Really not looking forward to uni from the social perspective

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Anonymous #1
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Don’t get me wrong I’m really excited to finally get some academic stimulation after being away from education for so long but socially I’m kind of dreading going. As a person I’m not particularly gregarious in fact I’m pretty shy especially in large groups(there’s 10 people in my flat😶). I’ve joined a few group chats to try and force myself to be sociable and put myself out there but being so open with a bunch of people I don’t know goes so against my personality I’ve found I’m just not speaking at all in these chats. I’d hoped I’d be able to “find my people” so to speak by immersing myself in societies that interest me but my uni isn’t doing any societies in person anyway because of COVIDthe people in my flat seem to be very outgoing and “life of the party” types and I feel really uncomfortable. Like I want to go out with them so I don’t seem boring but in truth I wouldn’t be bothered if I didn’t go out the entire time I was at uni(from a clubbing/bar type perspective anyway.) also I don’t drink so I feel between my lack of general sociability and my lack of drink I’ll immediately be labelled as boring or something. Like I really have never met anyone who doesn’t drink-lots of my friends say they don’t drink and they don’t a lot but when they go out they seem to loosen up a bit. Basically I’m just dreading being thrown in a flat of 10 party animals because that really isn’t me throughout my whole school years I’ve found it hard to make friends just because I feel so few people truly resonate with this and I’ve got to say it’s kinda getting me down.
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Anonymous #2
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Hey! I am going into my third year of uni. Like you, I don't drink. At school, I sometimes felt like a fish out of water as most of my friends drank. For me personally, I always enjoyed social events but never went to clubs and often felt a bit out of place at bars. I was really looking forward to getting to uni and getting involved with people that were similar to me and attending events that didn't revolve around drinking. Then when I got to uni and met my 4 other flat mates, I was really disappointed to find that they were real heavy drinkers and party-goers. During Fresher's week I struggled to find much that I was interested to go to or felt confident enough to go to on my own. I can't lie, I found it tough. I expected to go to uni and instantly stumble across people who were similar to me but unfortunately it wasn't that easy. When I got settled in my course I found friends who I had more in common with but I understand that it is going to be a lot more difficult now with COVID-19. Before I truly got settled in with my friendship group, I often felt quite lonely, I really didn't gel with my flatmates and they were always going out clubbing and drinking together, but I knew that it really wasn't my scene, so I felt left out. To them, I realise I probably did seem a bit boring, and I was really conscious of this at the time, but I'm pleased I stuck to what I was comfortable with and what I truly enjoyed doing because through that I was able to find people with more in common with me and I was able to make so many lovely memories going to restaurants and cafés with my friends, Christmas markets, cinema, walking, cooking for each other, etc. It may seem like all freshers are only interested in clubbing and drinking (that's certainly how I felt!) but I assure you, some may feel pressured to act a certain way to fit in, others may be sat in their flat, wishing they could find others like them. There will be many people like you who are waiting for society events to restart so they can find their people, I promise you! I can really understand how you feel and COVID-19 certainly mustn't be making it any easier and although it may be a slow start socially, you will find people that you can enjoy spending time with without the alcohol and the clubs. I hope hearing my story makes you feel like you're not alone and that there are people out there just like you.
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Joleee
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can you defer?
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anaindiemood
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hey! I am going into my third year of uni. Like you, I don't drink. At school, I sometimes felt like a fish out of water as most of my friends drank. For me personally, I always enjoyed social events but never went to clubs and often felt a bit out of place at bars. I was really looking forward to getting to uni and getting involved with people that were similar to me and attending events that didn't revolve around drinking. Then when I got to uni and met my 4 other flat mates, I was really disappointed to find that they were real heavy drinkers and party-goers. During Fresher's week I struggled to find much that I was interested to go to or felt confident enough to go to on my own. I can't lie, I found it tough. I expected to go to uni and instantly stumble across people who were similar to me but unfortunately it wasn't that easy. When I got settled in my course I found friends who I had more in common with but I understand that it is going to be a lot more difficult now with COVID-19. Before I truly got settled in with my friendship group, I often felt quite lonely, I really didn't gel with my flatmates and they were always going out clubbing and drinking together, but I knew that it really wasn't my scene, so I felt left out. To them, I realise I probably did seem a bit boring, and I was really conscious of this at the time, but I'm pleased I stuck to what I was comfortable with and what I truly enjoyed doing because through that I was able to find people with more in common with me and I was able to make so many lovely memories going to restaurants and cafés with my friends, Christmas markets, cinema, walking, cooking for each other, etc. It may seem like all freshers are only interested in clubbing and drinking (that's certainly how I felt!) but I assure you, some may feel pressured to act a certain way to fit in, others may be sat in their flat, wishing they could find others like them. There will be many people like you who are waiting for society events to restart so they can find their people, I promise you! I can really understand how you feel and COVID-19 certainly mustn't be making it any easier and although it may be a slow start socially, you will find people that you can enjoy spending time with without the alcohol and the clubs. I hope hearing my story makes you feel like you're not alone and that there are people out there just like you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that! I really do appreciate it. I’m so glad that even after a slightly rocky start you managed to finally find friends that were much more like yourself! I’m hoping I too find my people ahah, Thank you!! )) xx
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by anaindiemood)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that! I really do appreciate it. I’m so glad that even after a slightly rocky start you managed to finally find friends that were much more like yourself! I’m hoping I too find my people ahah, Thank you!! )) xx
What uni do you go to?
And has it improved?
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anaindiemood
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(Original post by Anonymous)
What uni do you go to?
And has it improved?
I go to the University of Sheffield. With all the Covid restrictions it’s definitely proving more difficult to make friends and I feel in a way like my flat mates are judging me because I haven’t been out once-it just really isn’t for me! The amount of drinking and drug use is also kinda overwhelming but I’m hoping things calm down after freshers!
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by anaindiemood)
I go to the University of Sheffield. With all the Covid restrictions it’s definitely proving more difficult to make friends and I feel in a way like my flat mates are judging me because I haven’t been out once-it just really isn’t for me! The amount of drinking and drug use is also kinda overwhelming but I’m hoping things calm down after freshers!
Hi there,

With COVID restrictions it is definitely proving difficult for some freshers to find their feet. Today (24/09/2020) The University of Sheffield is having the second day of it's "Virtual Sports Fair" which can be accessed until 2pm at: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/virtualfairs/enter .

Here is the link to the Studen'ts Union list of societes. https://yoursu.sheffield.ac.uk/groups . I would recommend taking a look through the list to see which societies might interest you: it is likely that they will be organising some sort of engagement for freshers.

Daniel
Third Year
MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad
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Anonymous #4
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Hey, I thought I'd post my two cents since what you said sounds a lot like me! I've just started second year so hopefully I can help a bit. In my first year I felt out of place since I'm not into clubbing and I don't drink a ton either. It was hard to socialise and get to know people because I thought they would think I'm boring, and to be honest a lot of society events revolved around alcohol and night outs. A couple of my flatmates were partygoers but the rest were pretty quiet so there was some common ground there. Look into whether your uni offers quiet accommodation blocks - there might be a possibility of transferring if this is the case (although not sure if this is still an option with COVID).
Try not to compare yourself and your social life to others. If clubbing isn't your scene don't force it. Societies should be running online events which might work in your favour to an extent since they will need to revolve around other activities.
I understand it must be difficult for you, and it will probably be harder to make friends on your course with seminars etc. happening online. But remember there's no deadline on making friends and this can happen naturally at any time if you click with someone - whether that's during Freshers or beyond.
Also remember that despite what all the uni propoganda says, university doesn't have to be the 'best years of your life'. People blossom at different times and if the uni social life isn't for you that is no reflection on you as a whole. If it suits you better there's no shame in prioritising your studies at uni and just getting that degree. I didn't make any friends in first year which really got me down because I had these hopes of coming to uni and finding my people and all that. Which many people do, and you may well do so but it isn't the be all and end all. There's a lot of pressure to find your group immediately at uni when you see other people socialising and having fun around you. But remember that there will also be a lot of people you can't see who are struggling. Surround yourself with what makes you happy, and remember you're not alone.
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by anaindiemood)
I go to the University of Sheffield. With all the Covid restrictions it’s definitely proving more difficult to make friends and I feel in a way like my flat mates are judging me because I haven’t been out once-it just really isn’t for me! The amount of drinking and drug use is also kinda overwhelming but I’m hoping things calm down after freshers!
Hey anaindiemood,

I completely understand what you're going through! I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling down because of this, I know this year it could be a bit more difficult to meet new people because of the reduced in-person contact hours. I had to skip on the first few nights out in my first year because I was feeling ill and homesick on top of it, and it was pretty difficult because I was afraid I'd miss out on all the fun. After a few weeks, I met some coursemates I got on with quite well and slowly started building more meaningful friendships with a few of them. My advice would be to give it some time. You may feel like it's now or never, but it's genuinely not! You'll have the chance of meeting people like you either on your course or by joining societies – which I can't recommend enough! I joined a volunteering society in my first year and it's been the one thing that made a significant difference to my mental health because I had something to look forward to every week (although the activities I was doing didn't involve other uni students – I was teaching children Philosophy). If there's any sport or hobby that you have or had a passion for, maybe look for a society with people who are into that, there are so many options!

Don't hesitate to ask us if you have any questions!

– Andreea
3rd Year, BA Politics & Philosophy
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