The Student Room Group

What do i do about missing out on first year uni life?

During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.
Have you spoken to your GP to explain that your anxiety prevented you from attending most of your classes and asking for help?
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.

It sounds like you passed everything you needed to enter second year :hugs:I do agree with @PQ's post about going to see your GP :yep: I'd also suggest emailing your uni's disability department and ask if there's anything they can put in place for you which might alleviate your anxiety if its anything specific e.g. exams, being called on, presentations etc.
I'm going into my third year of uni this September :smile: I think my job has helped me make friends/meet people in my local area much more than actually going to events (I lasted in student union about 20 minutes :lol: ).
Original post by Chronoscope
I do agree with @PQ's post about going to see your GP :yep: I'd also suggest emailing your uni's disability department and ask if there's anything they can put in place for you which might alleviate your anxiety if its anything specific e.g. exams, being called on, presentations etc.


The thing that OP needs to be aware of is that the disability team might not be able to do very much without a proper diagnosis; so that's another reason why OP's GP is the first port of call.
Original post by martin7
The thing that OP needs to be aware of is that the disability team might not be able to do very much without a proper diagnosis; so that's another reason why OP's GP is the first port of call.

depends on the uni - some are helpful /some aren't in that respect :smile: the most important thing is being 'on the radar'.
OP can email either before/after seeing their GP but since it's the summer break they'll hopefully be able to get a GP appointment before term starts again :yep: I didn't need a diagnosis but the uni did set me up with a disability officer when I told them initially I was seeing my GP for anxiety and on (unfortunately long) waiting lists for a couple of things.
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.


Hi @Acervate11
Sorry that you didn't have the best experience for your first year. It is really encouraging that you want to get more involved this year coming.

Personally, I didn't know anyone on my course before uni. I always wanted (needed for my own anxiety) to be early for class and I ended up chatting to others who were early outside the class. This helped to make some connections and also feel less anxious in the class and when we did group tasks. Covid hit in the middle and online learning complicated getting to know people and so returning in my last year to on campus was a big shake up. I had 6 different classes and there was no one else that did more than one of the classes in common. It meant having to talk to completely new people. Some classes this was easier to do and others I truthfully never found anyone to really get to know and talk to. However, in a couple of classes I did meet people like minded or found a bond over the class tasks/ difficulties and ended up with a couple strong friends from meeting in a class in my 4th year. It showed me that it is never to late and that there is hope to persevering and overcoming anxieties.

Regarding feeling judged, please try not to worry. You will not be the only one that wasn't at classes and as involved in first year and it may not even have been noticed by many other students. It depends how big your course is and if you have large classes or small. From my experience I had a range of different modules within my course and so you were meeting new people on the same course every year/semester and there was plenty of opportunities to meet people and get to know others as well as seeing some familiar faces from other classes.
All the best and hope you have a good second year and enjoy the rest of the time you have at uni :-)
Catherine - University of Strathclyde Student Ambassador
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.

Hi there,

A good first port of call is always your university tutor or someone you trust at the uni. Alot of unis have support systems for these kinds of things.
My main piece of advice would be to join some societies, they are a really good way to find people who are similar to you in interest.

I hope you can enjoy second year more!

Ellen
Y3 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland
Digital Ambassador
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.


Covid year daughter got on with housemates but couldnt go out. Second year they all got their friendship groups and she was all on her own. She joined societies, and also met some people who was part of a pub quiz team and she went every week and became firm friend with some of them and they have been a rock to her. Just finished 3rd year and shes best friends with a few of them
Reply 8
Original post by Ghostlady
Covid year daughter got on with housemates but couldnt go out. Second year they all got their friendship groups and she was all on her own. She joined societies, and also met some people who was part of a pub quiz team and she went every week and became firm friend with some of them and they have been a rock to her. Just finished 3rd year and shes best friends with a few of them

Your daughter is an inspiration. Things are hard and don’t go to plan and she just battles through. So glad that she’s got her 4th year place🤗
Original post by Euapp
Your daughter is an inspiration. Things are hard and don’t go to plan and she just battles through. So glad that she’s got her 4th year place🤗


Thanks Euapp. Shes not quite there yet, we have 3 modules left to mark and shes currently on 60.3% and needs 58% to qualify for 4th year. Fingers crossed its all good :smile:
Reply 10
Original post by Ghostlady
Thanks Euapp. Shes not quite there yet, we have 3 modules left to mark and shes currently on 60.3% and needs 58% to qualify for 4th year. Fingers crossed its all good :smile:

I have no doubts about it, but keep us informed.😊
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.

@Acervate11

It's great that you want to embrace the opportunity to be more social in your second year, but do remember that second year will be a step up from first year. You might find that you do not have as much time to socialise due to work being more demanding and because your marks count towards your degree. All that being said, it's great that you have reflected on the past year and want to take take tangible steps to get to know more people.
Here are some tips.

Have a good look at the different societies on offer at your university and find something that you are genuinely interested in. It will make it easier to talk to people at the meetings as you will have the same passion.

After a lecture or seminar, (perhaps when there is a long gap before the next one), ask someone if they want to grab a coffee before the next session or what they are doing for lunch, or at the end of the day, see if anyone is heading to the library. The main thing is that you try and get alongside people, whether that's walking with them to the Student Union shop or to a uni event. Try and find ways to add small talk to your day by talking to different people.

You could arrange to revise a topic together with someone from your course. You might even be able to start a study group or could find one to join. Email people from your course, ask on your module's online forum or ask people before the lecture or during a break.

Some people may well have found the people they are comfortable hanging around with and they may or may not be looking to invite more people into their group, but there will be others who will likely feel like you, that they didn't get to know enough people in their first year or that they haven't built any strong friendships. So be friendly to people, a 'hello' and a question: goes a long way, whether that's 'what did you think of last week's lecture?' ' what are your plans for the weekend?' or 'did you see the (pick your sporting event) yesterday?'.

A lot of people find it difficult to talk to people at uni, but the best way to get better at this is by talking to people. They don't have to be long conversations, but the more people you talk to the easier it will become.

Finally, don't forget that listening to people is perhaps more important than talking. People want to know that someone cares enough to listen rather than just talking to them or at them. So even if you don't know what to say, listen and then think of a question that shows that you really have been listening.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Acervate11
During my first year at Aston, I'll admit that I didn't attend most of my classes. It wasn't because I didn't care or didn't want to be there, but rather because I struggled with severe anxiety. It made it difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in social situations.

Now, as I enter my second year, I find myself wanting to change. I want to start making friends and become more involved in the social aspect of university life. I'm tired of feeling isolated and missing out on potential connections.

To those who have experienced something similar, how did you overcome your social anxiety and start building relationships in your second year? I'm open to any advice or personal stories that might help me in this journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and tips.

I often wonder if it matters that I missed most of my first year. Will people judge me for not being as involved as others? Will it affect my ability to form connections now? I hope that by opening up about this, I can find some reassurance and guidance.

Thank you for listening, and I appreciate any support you can offer. Let's encourage each other to overcome our social anxieties and make the most of our university experiences together.


@Acervate11 - Hiya there,

I'm really sorry to hear your anxiety made your first year at university difficult and am so glad to hear you've become stronger and want to take steps to get more involved this year :smile: - please rest assured anxiety is very real but its also very common, and you are not on your own in feeling this way.

I personally was in a similar position to you in that I found it really difficult to join in with socials in first year as an introvert. Everyone I asked always told me about joining a society would be good for me, but the thought of this was really daunting as I always assumed they were for extroverts, and that their 'socials' were all about partying and going out. However, in second year (feeling like you!) I made a real effort to be proactive in meeting new people - and if it felt awkward or unnatural the first time - at least it would get me more used to it. This led me to find Baking Society - which challenged all my assumptions! It was very chilled out - we met fortnightly for cake decorating workshops, bring your own bake evenings, bake off screenings - the 'socials' involved things like going to coffee shops and tearooms. So its definitely worth getting familiar with what societies Aston offers, you might just find a gem :smile:

Also, asking the people you are working with on a group project or assignment to meet after lectures for a 'team debrief' or a coffee/some food is a great way to get to form friendships without needing to worry about making small-talk. If you start the conversation off about the project then you may well find it naturally leads into non-academic topics. Something I did with my group after we submitted an important group presentation was to celebrate by going to Nandos in town - we stayed friends for the whole of our degree.

I hope that helps you - wishing you the very best of luck in second year!

Holly
University of Bath

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