anytime I do chat to someone I hardly ever see them again. Everyone seems to have formed friend groups already, either through living in halls or knowing each other from school etc. I know there must be other people like me but I feel like I'm the only person who is always alone. I've joined several clubs, but the few that have had meetings in the past week have been full of groups or introductory things that don't let you have in depth conversations.

    The uni isn't a campus one so the only opportunities to meet people are in class or at clubs/societies if you don't live in halls. Freshers seemed orientated around the people in halls & alcohol, but I felt awkward turning up at the nightclubs/pub crawls by myself when everyone else seemed to be with people (maybe that was wrong but it felt like too much).

    Having my family around me is great and I like my course so far, but it's the first time ever I haven't had a present friend to confide in, go for coffee with etc. I have mentioned I'm lonely to my mum but I don't want to make a big deal of it as she already feels responsible for not being able to support me financially at my original choice of uni, which I don't blame her for at all. My year mentors are nice but I don't see how they could help me other than telling me to wait it out & that it will get better. I fully intend to do this & hope to God it does, but due to my circumstances the situation seems like it could be a lasting one.
    I don't want to drop out as I'd feel like a failure and the financial situation would be complicated, but the prospect of spending 4 years with no close relationships is utterly depressing.
    I'm usually a very happy and optimistic person, but for the last week I've been crying nearly every day when I get home - I even welled up a bit on the bus home for no reason, it was so embarrassing. It's not my character at all and I'm afraid of getting depressed. I know uni is about getting a degree, but I feel like the amount of money I'm paying for it means I should have the full experience.

    Is anyone else experiencing the same thing right now or has in the past? Did it get better or did the situation stay the same? Sorry for the length but I wanted to get it out, telling my friends on the phone would make me feel pathetic as they're having such a good time & I don't think I can talk about it without crying so this is cathartic for me
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I feel the same :hug:
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Firstly, don't set too much store in living in halls. It certainly gives you an advantage, but it's by no means uncommon for people in halls to feel extremely lonely, certainly in the first few weeks. I was like that, and my strong advice to you is to not drop out, but to actively look for friendship now so that you can focus on your studies later. You can always ask if there is space in halls (people often drop out in the first few weeks), but if not here are a few tips;

    1. It's really a case of just doing it. Don't expect too much, just put yourself out there. Become a face people recognise.

    2. Keep going with the societies. Seems cheesy and unhelpful, but it really is a good way of meeting people with similar interests. It won't happen overnight.

    3. A trick my father taught me was to go and sit in the same place at the same times each week. This could be a refectory, a common room, waiting for lectures, a library, etc. Gradually you'll se other people who do the same thing, and you'll start to congregate together. Again, it will take a long time, but it works.

    4. The social groups you see aren't real social groups. Freshers are like sheep - they're all terrified of being the one who is left out, so they clump together with the nearest people. I'm willing to bet over half of them are feeling the same way as you. You can use this as something you have in common.

    5. Accept rejection. If you don't try you won't get - it's inevitable that in trying to socialise you will meet some ****s, and some people who have nothing in common with you. Don't worry, just move on.

    6. REMEMBER NAMES. If you smile at someone walking past, and say 'hello Mary', they will think you are their friend (provided their name is Mary). It honestly works.

    7. Actively approach people. Invite course-mates for a coffee after lectures. They'll either say no or they won't - you can only gain social points from it so long as you aren't put off by rejection.

    If nothing else, treat it as practice. It's better to make your mistakes now than as an adult. Ask a group if you can tag along on a pub crawl. I promise you you will meet someone you can be friends with so long as you show your face. If they don't know you are ther they can't get to know you.
    Online

    13
    ReputationRep:
    I do feel for you, but I think your anxiety is clouding your judgement a bit. 3 weeks is no time at all to make friends; many of those groups you see happy and laughing together will have fallen out in a few weeks. You need to make sure you go to all the activities you can - stick with the societies you've joined and go to every event. Talk and be friendly. If you click with someone invite them to coffee/a drink. Volunteering is a good way to bond with people as it's long term and active. There will be a lot of poeple feeling as you do and most of them will be putting on an act for the outside world - as you probably are.

    Confide in your mum if it will help you and make sure you know exactly where you stand re funding. I was a little surprised about your comment about uni not being financially viable because your family are low income. If that is the case loans/grant would be more than enough to live on without any parental contribution
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by marple)
    I was a little surprised about your comment about uni not being financially viable because your family are low income. If that is the case loans/grant would be more than enough to live on without any parental contribution

    I did think that originally, but working it out I would have had £21 a week after rent which seemed really little. I was entitled to a £1000 bursary but that didn't come in until December and the accommodation deposit was £500 which I couldn't get in a month unless I took out a loan which I was unprepared to do.

    I know I seem really defeatist and I'm not on the edge of dropping out - I do know it's usual to feel lonely, but that seems more common with people living away from home. My friends who are in halls have that automatic friend group that allows them to socialise and meet people through association whereas I don't have that. I guess it's more my feeling that this is a situation that could last for a long time that's making me so anxious - I do try to put a happy face on it while I'm at uni but when I get home I feel so sad. Other people I'm sure don't feel like they have BFFs yet but it's the overwhelming feeling of isolation that's getting me down, anyone I speak to is from class and have somewhere to be or someone to meet afterwards so I end up in the library most of the time. If I'm relying on clubs and societies it seems like it will be very slow going building up relationships and months more of this is so depressing. If I even had someone to hang out with casually I would feel better but there's no one. Honestly, it's weird how many people move around in groups...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Octohedral)
    Firstly, don't set too much store in living in halls. It certainly gives you an advantage, but it's by no means uncommon for people in halls to feel extremely lonely, certainly in the first few weeks. I was like that, and my strong advice to you is to not drop out, but to actively look for friendship now so that you can focus on your studies later. You can always ask if there is space in halls (people often drop out in the first few weeks), but if not here are a few tips;

    Thank you for your advice - I know it's hardly been any time at all but it's been really hard so I just wanted to get it off my chest. I have heard that Freshers are sheep, but I guess I'm just worried that while its taking me a long time to get recognised etc everyone else will be strengthening bonds with others they're meeting by association or in halls. And through small talk before class it seems most people are partying all the time which makes me feel even more alienated. I am going to try it just gets harder to stay positive when you feel so unhappy.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by liarpoker)
    I feel the same :hug:
    Want to talk about it? We could take it in turns to whine
    Sending you a virtual hug in returned sympathy
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MaggieRead)
    Thank you for your advice - I know it's hardly been any time at all but it's been really hard so I just wanted to get it off my chest. I have heard that Freshers are sheep, but I guess I'm just worried that while its taking me a long time to get recognised etc everyone else will be strengthening bonds with others they're meeting by association or in halls. And through small talk before class it seems most people are partying all the time which makes me feel even more alienated. I am going to try it just gets harder to stay positive when you feel so unhappy.
    Believe me, I completely understand. I've been there, and I can only advise you to do what I wish I'd done. I was very shy, and I isolated myself - if I can prevent someone else doing the same I'll be happy.

    Feel free to talk to me any time if it gets too much. I'm a fourth year now, and a very different person.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    All I can really say is keep put yourself out there and I wish you every success You seem like a lovely person so I'm sure things'll pick up soon enough
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Octohedral)
    Believe me, I completely understand. I've been there, and I can only advise you to do what I wish I'd done. I was very shy, and I isolated myself - if I can prevent someone else doing the same I'll be happy.

    Feel free to talk to me any time if it gets too much. I'm a fourth year now, and a very different person.
    (Original post by JammyGit07)
    All I can really say is keep put yourself out there and I wish you every success You seem like a lovely person so I'm sure things'll pick up soon enough

    Aw, thank you both for listening I've been an emotional mess lately so you being so nice made me cry a little, so sad :L I'll try and stay optimistic and hopefully it'll all seem like a bad dream come next year...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I feel the same


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I feel the same, the whole drinking culture isn't my thing either. But you know, people have started to socialise outside their halls groups now. Like one guy said to me ''i dont feel i socialise enough outside my halls' and so we've become friends now and another girl said in my tutorial to a few of us ''the course society is bad at organizing things, wanna go on a night out?'' I had only briefly talked to this girl a few times, and I hadn't once talked to the guy! So why don't you try that? I liked that people were approaching me, its flattering! So in seminar groups or something why don't you say something similar to someone? This was only last week so I have already been here since September! So, give it time! and be proactive!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    It's good to know I'm not alone in this.

    I'm coming up to the end of my 1st year at Glasgow Caledonian and can't say I consider anyone a friend. I'm staying at home and have a fair share of good friends here that I hang out with pretty much every week, so it's not all bad. But it can really hit hard over how lonely I really am here from time to time, particularly when I'm sitting alone in lectures and tutorials whilst everyone else is socialising.

    In the first few weeks of the course I would talk to people and go to lunch with them, but as time went on I didn't really feel as though I was making any kind of connection. I started when I was 17, and coupled with the fact I didn't live in halls I felt somewhat isolated in that pretty much everyone else I talked to was years older and staying at uni. I still do talk to people from time to time, but it's not often it's me that initiates the conversation.

    I'm trying to get into a club or two as a means of meeting new people and killing time between classes. I think I'm way past making friends in my course at this point as the groups seem set in stone.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    tsr has lot of people, meet someone on tsr and become their best friend
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MaggieRead)
    Thank you for your advice - I know it's hardly been any time at all but it's been really hard so I just wanted to get it off my chest. I have heard that Freshers are sheep, but I guess I'm just worried that while its taking me a long time to get recognised etc everyone else will be strengthening bonds with others they're meeting by association or in halls. And through small talk before class it seems most people are partying all the time which makes me feel even more alienated. I am going to try it just gets harder to stay positive when you feel so unhappy.
    Honestly, you're thinking about this way too much. Those people you overhear who seem to be having the best time ever - it's all bravado, they're all trying to fit in just like you. I doubt half of them are that happy and all those 'wild times partying' they're talking about are either made up or was really a night of being sick and feeling unhappy. I am a bit of an introvert and find it hard to socialise, but I am a talker in class and generally am publically confident. I'm in my third year and have a nice group of friends, but no one that I stick to and rely on rigidly. Before you can enjoy the company of others, you need to learn to enjoy your own company, and realise that those people who rely on surrounding themselves with people are probably incredibly insecure. It WILL come, just be yourself. People like yourself (who will become your TRUE friends) will flock to you. Don't try and act like something you're not, because you'll just end up attracting the superficial ********s, which is MUCH worse than having no one at all. If you ever feel you need to talk, you can always talk to me! Perhaps it would also help to reveal the university you're at and the course you're studying, and a brief description of yourself? You may find someone on here who is on your course and feels exactly the same, then you can both meet up and chat. My first friend at university was someone from here - I asked if anyone was starting my course and she replied. We're now very good friends 2 years on.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Actual8)
    It's good to know I'm not alone in this.

    I'm coming up to the end of my 1st year at Glasgow Caledonian and can't say I consider anyone a friend. I'm staying at home and have a fair share of good friends here that I hang out with pretty much every week, so it's not all bad. But it can really hit hard over how lonely I really am here from time to time, particularly when I'm sitting alone in lectures and tutorials whilst everyone else is socialising.

    In the first few weeks of the course I would talk to people and go to lunch with them, but as time went on I didn't really feel as though I was making any kind of connection. I started when I was 17, and coupled with the fact I didn't live in halls I felt somewhat isolated in that pretty much everyone else I talked to was years older and staying at uni. I still do talk to people from time to time, but it's not often it's me that initiates the conversation.

    I'm trying to get into a club or two as a means of meeting new people and killing time between classes. I think I'm way past making friends in my course at this point as the groups seem set in stone.
    These groups are NOT set in stone. After the first year, they dissolve quickly, trust me.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I feel the same I'm in halls and have isolated myself from my flatmates, they are really good friends and go out drinking all the time
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    hey guys, I've just made a video about loneliness at university. Maybe could help someone looking for answers? http://youtu.be/bMiXJltpDCg I would really appreciate it if you shared it around, especially with mental health week coming up its a subject that means a lot to me, have a great day!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Wish you the best - I know I've felt lonely!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm in the same situation as you now but I feel like making friends this far into second semester will be really hard because everyone already has their friendship groups. Hope everything worked out for you.
 
 
 

University open days

  • University of Bradford
    All faculties Undergraduate
    Wed, 21 Nov '18
  • Buckinghamshire New University
    All Faculties Postgraduate
    Wed, 21 Nov '18
  • Heriot-Watt University
    All Schools Postgraduate
    Wed, 21 Nov '18
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.