Having general and social anxiety at university

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Maya.kg16
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Hi! So I’m currently in year 12 looking at unis, and I’m getting quite worried about the social/night life. I’m very socially anxious in large crowds but I do well in small groups or with a few friends, and I can get so anxious at clubs/parties to the point I get extremely nauseous, so it just isn’t an option for me.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share, or knew how much emphasis there was on nightlife or if it’s easy to find people who are similar.
If it helps I’m looking at Cambridge, Bath, York, Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham and Durham so far but advice from anyone at any uni is welcome!
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Maya.kg16
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(Original post by SilenceOfTheLam)
You need to boss up
It’s called a mental health condition, that’s the worst possible thing you could say.
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SilenceOfTheLam
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
It’s called a mental health condition, that’s the worst possible thing you could say.
You're never going to beat it if you shy away from situations that make you feel uncomfortable
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2003a39
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Yeah, I'm in Year 12 and get socially anxious too, can't start conversations with new people without feeling like I'm being creepy or awkward. Just avoid clubs and parties, it's not like you're missing out, I'm not gonna go to them either. Even College life is hard for me, I don't really talk to anyone other than my teacher because I have to...
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BohemianPhysics
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It doesn't matter too much where you go to uni. There will be people who don't enjoy partying. If you're like that then just don't go and don't feel bad about that. There's no pressure- you just need to feel good about that decision.

Whether you decide to go to parties or not, you'll need some people to talk to at uni. Youy should be able to find some on your course or at societies. (tip- Go for more learning-based societies like cultures/ first aid rather than the sports or subject societies (they'll have big meet-ups and parties. These are of course optional but you may feel awkward not going in these ones as it's the norm in them)

Uni is what you make it and you don't need to party.

If you go or not then anyone you live with or are friends with will just need to understand. If they pressure you then don't give in and realise that those are not your people. Find other people elsewhere.

My defence mechanism was to always be in the library or reading/ listening to music alone but I'm an introvert so this may or may not work for you depending.
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Maya.kg16
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(Original post by SilenceOfTheLam)
You're never going to beat it if you shy away from situations that make you feel uncomfortable
It’s not ‘shying away’ it is a panic response that cannot be controlled. If I could I would
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Caz1234567
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Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, and Birmingham all have very big nightlives I would say. I would highly recommend avoiding Loughborough and Sheffield. If you go Warwick, the lakeside village area is very quiet, chill and pretty (nice views are always a bonus). Durham would be pretty quiet once you find the best spots for you, basically there is a nightlife but it can be avoided. The whole college system would make Cambridge a very supportive atmosphere for someone with anxiety. Bath is a nice area, though I don't have much experience with them. As someone who suffers from severe panic attacks, I can really relate to you (although my panic attacks are mainly due to stress and worrying rather than social anxiety, I do prefer some alone time to gather my thoughts). I'm in year 13 and ironically enough my firm choice is kcl, not only do I love my course, there is a lot of support put in place at kcl and you can really avoid the nightlife quiet easily opposed to a campus uni (my insurance is Warwick). I also applied to Edinburgh which would also be a great choice for avoiding nightlife. I would rather work than party and my main aim when looking at unis is to find somewhere calm and peaceful, so feel free to PM me with any other questions I can't think of any other unis off the top of my head but I'll edit this if I do.
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AstaYunoo
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
Hi! So I’m currently in year 12 looking at unis, and I’m getting quite worried about the social/night life. I’m very socially anxious in large crowds but I do well in small groups or with a few friends, and I can get so anxious at clubs/parties to the point I get extremely nauseous, so it just isn’t an option for me.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share, or knew how much emphasis there was on nightlife or if it’s easy to find people who are similar.
If it helps I’m looking at Cambridge, Bath, York, Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham and Durham so far but advice from anyone at any uni is welcome!
As a first year, I can safely say, the highlights have been from attending virtual events, webinars and socialising from afar.
As you have social anxiety only you can know how much socialising you want to do so that means once freshers start sign up for specific classes/events which you will genuinely enjoy
This way the people you meet people that will have similar interests to you and conversations will flow much more easily. And once you get into your bubble/ group of friends you need to let them know you want to party/go clubbing as they will have your back and it's so much less awkward
But imo it's all about finding your clicks within the first few months (think of it like induction day) and the more you live in the moment, the more things you'll encounter:woo:

Edit: You're in year 12, don't stress about university life until you've finished year 13
Last edited by AstaYunoo; 1 week ago
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Joleee
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most people i know at uni don't go to clubs or parties. you'll be fine so long as you make an effort to make friends and talk to people in class

are you taking anything for your anxiety?
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HazMusicPanda
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I think the pandemic's put you in a good position in there being not a huge push for parties XD
But seriously, I also struggle with social anxiety and I'll be honest, didn't have a great experience first two years. I went to Hull and I felt vv alone and isolated because of the massive emphasis on drinking, socials, clubs, and parties (I think that's inevitable with uni so just a warning). I eventually managed to find ways of coping (exposure therapy unfortunately helped a little :/ ) and actually enjoyed 3rd year so you'll find your way. Joining a society with an activity like music or sports can be helpful bcs there's obviously a social aspect to it but there's also something to actually do other than socialise.
As someone from York, I can tell you that our nightlife is certainly not the most active. We don't have many clubs and I think pubs are more popular anyway generally (not sure about students). We also have loads of coffee shops and museums if daytime socialising is more your thing.
Probably best avoiding larger, metropolis cities like Sheffield and Birmingham if you're not keen on being around an active night scene.
Definitely not perfect, but I am someone with social anxiety and depression who made it through uni so if you need any more advice or just want to chat, feel free to pm
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Uni of Hull Students
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
Hi! So I’m currently in year 12 looking at unis, and I’m getting quite worried about the social/night life. I’m very socially anxious in large crowds but I do well in small groups or with a few friends, and I can get so anxious at clubs/parties to the point I get extremely nauseous, so it just isn’t an option for me.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share, or knew how much emphasis there was on nightlife or if it’s easy to find people who are similar.
If it helps I’m looking at Cambridge, Bath, York, Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham and Durham so far but advice from anyone at any uni is welcome!
Hi Maya.kg16

It is great that you are considering studying for a degree. I'm a current student at the University of Hull.

Whilst nightlife is an aspect of student life at university it is not the be-all and end-all, there are plenty of other things which you can get involved in.
I personally am also not the biggest fan of being in large groups of people. Rather than join a bigger sports team where there would be more than 20 individuals at a social event, I decided to join Trampolining which was a group of around 10 individuals at any one time. They were a friendly and supportive group of individuals, and a couple of the members of the team are now very good friends of mine.
But, many universities have a range of different Societies and sports which you can get involved in, all of which will vary in size.
The main aim of a society for example is to facilitate the meeting of a group of individuals who have similar interests. There couldn't be a better or easier way to make new friends with similar interests or get involved in something completely new. Some of the societies which the University of Hull has includes Arts and Crafts, Board Game society and Disney and Pixar society to name but a few. More societies on offer at Hull can be found on our student's union web page - https://hulluniunion.com/join-in/societies
But you don't have to get involved in a sport or society if it is not your cup of tea. Hopefully, you will have plenty of opportunities to make friends with individuals on your course and with individuals with who you live with.

I would also advise looking into the Student Support services which universities offer. Your wellbeing and mental health are important. Details about the Student Support available at Hull can be found here - https://www.hull.ac.uk/choose-hull/s...tudent-support

I hope this helps, and I am happy to answer any questions which you may have

Emily
University of Hull Student Representative
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University of York
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
Hi! So I’m currently in year 12 looking at unis, and I’m getting quite worried about the social/night life. I’m very socially anxious in large crowds but I do well in small groups or with a few friends, and I can get so anxious at clubs/parties to the point I get extremely nauseous, so it just isn’t an option for me.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share, or knew how much emphasis there was on nightlife or if it’s easy to find people who are similar.
If it helps I’m looking at Cambridge, Bath, York, Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham and Durham so far but advice from anyone at any uni is welcome!
Hi,

It’s great to hear you’re thinking about studying at university Looking at the different styles of campus and the societies and support on offer at different universities is a good place to start when deciding which university best suits you.

At York we have a college system which you might be interested in if you’re looking for a smaller, community atmosphere. Each college has something different to offer. They have a range of sporting, leadership and volunteering opportunities you can get involved in as well as cafes, common rooms and study areas where you can meet up with your friends. They also have a well-being team who, alongside Student Support and the Student Union, offer support and guidance throughout your time at York.

Although nightlife is big part of the university experience for some students, there’s a lot more to student life. Student societies are a great way to meet like-minded people no matter which university you choose. You can explore some of the societies you could be involved in at York here. The city of York has loads to offer aside from night life including museums, parks, great shopping and lots of cafes and restaurants. You can find out more here about what York and the surrounding region have to offer.

If you have any more questions at all about student life at York, please just ask!

Rachel
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Maya.kg16
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(Original post by Joleee)
most people i know at uni don't go to clubs or parties. you'll be fine so long as you make an effort to make friends and talk to people in class

are you taking anything for your anxiety?
I’m currently on propranolol but it only helps the physical feeling a little- I’m working on it though
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Maya.kg16
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(Original post by HazMusicPanda)
I think the pandemic's put you in a good position in there being not a huge push for parties XD
But seriously, I also struggle with social anxiety and I'll be honest, didn't have a great experience first two years. I went to Hull and I felt vv alone and isolated because of the massive emphasis on drinking, socials, clubs, and parties (I think that's inevitable with uni so just a warning). I eventually managed to find ways of coping (exposure therapy unfortunately helped a little :/ ) and actually enjoyed 3rd year so you'll find your way. Joining a society with an activity like music or sports can be helpful bcs there's obviously a social aspect to it but there's also something to actually do other than socialise.
As someone from York, I can tell you that our nightlife is certainly not the most active. We don't have many clubs and I think pubs are more popular anyway generally (not sure about students). We also have loads of coffee shops and museums if daytime socialising is more your thing.
Probably best avoiding larger, metropolis cities like Sheffield and Birmingham if you're not keen on being around an active night scene.
Definitely not perfect, but I am someone with social anxiety and depression who made it through uni so if you need any more advice or just want to chat, feel free to pm
Ah okay I think I will be avoiding the city unis then 😅 I don’t mind some daytime socialising as much in small groups of people I know so I think that’s where I’lll be making my friends. I was definitely looking into York as it seems a lot quieter
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Maya.kg16
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(Original post by University of York)
Hi,

It’s great to hear you’re thinking about studying at university Looking at the different styles of campus and the societies and support on offer at different universities is a good place to start when deciding which university best suits you.

At York we have a college system which you might be interested in if you’re looking for a smaller, community atmosphere. Each college has something different to offer. They have a range of sporting, leadership and volunteering opportunities you can get involved in as well as cafes, common rooms and study areas where you can meet up with your friends. They also have a well-being team who, alongside Student Support and the Student Union, offer support and guidance throughout your time at York.

Although nightlife is big part of the university experience for some students, there’s a lot more to student life. Student societies are a great way to meet like-minded people no matter which university you choose. You can explore some of the societies you could be involved in at York here. The city of York has loads to offer aside from night life including museums, parks, great shopping and lots of cafes and restaurants. You can find out more here about what York and the surrounding region have to offer.

If you have any more questions at all about student life at York, please just ask!

Rachel
Thank you! I was certainly looking at York as the collegiate system is a big draw for me- the thought of having an automatic smaller community within the uni is very comforting to me. The city itself also looks incredible!
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University of York
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
Thank you! I was certainly looking at York as the collegiate system is a big draw for me- the thought of having an automatic smaller community within the uni is very comforting to me. The city itself also looks incredible!
Hi Maya.kg16

The city is definitely amazing! I am a recent graduate still living in York, and lots of my friends have also decided to stay in York after graduation. It's quite common for grads to stay as it's such a lovely place. I was in Vanbrugh College and I would say it was about 50/50 in my halls between people who went out and people who weren't so fussed with nightlife. This meant I had a nice group of friends to just chill with, without the pressure of trying to do something I wasn't comfortable with! York is quite small for a city so it's not really a 'party' city or a university that people choose purely for the nightlife. So although there are clubs, there is so much more on offer as well.

Whichever uni you choose, I'm sure that you have the best time

Hazel
Graduate Ambassador
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
Hi! So I’m currently in year 12 looking at unis, and I’m getting quite worried about the social/night life. I’m very socially anxious in large crowds but I do well in small groups or with a few friends, and I can get so anxious at clubs/parties to the point I get extremely nauseous, so it just isn’t an option for me.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share, or knew how much emphasis there was on nightlife or if it’s easy to find people who are similar.
If it helps I’m looking at Cambridge, Bath, York, Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham and Durham so far but advice from anyone at any uni is welcome!
I think smaller unis/cities would be better for you and maybe psychologically it would feel safer if they weren't too far from home. From your list I would suggest Cambridge, Bath, Durham and York for their size and Lancaster is also small and collegiate
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jademowry123
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(Original post by Maya.kg16)
It’s called a mental health condition, that’s the worst possible thing you could say.
have u got any irgent help for anxiety attack as i am having one right now
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Yukikobestgirl
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for me personally as someone in a similar position, my first dauy at uni was horrible vut it's also like that for most ppl. I stay at home for uni thankfully but making friends in uni is hard in a way. I'd reccomend going to any societies or stuff that interests u if ur like me and feel more comfortable doing things u enjoy. Depends on personal situations ofc but I'm sure you'll find a good group.
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University of York
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(Original post by jademowry123)
have u got any irgent help for anxiety attack as i am having one right now
Hi there, I'll reply to your message in private

Hazel
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