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    Hi all

    Sorry if this has been discussed before. I'm a mature student starting University for the first time in a few weeks. I live a very short distance (in comparison to most people) from my University - a 10 minute walk to the local train station, and then a 15 minute direct train through to the University's very own train station, which is closer to the Uni than the halls are!

    However, I have been offered a place in University halls, but I can't decide whether to accept it. I want to experience the social side of University life, but I've also got chronic health problems and can suffer from anxiety, and I'm not a party animal either.
    I can't drink alcohol for medical reasons and I also can't do all nighters - I was once a chronic insomniac with a completely ****ed up sleeping pattern and it's taken me years of hard work to 'reset' my bodyclock and become a 'normal' daytime person again. I also need to stay in a normal daytime routine to keep me well and manage all my medication.

    But then I know that 99% of Uni students make their friends for the year in halls when everyone goes out for the first few weeks with their hall mates - will I be left out if I'm not part of this? I fully intend to take part in Freshers activities, join societies and clubs etc., but being a shy person as well, I don't wanto be the person wandering around alone trying to 'push-in' to people's social groups during Freshers.
    Any advice appreciated as I have until Monday 29th August to accept or decline my halls offer. Thanks!
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    You have a couple of options, you can stay at home and commute, make sure you don't head straight home after classes - hang around and try to get to know people, make sure you join societies too!

    Your other option is to move into halls and be around everything, I took the 2nd option, I was 32 in my first year and had health problems including anxiety and insomnia. I found that it was nice to be able to have a chat in the kitchen with my housemates but equally I could shut my bedroom door and be on my own. The downside to this is it can be a bit lonely in your room on your own. I did go out and socialise as much as I could, I joined a society and went to the pub and gigs etc, all while not drinking and making sure I felt safe in each situation - if I felt panicky and knew it wasn't going to go away I just left early. I did however push myself and make sure that I tried to go out as often as possible, it was quite overwhelming at times, and actually in hindsight I wish I had gone out more than I did.

    My flat was relatively quiet but occasionally had quite noisy pre-drinks, on those nights I went out, either to the pub with friends or to the cinema etc. Have you advised your accommodation office of your health concerns? It might help to disclose them, they may be able to place you in either a 'quiet' flat, or if that isn't available allow you to swap flats if for some reason you aren't happy in the one you get placed within.

    For me, living on campus helped me with my confidence, it might do the same for you
 
 
 
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