Daughter just started University 2021

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Nickys4
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My daughter has just started university (1st year). She is incredibly shy and nervous and has unfortunately ended up with flatmates you love to drink and party. She doesn't drink and in her own words "they aren't her kind of people". My husband and I left her today and she was very upset saying she is terrified of not making friends. So far she is just totally overwhelmed. Please can anyone help us know how best to support her? It breaks my heart to see her so upset and the expectation of university life not living up to what she expected. Many thanks
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flamingolover
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It really is hard. If she gets involved in events that she's interested in she will find her people. I didnt love my flatmates at the start but we get on a lot better now. What uni is she at?
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Nickys4
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Sheffield, she is going to join some clubs and hopefully make friends. does it take a while to settle in?
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flamingolover
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(Original post by Nickys4)
Sheffield, she is going to join some clubs and hopefully make friends. does it take a while to settle in?
It does take a while. Its a big jump because its a unfamiliar place, completely new people and you have to be fully independent for the first time ever. Its a huge jump. People always think that you'll be best friends with your flat or you'll hate them. It's normally in the middle and most people make a great group of friends outside of the flat.

I was incredibly overwhelmed the first few weeks but you really do settle in as long as you make an effort yo join things and talk to people. Facebook groups are really helpful for this
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Anonymous #1
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Since uni is a big place she will most likely find her group of people and settle in. I think the most you can do as parents right now is call her and ask her how her day went. And overtime you'll have to call less because she would have found friends to hang out with.
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Anonymous #2
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hey, i’ve also been in this situation. in fact i am right now. my flat mates are outgoing and i’m not, i came to uni 2 days ago.

today was the first time i’ve spoken to people. trust me, she will find people. i cried myself to sleep last night as i spent yesterday all alone, but today i had a five minute conversation with one of my flat mates and met her on my way to the dining hall and because of that i’ve been introduced to about 15 people! most of whom i really like (even if i can’t remember all of their names) and some like to party and others are staying in like me. i’m also in a group chat with about 5-6 of them.

i’m highly introverted and very shy too, never once having going to a party, but trust me she will find her people. not all of the events are parties - e.g. i’ve got freshers fair, diy, mocktail making, and vintage shopping to do. it will be terrifying as i don’t know anyone else doing them, but i have (and she) to embrace this, as she will have to do this through life. also, she can wait till her course starts and she meets people in lectures/seminars like i’m waiting to. it’s just one of the uncomfortable things we have to do, but im sure she’ll be fine!

Good luck to your daughter (whose very similar to me, apparently!)
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Nickys4
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thank you flamingolover, I will encourage her to keep going it's only the first week so I'm sure things will improve.
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flamingolover
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(Original post by Nickys4)
thank you flamingolover, I will encourage her to keep going it's only the first week so I'm sure things will improve.
They really will. I know people who didnt make their friends until second year. It can be hard but there are people for everyone and she will find them. If she needs any tips or someone to talk to let me know. I started in April (so im 6 months into my first year) so I both have experience and am still a first year so if she ever needs help let me know
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Nickys4
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(Original post by Anonymous)
hey, i’ve also been in this situation. in fact i am right now. my flat mates are outgoing and i’m not, i came to uni 2 days ago.

today was the first time i’ve spoken to people. trust me, she will find people. i cried myself to sleep last night as i spent yesterday all alone, but today i had a five minute conversation with one of my flat mates and met her on my way to the dining hall and because of that i’ve been introduced to about 15 people! most of whom i really like (even if i can’t remember all of their names) and some like to party and others are staying in like me. i’m also in a group chat with about 5-6 of them.

i’m highly introverted and very shy too, never once having going to a party, but trust me she will find her people. not all of the events are parties - e.g. i’ve got freshers fair, diy, mocktail making, and vintage shopping to do. it will be terrifying as i don’t know anyone else doing them, but i have (and she) to embrace this, as she will have to do this through life. also, she can wait till her course starts and she meets people in lectures/seminars like i’m waiting to. it’s just one of the uncomfortable things we have to do, but im sure she’ll be fine!

Good luck to your daughter (whose very similar to me, apparently!)
sounds like you are both similar. thank you
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vnesswa
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i'm in a similiar situation. after 2 weeks, i've settled in, but i'd recommend having her explore the city and enjoying her own company, she'll meet people on her course and societies! us introverts are hiding everywhere behind the party crowd :')
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Nickys4
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(Original post by vnesswa)
i'm in a similiar situation. after 2 weeks, i've settled in, but i'd recommend having her explore the city and enjoying her own company, she'll meet people on her course and societies! us introverts are hiding everywhere behind the party crowd :')
she tried to walk down to the student union about 20 minutes walk, she turned and came back because some man was walking behind her. it was about 7.30pm. probably inoccent enough but she isn't used to City living. I told her to explore during the day.
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evangeline2707
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Your daughter sounds exactly like me, if not for being at different universities I would have thought that it was *my* mum who posted this!

I’m afraid I don’t have any advice since I’ve got a week before I move into uni, but I’m sending this message just to show that shes’s not the only one feeling this way, and that if both of us aren’t drinkers/party-goers then there must be other people at her uni like us too. It’s an incredibly difficult situation, but I have faith we’ll find our people.

Best wishes to your daughter
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flamingolover
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Hey guys! I know a lot of you on this thread are feeling like this. If any of you happen to be nottingham students (I'm uni of but I could help Trent and loughborough students) then let me know! I could let you know of events (I'm on Sutton Bonington campus so im a bit out of the way) or just meet you for coffee and introduce you to a few of my friends or just chat on here and I can give advice. No pressure or anything just thought id offer!
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Scotney
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(Original post by Nickys4)
she tried to walk down to the student union about 20 minutes walk, she turned and came back because some man was walking behind her. it was about 7.30pm. probably inoccent enough but she isn't used to City living. I told her to explore during the day.
Oh it is so difficult being a mum sometimes!However it is very early days.Some of her flatmates may not turn out to be so party loving as they appear as lots of people will be trying to fit in right now but even party people are not partying every day.She will have lots of chances to meet people in the coming days and weeks.It is just hard having to leave them to it though.
I think the key thing for you is acknowledging your misgivings which are entirely natural but not letting your worry cloud your judgement when listening to her concerns.The reality is she has just got there and has no idea whether her flatmates are her type of person or not.Within a few weeks she may be too busy to talk to you,it is just far to early to tell.
So keep calm and carry on for now.
Last edited by Scotney; 3 weeks ago
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Anonymous #3
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I think it is definitely hard in the UK especially, Uni is all about drinking and partying so much so it doesn't even sound like people are there to study. It will definitely take some time for her to find her people but being a second year going back literally in the exact same position as your daughter, I would say keeping in touch with her flat mates - talking to them during the day when they aren't partying will allow her to get to know more people. This way she will find herself finding people who don't drink or those who are in the same position as her. I am by no means making it sound easy, I am going into my second year and have not yet found my people, I actually have anxiety thinking about whether I will end up alone again this year - however Sheffield is a much larger uni and covid has a large part to play in myself trying to find people, there are so many more people to find out about. Ask her to go to the freshers fair with a buddy and sign up to some societies she is interested in because she will find people she gets along with best there. Hope this helps x
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mike23mike
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Sheffield is a great student city. Your daughter will regret it if she leaves so soon. Once the classes start next week she will find people from her course to mix with. Also, if she can join some clubs and societies it will really help. Whether it's chess, bridge or cupcake making she will find a club that she will like. Have a look at the 360 societies in Sheffield Uni here and 100 clubs in Sheffield Hallam here.
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senseitheunit
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Is she at Sheffield Hallam? I just moved in today and I’m in the same situation.
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University of Liverpool Student Rep
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(Original post by Nickys4)
My daughter has just started university (1st year). She is incredibly shy and nervous and has unfortunately ended up with flatmates you love to drink and party. She doesn't drink and in her own words "they aren't her kind of people". My husband and I left her today and she was very upset saying she is terrified of not making friends. So far she is just totally overwhelmed. Please can anyone help us know how best to support her? It breaks my heart to see her so upset and the expectation of university life not living up to what she expected. Many thanks
Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear that this has been her University experience

I thought I'd reach out to you and let you know that this was a similar experience to myself when I first started, but the best thing I ever did was stick with it. For the first 3 months, I didn't know if it was the right route for me, but after those 3 months I slowly started forming habits, and it felt a lot more comfortable than it initially did. It's such a big shock to the system when starting Uni that not many people talk about. Some things that my mum did which really helped me was scheduling facetime calls with me, or sometimes facetiming me whilst having tea together so it felt a bit more like home? As well, keeping busy really helped me - I found that on days where I had nothing planned, it felt as though the days just dragged. My mum got me a colouring book, and it was actually really helpful and therapeutic for me!!

I hope this has been helpful, and I hope that your situation gets better soon

Ana
University of Liverpool Rep.
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vnesswa
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(Original post by Nickys4)
she tried to walk down to the student union about 20 minutes walk, she turned and came back because some man was walking behind her. it was about 7.30pm. probably inoccent enough but she isn't used to City living. I told her to explore during the day.
i get that, i'm personally from the countryside so it's a big difference! i recommend morning walks, i'd go exploring at 11am, since it's not too busy but it's not as scary as at night
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University of Sheffield Alumni
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(Original post by Nickys4)
My daughter has just started university (1st year). She is incredibly shy and nervous and has unfortunately ended up with flatmates you love to drink and party. She doesn't drink and in her own words "they aren't her kind of people". My husband and I left her today and she was very upset saying she is terrified of not making friends. So far she is just totally overwhelmed. Please can anyone help us know how best to support her? It breaks my heart to see her so upset and the expectation of university life not living up to what she expected. Many thanks
Hi Nickys4,

Sheffield Graduate here. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter hasn't been enjoying her time so far. There's no denying that moving away from home into a flat with strangers is a scary and overwhelming experience. I was in a similar situation in my first year, really not getting on with my flatmates. I think there's a bit of an expectation at university that your flatmates are going to be your best friends, and while this can be the case, lots of people find them elsewhere (me included!).

I found that the best thing to do was to join societies. The Activities Fair is on Thursday where she can find out about all the societies we have at Sheffield (350+!!). There's everything from Beekeeping to Board Games, so there's bound to be something she is interested in and can go along to! It's a great way to meet people because you already have something in common; an interest in whatever that society does. There's the Sports Fair on Friday as well, which is another great way to meet people if she's interested in sport - both competitive and friendly. She can find more info on both of these here: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/welcome2021

When her course starts properly on Monday, she will meet people there too. Everyone is in the same boat and wants to make friends, so her coursemates will all be really approachable. If she feels confident enough, I'd recommend asking a coursemate if they want to go for a coffee in between lectures in the first week - I guarantee the other person would love to but is just too scared to say!

All in all, I'd tell her to not give up. Try and give it a few more weeks and I'm sure she'll be able to find her people and settle in no time.

Wish her luck from me! Is there anything else I can help you with?

Amelia
BSc Biology Grad
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