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Starting uni with social anxiety? watch

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    I joined sixth form in a school I didn't study at previously and didn't know anyone there. I quickly built my reputation as the weird friendless guy. Had to eat lunch by myself etc. I just don't know how to talk to people, what to say. Small talk is a mystery. And other people don't make it easier either, usually no one starts a convo with me or if they do, they don't even try to keep it going (even if I do my best). I guess I just give off a depressing repulsive vibe (weird facial expressions, unintentionally rude tone of voice) people don't want to be involved in.
    Anyway, all that resulted in me being very lonely and depressed during sixth form. Now I see uni as a fresh start, but I'm worried I'll unavoidably make the same mistakes I did in sixth form and end up a sad reject again. I also thought the sixth form would be a fresh start... Any advice?

    I understand your concerns but honestly university is nothing like sixth form. There are A LOT of different societies and you should just go to as many as you can in freshers week and you will meet people I guarantee it! Everybody is nervous going and for the first 2 weeks or so all of your conversations will involve the same 3 questions anyway: What's your name? Where are you from? What course are you doing? That is literally all first years ever say!
    • #2

    Not gonna lie...I had social anxiety at school and it got no better at university. Despite my best efforts, what you describe happened to me - I'd strike up conversation with people at societies/on my course/in my halls but they wouldn't even try to keep the conversation going, it was always on me. And yeah, I suck at conversation so after the first few months I found myself with no friends and that lasted all 4 years. I was incredibly lonely, always sat by myself and could go weeks without talking to anyone until I got asked to speak in a seminar or whatever. It was hell, I absolutely hated my university experience because of the extreme loneliness. I would say to go see your doctor about the social anxiety and try to get counselling or CBT to work on fixing it. Unlike judgefudge I don't think you can "guarantee" you'll meet people. It's a sad fact that some people don't and it's very upsetting. Do your best to get over your social anxiety before you start.

    Uni is much better than sixth form - there are so many more people that there's bound to be some that you've got something in common with. I definitely suggest joining a society as that instantly means you've got the same interest as everyone else there, and it gives you something you can easily talk about with them. If it's a society like gaming then you might spend a lot of time gaming rather than having to make conversation, which can help. Try out the different societies in the first week - they usually run taster sessions.

    Throw yourself into freshers' week, as hard as it sounds. The general social rules do not apply during this time - people will walk up and talk to anyone. As you meet so many people in freshers' week, it doesn't matter if you mess up trying to talk to someone as they'll probably have forgotten about it in a day or so due to the craziness that is freshers' week.

    If you want some support, unis generally have some sort of mental health service. It might be worth getting in touch with them in advance - they'll probably be able to give you some advice. There are plenty of students that are in the same situation as you.

    Hey I have mild social anxiety too except I don't struggle too much with talking to strangers, i moved schools last year and managed to make friends pretty quickly and they'd all been friends for at least 3 years. But, I absolutely hate doing things on my own,like I really struggle with going to ask teachers for help in their offices if I don't know where they are, and i get anxious when i have to go the hairdressers on my own etc, I'm terrified of having to walk around on my own at uni and getting lost as well as sitting alone and working alone etc, I'm also terrified of getting a job, i quit my last two jobs really early because i was so anxious. What I'm most scared about is presentations, i had to do one in front of a class of 20 people and had a severe anxiety attack, they're a big part of my course and i know i will just be told to 'get on with it' I'm acared i won't be able to survive uni i need some advice
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