Social anxiety at uni, isolated and alone Watch

Anonymous #1
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So basically I have bad social anxiety and I've had it through all of my teens. I made not a single friend in the whole of first year uni due to this. Seeing friendship groups and couples in halls was really painful for me. I've just started second year and having no friends to move into a house with I've had to go into accommodation with strangers this year. I opted for mixed sex (I am a male) and I've been stuck with all girls. I have nothing against that, I just would feel a bit more comfortable and less isolated with at least one other male flatmate. Also I had to move in a day late and apart from briefly saying hello to them when I moved in I've spent that last 4 days literally locked in my room. I've starved myself all day been really thirsty, needing the toilet desperately and only leaving at 3 am to get food once they are all asleep. Being socially anxious I am socially inexperienced but the way they were talking to each other like they'd known each other for years. They've also had guys round, no idea how where and when they met them, and one of the girls even had sex with one of the guys on my first (their second) night. I'm at university this should be the best time of my life instead it's the worst and I feel so alone. It makes my social anxiety worse that my kitchen window is on the floor above ground level and there is a really busy main street outside with people constantly walking by with a view straight into my kitchen. Please someone tell me how I can fix my terrible situation? I just want to be a normal confident happy uni student with friends and a partner is that really too much to ask for?
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Kate0815
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Sorry you’re suffering like this. I have a milder form of social anxiety and the only way I have to beat it is to try and not care what others think of me. I sometimes set myself small tasks, like force myself to talk to strangers. I find a lot of people are so not know how to socialise outside their own circles. This doesn’t stop me from trying to be included, I’ve become more immune to the ignorant people. I think everyone has an element of social anxiety, yours seems to be consuming your life. Get some counselling and take small steps forward. You’re an equal to everyone else! Go and introduce yourself to your housemates, think of what the worse thing could happen? It probably won’t be as bad as you’re imagining, small steps build confidence. Definitely get some support through uni. Don’t be scared of others opinion of you!
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treacyjames
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I can understand this as well. Some options: 1) try to be in the kitchen / common area when your housemates arrive. It is much easier if they are the one coming into the room. Be on your laptop...mumble out a 'hi' when they come in. Even better would be to introduce yourself properly. 2) look for a club where you might find some similar people. A chess club / maths club / computer games club...whatever interest you might have. Then turn up for a club night and wait for someone to talk to you. At least if you are in the situation, you might not have to initiate the conversation...easier to react. 3) See if there is a psychologist / guidance counceller. Perhaps they can assign you a 'buddy'...who could make introductions for you socially. 4) Put up an ad on gumtree / elsewhere online. Advertise for someone to hang out with...prob loads of people looking for that even if not quite as extreme as your situation....or advertise for something you are interested in...or for a skill exchange...or to give cheap grinds to a 1st yr student. I moved to London and put an ad up on gumtree to meet foreign students to practice Spanish. I met about 10/12 people through that ad. One is now my girlfriend. The point is, it is easier to meet someone when there is an agreed purpose - e.g. to practice Spanish - but later these are they type of people who you could end up hanging out with.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 1 week ago
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(Original post by Kate0815)
Sorry you’re suffering like this. I have a milder form of social anxiety and the only way I have to beat it is to try and not care what others think of me. I sometimes set myself small tasks, like force myself to talk to strangers. I find a lot of people are so not know how to socialise outside their own circles. This doesn’t stop me from trying to be included, I’ve become more immune to the ignorant people. I think everyone has an element of social anxiety, yours seems to be consuming your life. Get some counselling and take small steps forward. You’re an equal to everyone else! Go and introduce yourself to your housemates, think of what the worse thing could happen? It probably won’t be as bad as you’re imagining, small steps build confidence. Definitely get some support through uni. Don’t be scared of others opinion of you!
Thanks for your advice. I've booked myself into some local counselling in my area but the earliest appointment isn't for another three weeks which means I'll have to cope on my own until then, my depression is pretty bad now too especially being back in the uni environment. I've said hello to all of my housemates individually when I've bumped into them in the kitchen the past week but when I hear them all in there together I often lack the courage to go in and often end up not eating for close to twelve hours despite being very hungry and going to get a really late dinner. I haven't mustered up the courage to initiate a conversation with any of my housemates yet but I am planning to do that within the next week or so. Like I said I'm male and I've been stuck with all girls, they are all nice but I do get on better with guys and I've been avoiding lectures the past week due to the scary social situation and also the sadness I will feel when everyone will be talking most people already knowing each other and I will be all alone. I wouldn't know what to say if I was to talk to someone in the first few minutes before a lecture and would worry they would think me weird.
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centraltrains
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Have you spoken to the wellbeing team at your university? If your missing lectures this sounds serious ;c
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 1 week ago
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(Original post by treacyjames)
I can understand this as well. Some options: 1) try to be in the kitchen / common area when your housemates arrive. It is much easier if they are the one coming into the room. Be on your laptop...mumble out a 'hi' when they come in. Even better would be to introduce yourself properly. 2) look for a club where you might find some similar people. A chess club / maths club / computer games club...whatever interest you might have. Then turn up for a club night and wait for someone to talk to you. At least if you are in the situation, you might not have to initiate the conversation...easier to react. 3) See if there is a psychologist / guidance counceller. Perhaps they can assign you a 'buddy'...who could make introductions for you socially. 4) Put up an ad on gumtree / elsewhere online. Advertise for someone to hang out with...prob loads of people looking for that even if not quite as extreme as your situation....or advertise for something you are interested in...or for a skill exchange...or to give cheap grinds to a 1st yr student. I moved to London and put an ad up on gumtree to meet foreign students to practice Spanish. I met about 10/12 people through that ad. One is now my girlfriend. The point is, it is easier to meet someone when there is an agreed purpose - e.g. to practice Spanish - but later these are they type of people who you could end up hanging out with.
Thanks for your advice. I've said hello to them in passing but that's about it. I am working up the courage to start a conversation with them in the next week or so though but my depression is pretty bad now. I have joined a society and a sports club at my uni tonight by signing up online and paying my membership fees. The first society meetings were this week and I don't think I'm going to have the courage to go for another few weeks yet. Will joining a few weeks later mean it will be difficult to make friends since people will have clicked from the very start? I'm socially awkward enough as it is and very socially inexperienced especially if I'm the one who is starting the conversation. I've booked myself into a local counselling service but the waiting list is three weeks so I'll have to survive the best I can until then. My housemates are all nice but they are all female and I'm the only male and I get on better with guys and many people in lectures talk to each other and I worry I will look weird if I try and talk to someone in a lecture. I am extremely lonely now and have nobody but have pushed myself to get help through counselling and joined uni societies even though it scares the life out of me with social anxiety. I also feel like the only single person in my city as at my uni and when I go out food shopping I see countless couples, guys who have no social awkwardness if they have the confidence to approach and ask girls out. I just want to be like that too.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 1 week ago
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(Original post by centraltrains)
Have you spoken to the wellbeing team at your university? If your missing lectures this sounds serious ;c
I spoke to them they gave me a counselling service to contact which I did. I've only missed this first week which is introduction lectures and I've caught up with it all online anyway since lectures get recorded and posted online and I'll be back to full attendance at lectures just like I was last year despite the fact it was extremely difficult to attend lectures which aren't compulsory and seminars which are compulsory I attended both anyway despite my crippling anxiety and sadness at seeing people just talk away so carefree. I've sought out therapy that should help me a lot.
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