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Struggling with social anxiety at Uni, feel like I'm in limbo Watch

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    Hi all, I've just finished the first semester of second year at university studying mechanical engineering and I've been feeling kind of depressed about university and life in general for a while now, probably due to anxiety related issues (I know, an engineer with social anxiety issues..so original).

    So to begin with I didn't really have a great time in first year and I didn't make that many friends (well none that I had anything in common with), I felt like I was forcing myself to hang out with people I didn't really get along with. Around this time I realised I suffer from a lot of social anxiety which I previously thought was just shyness that I would grow out of. I didn't make an effort to meet new people or find people with common interests because I was too anxious to push myself out of my comfort zone, resulting in me hanging out with my flat mates for the whole year who I didn't have anything in common with and couldn't really connect with. Id get as drunk as possible each weekend and go to some god awful club and try to convince myself I was having a good time with the handful (and I mean handful) of people I was calling my friends. Also I'm not much of a LADish guy and I've never really been that nerdy (not in an offensive way) and the majority of people on my course could be put into one of those two stereotypes so I didn't really find any friends there. In summary, It wasn't really much of a year to remember.

    Fast forward to 2nd year, I hadn't really thought about dropping out because despite my general unhappiness I enjoyed the course and I got a good grade, also I had sorted a house with some of my flat mates from last year and thought that living in a house would be a lot better than halls and that I'd have a fresh start and meet loads of new people in 2nd year. At the beginning I tried to hang out with these really cool guys id known briefly in first year but had stopped because my anxiety held be back. This time I was determined not to let my anxiety get the better of me but it was harder because they had already made a large group of friends in first year meaning trying to integrate myself into it was really difficult and made me extremely anxious. So once again I spent the whole term hanging out with my four housemates, hardly going out and meeting no new people. What made matters worse was lots of my friends from back home had gone to Uni to study music (I dream of being a successful musician when I'm older) and were/are having the time of their lives while I was feeling depressed and lonely at my Uni.

    I've contemplated dropping out but I feel I'm way too far into the course to do that now, especially considering the money it's cost. I basically feel like I'm in limbo; I can't drop out, but I'm gonna be depressed if I carry on. I don't even know if dropping out would make me happier, Id probably just feel even more lost. In the end I think the root of the problem comes down to social anxiety, I'm still trying to remain positive that I might make some new friends but it just doesn't seem likely now everyone will have found their own friends groups. I'm hopefully starting CBT when I get back to try and combat the social anxiety. Even though I know my anxiety could be a lot worse it stops me from connecting with people and developing real friendships, and it's become progressively worse in the last year.

    Sorry I've been blabbering a lot, so basically I'm wandering if anyone else has had an experience in anyway similar to mine or if anyone has any advise on what to do because i feel completely lost. Also I felt like I needed some place to write this all down and thought this was probably the best place to do it! Thank you.


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    Wow! Anxiety disorders are common in students from what I've seen. Too many people just keep quiet. I hope it all works out! Good luck

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    I have a similar situation. Got no specific advice but don't drop out.
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    I'm in the same boat as you too. I want to leave so badly, I'm behind on work and struggling with making new friends or taking an interest in anything that I do. 2nd year is tough and God knows what the final year will bring. I think it's all too much.


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    Sorry only just realised that people had actually replied to my post! Thanks for your responses, this sounds bad but its kind of comforting to know there are others in this sort of situation. I decided im not going to drop out, and after the Christmas break i've been feeling a whole lot better about uni. I wouldn't say im happy, but my outlook on the whole situation is a bit more optimistic now. I might make more friends or i might not, but in the end it's only another year and a half left which although is a long time i'd be a lot more worse off if i dropped out now as all this hard work would have gone to waste. There isn't any point wasting energy and stressing about it all, the best thing i can do is just work hard and get a good degree and move on with my life. I still haven't started CBT because there is a long waiting list, but who knows if i begin with that it could help combat my social anxiety and i might end up making some more long lasting friendships. I'm not banking on it, but i'm not ruling it out indefinitely either. Just gonna have to wait and see what happens..
 
 
 
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