Need advice on my situation, anxiety and depression at university? Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#1
I started university in September 2018 and moved away from home to do so in hope that I would make friends and get a girlfriend. I have a long history of social anxiety which led to loneliness which led to depression. I have only one friend but he lives in another part of the country. When I first came here I made the effort to go out with people in my halls and make friends with them but I wasn't that sociable. Since about early November 2018 around exam time I have completely isolated myself from them due to my own fears. Two of them are my next door neighbours and they are discussing living together next year. I feel a lot of regret about not being more sociable coming here as lots of guys here have girlfriends they made here, whereas I never made the effort to talk to girls during freshers week due to my own fears. Every day is hell now and I feel so depressed when I see people socialising and couples together and I wish I could be like them. Even in tutorial discussion groups if there is more than three people I struggle to say more than a word or two. I just wish I wasn't so isolated here. I study history and love it and genuinely want to be at university I just wish I had more self confidence and wasn't so worried about what other people thought of me. I joined the history society back in September but didn't bother going to any of the events. It is now almost February and I wish I had been more sociable but just seeing everyone confident with friends is really making me depressed. Please does anyone have any good advice on what I should do about my situation?
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Anonymous #2
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Report 2 weeks ago
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I have no real advice unfortunatley, as I am in a similar situation, although I commute from home to uni. I suffer from social anxiety and being alone at uni and feeling isolated is really really tough. You're definitly not alone. I always start a new semester with the intention of being more socialable and because of my anxiety, it never happens. I get so bad that I don't even go to seminars etc due to the fact I know I can't socialise properly in a group of 3+.

I think it's common for first year students to feel isolated, especially when they have moved away from home - it's a huge adaptation, and one that can take some time. You're still settling in.

I always remind myself that I go to study, and not to socialise, that way it comforts me in that i'm not failing at something, i'm just simply here to do one thing if that makes sense...and friends I might make are just a bonus. I know you had extra goals like wanting a girlfriend and new friends but not everyone has the same experience and not everyone will stay together or stay in touch. Just don't put a ton of pressure on yourself to make friends or start a realtionship, because you will just end up becoming very self critical if things don't turn out exactly the way you hoped. Also, there are a lot of people who will connect at first because they all see uni as a fun, exciting and social time, but when first year is over and work begins to get a little more challenging, people soon realise they need to prioritise work over social activities. This is probably a good time to socialise with others over work. You will find a lot of people who are really into the work and you should seek out people like that because you can build some really strong relationships simply by getting your head down and concentrating on studies with them.

I hear a lot of people talking about joining societys at uni, maybe just force yourself to go to just one event? Maybe you'll find someone there that you will click with?
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Anonymous #3
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Hi there.
It might be worth speaking to your university's student services and see if you can get any help from either the disability team or enabling services. The university I am at offers hypnotherapy and 1:1 counselling services, and maybe something like that may help you manage/alievate some of your anxiety? It honestly sucks because I totally understand where you're coming from. Personally, I wish I had done more at uni, but with my course we don't really have much time for socities e.t.c. Do you have a Personal Academic Tutor or something along those lines? If so, maybe you should also speak to them, and they may be able to give you some advice as well. Also as well, Tinder is an option. You might be able to find someone there to go on a date with? :P When it comes to societies you have joined, you could possibly go to one event and see what happens. Generally speaking, no one really keeps track of who's at the events, and who isn't so there isn't too much pressure to go every time there is something on.
I'm not sure if this is any help, but if it is I hope you have gotten something out of this. Good luck!
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LilacRoses
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I can't speak for all universities but at my university there us a re-freshers fair where people can join societies in semester 2. If not you can message the societies on social media or go to your Student's Union and ask about joining societies. Also don't just limit yourself to course-related societies only, you can join societies and sports clubs for enjoyment and being a part of a group can help your wellbeing.

As for not having a girlfriend yet, as a young woman, I can honestly say that girls do not care if you have never had a girlfriend, they care if you like them and they can have a fun time with you, so working on yourself confidence and social skills are more important than actively trying to find a girlfriend when you're feeling less confident about yourself. There is nothing wrong with you just because you're single.

Focus on finding friends first, even female friends if you feel you get on better with girls, you can do this by joining clubs that are more likely to have women in, drama societies, dance societies, arts societies, but some girls are also into other stuff like games, comics, rock climbing and other societies that sterotypically boys like. Think about what you are interested in and join it. Also do not underestimate the value of talking to people on your course, ask them about exams and assignments as not only do you get help, but you are striking conversation with people that can leads to friendship and at times, more than that...relationships all start with conversations.

Also be sure to value the conversations you have and the people you have them with. Even a quick two minute small-talk chat is a start to what could be a good friendship. If you value people, I believe people will start valuing you. Date and be with someone you are truly interested in, and remember you can't force these things, but you can put yourself out there and get to know people (also remember that dating apps and websites are common today, so you can try them if you want to and prefer talking online).
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LilacRoses
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#5
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I started university in September 2018 and moved away from home to do so in hope that I would make friends and get a girlfriend. I have a long history of social anxiety which led to loneliness which led to depression. I have only one friend but he lives in another part of the country. When I first came here I made the effort to go out with people in my halls and make friends with them but I wasn't that sociable. Since about early November 2018 around exam time I have completely isolated myself from them due to my own fears. Two of them are my next door neighbours and they are discussing living together next year. I feel a lot of regret about not being more sociable coming here as lots of guys here have girlfriends they made here, whereas I never made the effort to talk to girls during freshers week due to my own fears. Every day is hell now and I feel so depressed when I see people socialising and couples together and I wish I could be like them. Even in tutorial discussion groups if there is more than three people I struggle to say more than a word or two. I just wish I wasn't so isolated here. I study history and love it and genuinely want to be at university I just wish I had more self confidence and wasn't so worried about what other people thought of me. I joined the history society back in September but didn't bother going to any of the events. It is now almost February and I wish I had been more sociable but just seeing everyone confident with friends is really making me depressed. Please does anyone have any good advice on what I should do about my situation?
Also talking to student services and seeing someone about your anxiety and depression may also be largely beneficial to you, universities should want to support your mental health.
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