Anonymous #1
#1
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#1
Hoping for some advice please -

I'm really not enjoying the very cliquey, party atmosphere in my Oxford college. I haven't gelled with anyone and for some reason people just don't have time for me. I have no idea why or what I might have done. It's strange, but the upshot is, I feel generally very low about it and my self-confidence is shot to pieces. . I enjoy my subject and am doing well with my studies so I'm loathed to give them up and drop out, neither do I feel rusticating to be a good idea. I really want to get my Oxford degree. My parents have said I can find somewhere to live outside of college accommodation if it helps. Can I legitimately do that? They will keep paying for my room (as I'm sure I'm locked into that) but can I move out anyway? I can't stand the isolation any more. It's so demoralising to keep trying and just keep getting ignored and watching everyone else having the time of their lives is beyond depressing. I haven't joined any societies as I have developed social anxiety as a result of all this. I know I should try but I just can't. I'm a second year by the way.
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TheClaimsGuys
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Out of interest, which college is this? — sorry ik this isn’t helping
Last edited by TheClaimsGuys; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
#3
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(Original post by TheClaimsGuys)
Out of interest, which college is this? — sorry ik this isn’t helping
Probably not a good idea to say which one! Sorry about that. It's a smallish one though.
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TheClaimsGuys
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Probably not a good idea to say which one! Sorry about that. It's a smallish one though.
Ah ok👍🏾 — hope you’re able to find a solution you’ll be happy with
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by TheClaimsGuys)
Ah ok👍🏾 — hope you’re able to find a solution you’ll be happy with
Thanks ')
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Probably not a good idea to say which one! Sorry about that. It's a smallish one though.
Have you talked to a tutor? Check the rules on where you can live ...
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artful_lounger
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The_Lonely_Goatherd might have some advice about college life and how to approach such issues at Oxford?

I think normally colleges expect you to live in-college, and you need permission of your tutor officially I think to live out of college, unless required to (some colleges require students live out in second year for example). So even if you kept paying for the room in college, I don't think you would necessarily be permitted to live out of college without permission from your tutor. This might be something worth discussing with your tutor anyway though - and the outcome of those discussions might be to be granted permission to live out, although I can't say how likely that is or if there might be other outcomes.

Beyond that, although I appreciate it can difficult, trying to get involve in more university/centralised activities/societies may help things as then you'll get to know more people outside of your college. You aren't "bound" to your college socially, although I gather a lot of people do end up with social circles within their college, but you will need to put yourself out there a bit to get to know people from other colleges.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #2
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Welcome to Oxford! As far as students go, I don't think it gets any more cliqueier than where you're at, on par with Cambridge probably.

Don't drop out of the university just because of that - You definitely do right to keep trying for the degree. What are you interets? I know you feel a bit demolished and socially muted, and I know you mentioned you can't but have a look into if there are any societies about relevent to those interests, and when you're having a good day with some spare time, go out and see if you can attend one or what not. I would also recommend spending as much time outside your accomodation block as you possibly can. Even in the evenings.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The_Lonely_Goatherd might have some advice about college life and how to approach such issues at Oxford?

I think normally colleges expect you to live in-college, and you need permission of your tutor officially I think to live out of college, unless required to (some colleges require students live out in second year for example). So even if you kept paying for the room in college, I don't think you would necessarily be permitted to live out of college without permission from your tutor. This might be something worth discussing with your tutor anyway though - and the outcome of those discussions might be to be granted permission to live out, although I can't say how likely that is or if there might be other outcomes.

Beyond that, although I appreciate it can difficult, trying to get involve in more university/centralised activities/societies may help things as then you'll get to know more people outside of your college. You aren't "bound" to your college socially, although I gather a lot of people do end up with social circles within their college, but you will need to put yourself out there a bit to get to know people from other colleges.
Thanks for the reply. I know you're right and that I need to throw myself into other things but I literally can't. Thanks again.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for the reply. I know you're right and that I need to throw myself into other things but I literally can't. Thanks again.
Well I'd definitely suggest speaking with your tutor about it - they are there to provide pastoral support as well (or signpost to it if needed), which I think you definitely do need (and the college should provide!).

Note that getting involved in things in the university beyond your college doesn't need to be a big undertaking - even just attending those one off lectures/talks offered by your department and maybe sticking around at the end to take advantage of the free refreshments (I assume) and having a quick word with someone or another will let you get to know people in your department without hopefully being too big a push (it's essentially just some extra lectures , and the content might even come in handy for an essay or exam at some point). Likewise for any similar events held by the uni itself - I imagine Oxford has a lot of such things going on at any given time, although with COVID the format may be a little less amenable to in-person activities.
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Scotney
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hoping for some advice please -

I'm really not enjoying the very cliquey, party atmosphere in my Oxford college. I haven't gelled with anyone and for some reason people just don't have time for me. I have no idea why or what I might have done. It's strange, but the upshot is, I feel generally very low about it and my self-confidence is shot to pieces. . I enjoy my subject and am doing well with my studies so I'm loathed to give them up and drop out, neither do I feel rusticating to be a good idea. I really want to get my Oxford degree. My parents have said I can find somewhere to live outside of college accommodation if it helps. Can I legitimately do that? They will keep paying for my room (as I'm sure I'm locked into that) but can I move out anyway? I can't stand the isolation any more. It's so demoralising to keep trying and just keep getting ignored and watching everyone else having the time of their lives is beyond depressing. I haven't joined any societies as I have developed social anxiety as a result of all this. I know I should try but I just can't. I'm a second year by the way.
You really should try and join some societies or do some volunteering.There are so many different ones at Oxford from the political to the more extreme.Son joined the Re enactment society out of curiosity initially but loved it.Some, like him,loved the fighting but others just came along for the sewing evenings,or to learn Calligraphy. He also joined an improvisation group.There must be something you enjoy doing or fancy trying.Most of his socialising took place outside his college.Societies always want new people.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Scotney)
You really should try and join some societies or do some volunteering.There are so many different ones at Oxford from the political to the more extreme.Son joined the Re enactment society out of curiosity initially but loved it.Some, like him,loved the fighting but others just came along for the sewing evenings,or to learn Calligraphy. He also joined an improvisation group.There must be something you enjoy doing or fancy trying.Most of his socialising took place outside his college.Societies always want new people.
Thank you all. I know I have to do something out of college but my anxiety is crippling.
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black tea
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you all. I know I have to do something out of college but my anxiety is crippling.
have you spoken to anyone about your anxiety? sounds like that is the main issue at the moment?
Last edited by black tea; 1 month ago
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you all. I know I have to do something out of college but my anxiety is crippling.
You could also join things in Oxford itself - lots of options and it will 'get you out' of college.
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Paralove
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you all. I know I have to do something out of college but my anxiety is crippling.
Can you speak to a college counsellor or uni counselling service? That might be a helpful first step to help you with the anxiety side of things before going for some society stuff. I know people at Cambridge who had all their friends from outside their college - it's not uncommon.

You could also see if there are any e.g. evening classes for idk and art thing or something, not necessarily in the uni but locally anyway. Could be a nice change from college/uni insularity.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Paralove)
Can you speak to a college counsellor or uni counselling service? That might be a helpful first step to help you with the anxiety side of things before going for some society stuff. I know people at Cambridge who had all their friends from outside their college - it's not uncommon.

You could also see if there are any e.g. evening classes for idk and art thing or something, not necessarily in the uni but locally anyway. Could be a nice change from college/uni insularity.
That does sound like a possibility. Thank you.
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jzseal
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Hey!! I'm having the exact same issue at a smaller college (( message me and lets organise something <33
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gjd800
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Get onto your JCR welfare rep as soon as possible, and also speak to your academic advisor ASAP. The Colleges have procedures and facilities in place for students that are struggling with anxiety - they can't help if they don't know about it>

It can be hard to make the initial contact, but it will be worth it in the long term
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1675Tom
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HiI know a bit about anxiety from my own experience as a first year and it certainly does make you not want to do things or put things off, but believe me, the best cure for anxiety is to feel the fear and get out there and do something anyway. You might not make any friends the first or second time round and you might not even enjoy it that much but your self-respect and self-image will go up a notch each time, in comparison with just sitting in your room on your own, which is bound to make you feel lonely and terrible. It’s really hard to rise above the anxiety, it does paralyse you, but it really is true and you can do it. The route to happiness and fulfilment abd reduced anxiety is through DOING things, not thinking about them.You could try volunteering in town, eg. helping out at a food bank or with disabled children once a week, or at the hospital, or help a local Brownie or Cub Scout group. It doesn’t really matter, what matters is to give it a go. You never know where the world will take you, and what fab people you might meet, but it won’t take you anywhere and you won’t meet them if you don’t try things. So feel the fear and do it anyway and you’ll feel proud you did. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
Last edited by 1675Tom; 1 month ago
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1675Tom
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HiI know a bit about anxiety from my own experience as a first year and it certainly does make you not want to do things or put things off, but believe me, the best cure for anxiety is to feel the fear and get out there and do something anyway. You might not make any friends the first or second time round and you might not even enjoy it that much but your self-respect and self-image will go up a notch each time, in comparison with just sitting in your room on your own, which is bound to make you feel lonely and terrible. It’s really hard to rise above the anxiety, it does paralyse you, but it really is true and you can do it. The route to happiness and fulfilment abd reduced anxiety is through DOING things, not thinking about them.You could try volunteering in town, eg. helping out at a food bank or with disabled children once a week, or at the hospital, or help a local Brownie or Cub Scout group. It doesn’t really matter, what matters is to give it a go. You never know where the world will take you, and what fab people you might meet, but it won’t take you anywhere and you don’t meet them if you don’t try things. So feel the fear and do it anyway and you’ll feel proud you did. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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