Social Anxiety - Starting University

Watch
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Hi All,
I've been accepted into a university in London. I've decided to commute there which is about 1h 20 on the train.
I suffer with a panic disorder around social environments. So I suddenly panic and find myself having stomach cramps etc.
For this reason I chose to commute because I couldn't bare the thought of being around people 24/7 with flatmates and then with uni courses, especially in a place as busy as London too. However, having test-run the commute I was extremely nervous on the train (because of so many people) and found myself scared at the switch-over stop and ended up staying at the station for a good half an hour. The best way I can describe it is it was like climbing a ladder when you're scared of heights. In one way I wanted to get on the next train to push myself but equally I knew that the further I went, the further I was away from home. One of my main anxieties is getting the stomach cramps and symptoms that come with it when I'm anxious and so was worried that it would occur while on the train or away from home.

So basically, I don't want to stop this from me getting on with my life but I am concerned that when I do start university I'll start panicking - If I can't even commute there, how will I manage to do it everyday and also then go to a course? Can anyone offer any advice on how to prepare? For many months I was thinking of taking a gap year so I haven't really had a chance to sort my anxiety out, as I assumed I wouldn't be going to university. Thanks all for reading, I appreciate it so much.
0
reply
Bernadette04
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
Panic attacks and anxiety can literally paralyse someone when an attack occurs so I know how crippling an illness it can be.

That's quite a daily commute you have set yourself there..in London too, so you have a very long day with 3 hours of travel roughly. If you are already feeling weighed down by anxiety before you attempt this daily commute, I would think very carefully about whether applying now for halls and explaining your circs with a Uni advisor would be the better way to go.

However, will they have accomodation now? Can you afford halls? Is it really what you want or would a gap year be better so you can focus on yourself a bit more?

Only you know the answer, but if you have major doubts over the daily commute don't do it. You would find yourself swimming in anxiety after a week.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#3
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#3
(Original post by Bernadette04)
Panic attacks and anxiety can literally paralyse someone when an attack occurs so I know how crippling an illness it can be.

That's quite a daily commute you have set yourself there..in London too, so you have a very long day with 3 hours of travel roughly. If you are already feeling weighed down by anxiety before you attempt this daily commute, I would think very carefully about whether applying now for halls and explaining your circs with a Uni advisor would be the better way to go.

However, will they have accomodation now? Can you afford halls? Is it really what you want or would a gap year be better so you can focus on yourself a bit more?

Only you know the answer, but if you have major doubts over the daily commute don't do it. You would find yourself swimming in anxiety after a week.
Thanks for replying.
The thing is I'm not really up for living in halls because I'd find that would make me more anxious (living with people constantly outside my family idk - At least when I get home from my commute there's an escape). Also because it's London there is a financial cost which isn't cheap, besides they're probably all taken now.

The thing about a gap year, as you suggested, is that my parents say if I don't do university now then my anxiety might get worse, especially if I'm not seeing anyone over the gap year and just being alone most of the time (besides the probably weekly social event). I see what they mean in this regard. I guess they're hoping that if I get used to going to university and commuting then I'll be able to do anything in the real world. But again, I generally don't know. How should I prepare for this, or can I not? (By prepare I mean, should I travel up to London everyday for some days and get used to it??)
0
reply
Airmed
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
Are you getting any professional help?
0
reply
Bernadette04
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
When my son who has autism was changing from primary to high school which was a 6 mile bus commute, I took him everyday for a week on the bus route so he could familiarise the journey, try not to get anxious over a late bus, walk the short way from the bus stop to the school and find breathing techniques if he got worried or anxious at any time on the route.

Perhaps you could try simply doing this journey religiously in the morning and again in the afternoon the following day to get used to commuting at different times of the day to see if you could improve your anxiety levels. My son also has those nature sounds on audio which he has with his headphones..,sounds of waves, rain, calming nature sounds which he used for the entire commute. For him it meant he wasn't constantly thinking of the people around him, but relaxing on the journey which soon became familiar to him.

The key is to make this stressful journey, less stressful for yourself if halls etc are not an option. Push yourself to try it for a week and then make a decision based on that. Hope it works out for you.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by Airmed)
Are you getting any professional help?
Yeah I saw a therapist but that's over now. She told me she said it would be a shame if I took a gap year instead because she thought it would be like an escape, she says I should face it
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by Bernadette04)
The key is to make this stressful journey, less stressful for yourself if halls etc are not an option. Push yourself to try it for a week and then make a decision based on that. Hope it works out for you.
Thanks for your lengthy response.
My anxiety mainly causes physical symptoms of needing the loo, so I worry a lot about suddenly needing the toilet and on public transport I know sometimes you can't go. Perhaps I could get off at each station on route and discover where the toilets are on the station as that might calm me down a bit?? Only thing is my train runs every half hour and there are 14 stops so that would take ages.
I see what you meant about the more often I do it the less stress it should hopefully be. As you say, I could try it for a week and see how I get on.
1
reply
Airmed
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
(Original post by Anonymous)
Yeah I saw a therapist but that's over now. She told me she said it would be a shame if I took a gap year instead because she thought it would be like an escape, she says I should face it
The fact that you are still struggling means you still need the support.

I think she is right that you shouldn't take a gap year because it is one of those things you need to tackle head on, however, imo I think you have shot yourself in the foot witj commuting. With halls that would have meant a place to easily escape to, but commuting means a journey and not the easiest thing when you feel *****y.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#9
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#9
(Original post by Airmed)
The fact that you are still struggling means you still need the support.

I think she is right that you shouldn't take a gap year because it is one of those things you need to tackle head on, however, imo I think you have shot yourself in the foot witj commuting. With halls that would have meant a place to easily escape to, but commuting means a journey and not the easiest thing when you feel *****y.
I see what you mean, but I guess at the time I thought commuting WOULD be an escape. Not just in terms of not having to deal with people in halls but also it'd be an excuse not to go out partying or social events because I have a commute.
I guess there are downsides to both. I probably would have felt homesick if I did yet it might not have been as bad as the stress I'll feel commuting.
0
reply
StealingThunder
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 years ago
#10
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi All,
I've been accepted into a university in London. I've decided to commute there which is about 1h 20 on the train.
I suffer with a panic disorder around social environments. So I suddenly panic and find myself having stomach cramps etc.
For this reason I chose to commute because I couldn't bare the thought of being around people 24/7 with flatmates and then with uni courses, especially in a place as busy as London too. However, having test-run the commute I was extremely nervous on the train (because of so many people) and found myself scared at the switch-over stop and ended up staying at the station for a good half an hour. The best way I can describe it is it was like climbing a ladder when you're scared of heights. In one way I wanted to get on the next train to push myself but equally I knew that the further I went, the further I was away from home. One of my main anxieties is getting the stomach cramps and symptoms that come with it when I'm anxious and so was worried that it would occur while on the train or away from home.

So basically, I don't want to stop this from me getting on with my life but I am concerned that when I do start university I'll start panicking - If I can't even commute there, how will I manage to do it everyday and also then go to a course? Can anyone offer any advice on how to prepare? For many months I was thinking of taking a gap year so I haven't really had a chance to sort my anxiety out, as I assumed I wouldn't be going to university. Thanks all for reading, I appreciate it so much.
I get bad panic attacks too, and use an app, SAM, to manage my anxiety. I'm pretty scared about starting uni too, but for me I get scared of crowded places but I have to commute because I can't afford halls (I wasn't offered uni ones cos I'm going to my insurance choice). So I'm just planning to practice the journey during peak rush hour with a friend to experience the "worst case scenario". I'm just gonna keep doing that throughout September until I acclimatise. I think it's the only way to tackle it. If you take a year out you'll probably just get more sensitised.
Best of luck to you xx
0
reply
Airmed
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 years ago
#11
(Original post by Anonymous)
I see what you mean, but I guess at the time I thought commuting WOULD be an escape. Not just in terms of not having to deal with people in halls but also it'd be an excuse not to go out partying or social events because I have a commute.
I guess there are downsides to both. I probably would have felt homesick if I did yet it might not have been as bad as the stress I'll feel commuting.
As someone with mental health conditions and just a general "ugh people" attitude (plus socialising tires me out), I found halls to be handy. I could lock myself in my room, plug in my earphones, and listen to music. On the other hand, I did move country so I was quite lonely for the first year and most of the second year.
0
reply
Anonymous #2
#12
Report 3 years ago
#12
Has your doctor prescribed you anything? I've suffered from social anxiety for years. I did a course of cbt which did help, but last year the dr prescribed me propranalol which has really helped, it kind of prevents the physical symptoms. I plan on doing some more cbt soon though.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#13
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#13
(Original post by Anonymous)
Has your doctor prescribed you anything? I've suffered from social anxiety for years. I did a course of cbt which did help, but last year the dr prescribed me propranalol which has really helped, it kind of prevents the physical symptoms. I plan on doing some more cbt soon though.
I didn't get prescribed anything. I took it up with my doctor and I'm currently on a special diet to try and stop symptoms. I'm also taking tablets, but again thats for the symptoms not the anxiety. So I'm not sure if it'll help??
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#14
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#14
(Original post by StealingThunder)
I get bad panic attacks too, and use an app, SAM, to manage my anxiety. I'm pretty scared about starting uni too, but for me I get scared of crowded places but I have to commute because I can't afford halls (I wasn't offered uni ones cos I'm going to my insurance choice). So I'm just planning to practice the journey during peak rush hour with a friend to experience the "worst case scenario". I'm just gonna keep doing that throughout September until I acclimatise. I think it's the only way to tackle it. If you take a year out you'll probably just get more sensitised.
Best of luck to you xx
Thank you so much for your response. Best of luck to you too!!
0
reply
Anonymous #2
#15
Report 3 years ago
#15
(Original post by Anonymous)
I didn't get prescribed anything. I took it up with my doctor and I'm currently on a special diet to try and stop symptoms. I'm also taking tablets, but again thats for the symptoms not the anxiety. So I'm not sure if it'll help??
What I was prescribed is to prevent the symptoms, which does help the anxiety. It could be worth seeing if there's a cbt/counselling service at the university
0
reply
PythagorasGhost
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 years ago
#16
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi All,
I've been accepted into a university in London. I've decided to commute there which is about 1h 20 on the train.
I suffer with a panic disorder around social environments. So I suddenly panic and find myself having stomach cramps etc.
For this reason I chose to commute because I couldn't bare the thought of being around people 24/7 with flatmates and then with uni courses, especially in a place as busy as London too. However, having test-run the commute I was extremely nervous on the train (because of so many people) and found myself scared at the switch-over stop and ended up staying at the station for a good half an hour. The best way I can describe it is it was like climbing a ladder when you're scared of heights. In one way I wanted to get on the next train to push myself but equally I knew that the further I went, the further I was away from home. One of my main anxieties is getting the stomach cramps and symptoms that come with it when I'm anxious and so was worried that it would occur while on the train or away from home.

So basically, I don't want to stop this from me getting on with my life but I am concerned that when I do start university I'll start panicking - If I can't even commute there, how will I manage to do it everyday and also then go to a course? Can anyone offer any advice on how to prepare? For many months I was thinking of taking a gap year so I haven't really had a chance to sort my anxiety out, as I assumed I wouldn't be going to university. Thanks all for reading, I appreciate it so much.
I know exactly what you mean (I've missed open days, etc. because of it) - it really does suck I also spent a while looking into studying in London with anxiety in mind, since UCL was my insurance, and one of the things I looked into was studio flats. They're slightly more expensive than regular halls, but a good one gets you everything you need (cooker, washing machine, etc.) and (most importantly) a private space away from other people. It was super daunting at first but I really recommend looking into it, if you can find something affordable. Renting one close to your university will save transport costs, too, and you get to rent it for the entire year, so there's no moving required.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#17
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#17
(Original post by PythagorasGhost)
I know exactly what you mean (I've missed open days, etc. because of it) - it really does suck I also spent a while looking into studying in London with anxiety in mind, since UCL was my insurance, and one of the things I looked into was studio flats. They're slightly more expensive than regular halls, but a good one gets you everything you need (cooker, washing machine, etc.) and (most importantly) a private space away from other people. It was super daunting at first but I really recommend looking into it, if you can find something affordable. Renting one close to your university will save transport costs, too, and you get to rent it for the entire year, so there's no moving required.
Yeah I was thinking about getting my own flat. But London is so expensive!! I'll look into it, thank you!!
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#18
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#18
(Original post by Anonymous)
What I was prescribed is to prevent the symptoms, which does help the anxiety. It could be worth seeing if there's a cbt/counselling service at the university
Same as me then! My medication actually has been helping a lot, but that gives me anxiety in itself cos I am waiting for something to go wrong, no win.
0
reply
PythagorasGhost
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 years ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)
Yeah I was thinking about getting my own flat. But London is so expensive!! I'll look into it, thank you!!
Yeah it really is, it's a shame the cost of living in London tends to overshadow everything else...
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (47)
15.93%
I'm not sure (8)
2.71%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (101)
34.24%
I have already dropped out (4)
1.36%
I'm not a current university student (135)
45.76%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed