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Ok... Time to confront my sadness at best friend leaving university watch

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    Hi. Firstly thanks for reading. I am supposed to be revising for my exams but have decided to post on this issue instead as it's been simmering below the surface for a long time and now has started to seriously affect my revision, to the point where I am not sure if I can pass.

    When I started university last year I was incredibly lucky. Though I wasn't very outgoing, I made friends with 2 girls on day one and we became quite close (or so it seemed to me). We'd go out every day during freshers. One of the girls was on my course, so I became especially close to her. She had a great personality and we were a great match. I started to become more outgoing because of her, and she made me value friendships more. She made friends with a group which I tagged along with.

    Round about February time, this girl and I had an argument which led to her suddenly becoming distant. Every time I'd ask, she'd say nothing was wrong, and yet she'd spend all her time talking to other people. This affected me badly and I went to speak to a counsellor about it. I also tried to make other friends, but none were as close as her. When I'd leave she'd reach out to me but as soon as I'd hang out with her group it was like I barely existed.

    Towards the end of summer/ start of second year she started to reach out again and we became closer. For a while things seemed like they were at the beginning of our friendship and I was much happier and more confident at university. Soon after second year started, she became distant again - this upset and confused me. She ended up leaving the course out of the blue, a month into second year. It turns out she was going through personal (mental health and family) issues. As she was leaving we were quite close discussing things then after she left she became distant again - this once again upset me. Now we text sporadically.

    I have tried to move on, attending social events, going out with other people, and have made friends with some friendly, kind, wonderful people. However, I am still not as close to any one of these people as I was to her - I can't confide in any of them, nor am i in a regular friendship group with anyone. I believe part of the problem is the community at the university I am in - there aren't many ethnic minority students, and if you wanted to become close to the majority of the students you'd have to go out (drinking) with them which I can't do.

    I am now depressed. The last while I've been missing lectures and seminars. I'd especially hate attending lectures it depressed me to sit in a room filled with happy people surrounded by their friends. I had probably not cried in public for the last 7 years, but at one point I cried discreetly during lectures as I was so unhappy.

    Anyone been in the same situation, where a best friend leaving has made life almost unbearable for them?
    I have even considered dropping out and moving to a different, lower-ranked university. I don't want to, but I find it so hard to go on feeling this unhappy.
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    Very sorry to hear about your upsetting situation :L Loneliness can be really debilitating and hard to deal with, it can seem like you have no one even though people are there.

    Here's my advice to you; one of the most important things I ever learned in life was the importance of having a varied support network. Your support network is made up of family, friends, colleagues, people who you can confide in. But here's the catch; it has to be varied.

    It's very very bad to have your support network consist primarily of only one person. It leads to situations like these where you are thrust into extreme loneliness when that person is unavailable. You should never put yourself in a situation where one person is your primary mode of support. For one, it's not fair on yourself and it's definitely not fair on the other person.

    This is why it's important to have a couple of friends who are all different, because when you have a fight with friend A, you can turn to friend B or C to talk about it, and vice versa. You're never left stranded.

    So here's where the real work begins: building close friendships takes time. It doesn't happen overnight, it's a process, you've done it before and you'll do it again. Join your university societies; book club, kayaking club, photography enthusiasts, any society that holds your interests. You'll meet more people and connect with others that share your interests. But you have to recognise that this is a process. You're already half way there; like you mentioned you have met some wonderful people who you may not be as close with but you will be.

    Be patient, allow your acquaintances to become your friends, and your friends to become your best friends.

    When I was a kid, I didn't have many friends. I suffered from severe depression and loneliness because of it. I was always sad that no one ever wanted to talk to me or befriend me, no one ever approached me. It took me 14 years to realize that part of the problem was that I never approached any one. I always saw myself as the sad little guy sitting by himself who no one liked or ever spoke to. I didn't realize that I was also the guy that never spoke to anyone.

    So I stopped sitting by myself in a sad little corner praying for friends and I actually stood up and started speaking to people. I stopped wishing for friends and went out and made friends. I involved myself, I put myself out there and my social life changed dramatically.

    I know this might be hard to hear, but it's no one's responsibility to be your only source of support. It's not fair for your friend for you to be so completely dependent on her, you have to be able to spread that dependence on multiple people and have a healthy support network so that you or others aren't overwhelmed.

    She's got her own life and problems and it sucks that she's left the course, but you'll make other friendships and you need to put yourself out there.
    Say hello to the people you sit next to in lectures. Smile at people, start conversations instead waiting for them to be started. Sometimes you might not be friends with anyone in your class or lecture but you don't have to feel lonely or sad if you make acquaintances out of those people. Sometimes the simplest way to do that is just by saying "hello"
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    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Very sorry to hear about your upsetting situation :L Loneliness can be really debilitating and hard to deal with, it can seem like you have no one even though people are there.

    Here's my advice to you; one of the most important things I ever learned in life was the importance of having a varied support network. Your support network is made up of family, friends, colleagues, people who you can confide in. But here's the catch; it has to be varied.

    It's very very bad to have your support network consist primarily of only one person. It leads to situations like these where you are thrust into extreme loneliness when that person is unavailable. You should never put yourself in a situation where one person is your primary mode of support. For one, it's not fair on yourself and it's definitely not fair on the other person.

    This is why it's important to have a couple of friends who are all different, because when you have a fight with friend A, you can turn to friend B or C to talk about it, and vice versa. You're never left stranded.

    So here's where the real work begins: building close friendships takes time. It doesn't happen overnight, it's a process, you've done it before and you'll do it again. Join your university societies; book club, kayaking club, photography enthusiasts, any society that holds your interests. You'll meet more people and connect with others that share your interests. But you have to recognise that this is a process. You're already half way there; like you mentioned you have met some wonderful people who you may not be as close with but you will be.

    Be patient, allow your acquaintances to become your friends, and your friends to become your best friends.

    When I was a kid, I didn't have many friends. I suffered from severe depression and loneliness because of it. I was always sad that no one ever wanted to talk to me or befriend me, no one ever approached me. It took me 14 years to realize that part of the problem was that I never approached any one. I always saw myself as the sad little guy sitting by himself who no one liked or ever spoke to. I didn't realize that I was also the guy that never spoke to anyone.

    So I stopped sitting by myself in a sad little corner praying for friends and I actually stood up and started speaking to people. I stopped wishing for friends and went out and made friends. I involved myself, I put myself out there and my social life changed dramatically.

    I know this might be hard to hear, but it's no one's responsibility to be your only source of support. It's not fair for your friend for you to be so completely dependent on her, you have to be able to spread that dependence on multiple people and have a healthy support network so that you or others aren't overwhelmed.

    She's got her own life and problems and it sucks that she's left the course, but you'll make other friendships and you need to put yourself out there.
    Say hello to the people you sit next to in lectures. Smile at people, start conversations instead waiting for them to be started. Sometimes you might not be friends with anyone in your class or lecture but you don't have to feel lonely or sad if you make acquaintances out of those people. Sometimes the simplest way to do that is just by saying "hello"
    Thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful reply. Having somebody read and understand helps a lot.

    Speaking from experience that I think will help others - A varied network is good for many things but I think it isn't conductive towards making close friendships or a squad of friends or anything like that.

    I have been putting myself out there but it hasn't been easy. I've joined a society, helped found another society and have attended a number of social events. I've met people here and there. And still no close friends like the ones I met by accident at the start of university. In fact I sometimes feel like I've been doing too much on my own to put myself out there, going to stuff without having friends, and that ironically this would make me look grossly independent and drive people away from me as a result.

    I'm going to keep at it regardless but I don't know. It seems automatic for everyone else; they all seem to be in big tight groups without doing much.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
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    Still thank you for reading and for replying, it feels good to talk about it to somebody (can't talk about this with anyone else) and a lot of what you've typed was really helpful advice.
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    Bumping for anyone in the same situation
 
 
 
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