Just a few points I want to make (sorry if they sound a little too harsh, but it's early, and i'm in a no-nonsense mood).
- Firstly, you should get your priorities in check. I would start thinking seriously about talking to someone about next year. Forget any compensation (for now) and get your finances/education sorted for next year before it's too late and you find yourself in a deep hole. So...
Do you want to stay there or not?
Do you want to take a year out or not? (defer the 2nd year)
If you want to stay on for the 2nd year, will your heart be in it? or not... could you bear being 2nd rate? (I know I couldn't).
That's the questions that YOU need to address ASAP, and then start thinking about the other issues.
Next --- IMO, yes, not drinking does make it harder (I drink, but don't like clubbing) but I have met plenty of people who don't drink... most haven't had too many issues socialising and sometimes it's just the people around you that dictate how well you get on. It may have affected you and your social life, but could you not choose halls for a 2nd year? Learn from your mistakes and try and mix with a fresh bunch of new people. If you explain your situation, your Uni may let you do so.
Also, I wouldn't underestimate how many people are in a similar situation to yourself. I've been giving advice for a long time now in the "Having a tough time at uni" thread and PLENTY of people have issues.
In your situation, you have plus sides. You seem to have a greater outlook and have learnt and reflected on what has happened, whilst no immediate damage has taken place (mentally and academically).
For that reason, I think even trying to gain any
compensation is ludicrous (sp?). I could give examples of people in my faculty group, but I won't bore you with those.
Also, I don't know what exactly you were expecting from the Uni. Of course they will try and encourage you to do well and help you pass your course (which you did regardless - which is a great acheivement). Unless you TELL them you can't continue, they won't just take you off their records/defer you. That would be your
decision, and you would have had to have TOLD them what the options were if you wanted to drop out.
I think at some point everyone has social issues.... some more severe than others, and you need to address them.
I didn't get on with everyone in my first year, and was expecting to get on better with the people I lived with... but it didn't work out that way. I thereby had to adapt a little and make the most of societies and what not, and ended up enjoying myself.
You need to make some importnant decisions now...and don't be afraid to make them (know you're the only one who can make the choice). Do what you feel is best for you and have no regrets.
All the best
(and again, sorry if that sounded rude at all... I didn't mean it to, I think that's just the way it comes across
) - PM me if you wanna chat, or i'll stick around here - sorry about the long post also.