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uni making me really sad

hello guys, sorry for this long rant and for the poor English but I just needed to get this off my chest. So I've just started attending uni and I already feel horrible. I attended my first lesson today and I felt so insecure and out of place. I only managed to, and forced myself to talk with one person but that's only because we were made to discuss about our subject. Plus it was as though everyone already made friends before we even started the lesson as there were groups of people talking to one another like wtf?? I also feel like absolute sh*t right now due to a lot of things such as doing horrible in my alevels due to my mental health issues (undiagnosed social anxiety and, I suspect, mild depression) and therefore not being able to secure a place in my firm choice uni (and even my insurance choice) so I was forced to come to my current uni which, I guess, I'm grateful for as they accepted me despite me getting grades well below the entry requirements, but I still feel so empty... I originally wanted to take a gap year and resit my alevels in order to reapply to a better uni but my parents wanted me to move forwards and plus apparently not a lot of people get better than their original grades, so now I'm stuck at this uni and I'm really put off by the location (though it's an hour away from home) and the amount of parties happening here plus the type of people (extroverts) too. I feel really homesick aswell and stressed. Basically a whole bunch of negative emotions. I was crying recently because of the whole situation and I really don't know what to do at this point. I don't know if I can make friends and/or even feel fully okay being here. I could keep going on but I'll leave it at that. I'm a very insecure, awkward and socially anxious person. help :frown:
Reply 1
Hey! I know what it feels like to be lonely in university, and it is a horrible feeling! But here are some ways to combat the bad feeling:

1. Understand that the people's friends at the start of the academic year are very likely not going to be the same people by the end of that same academic year, and that's okay. From this, you should try to get to know people that are more open to making friends rather than trying to add yourself to a friend group that existed well before university, because people can be cliquey in that way. :frown:

2. Join societies that you are interested in and try to mingle with other people within those societies. There is a very good chance that you'd have similar interests to those people which makes it a lot easier to find people you have things in common with.

3. Consider trying to find ways to improve your public speaking. I know that you said you suffer from social anxiety, but being able to project your words/ideas onto others is a very important skill to have, not only for during university but also especially for after university. One simple way is by asking your seminar tutor questions that you may be confused with during the class - the first time is scary but after a few times it is not.

4. Do not be influenced by others to consume drugs/alcohol because it reduces your social anxiety. Instead, you can try exposure therapy, where you exposure yourself in a situation where you have to socialise and then you realise it's not that bad. As someone who has suffered with social anxiety in the past, it can look like everyone is looking at you but trust me that is not the case - people don't really look at you unless they have a reason to look at you.

5. As for the mental health part, please let the Wellbeing department of your university know as soon as possible. It is great that you are able to recognise these issues you're facing quite early on. These enquiries usually have a waiting list to reach to individuals, so the sooner you let the university know the quicker they can tend to you which puts you in a better state overall. If you take too long to reach the Wellbeing, it can worsen your mental state as you know you need to be tended to as soon as possible, but they can't because there are people who contacted them before you.
Hey, first of all, please dont worry. Starting uni is hard, and finding it difficult to settle in is normal. I am just starting my second year, and I remember a year ago I was in a similar situation; I have social anxiety as well and found it incredibly difficult to talk to people and felt like I had made a huge mistake going to uni. All I can say is it definitely gets easier. It may take a while, but it WILL happen. I wouldn't say I've made "friends for life" at uni, but I have definitely made friends who I can meet up with, and really, that's all you need right now, and you will find those people, if that's something that you want. Also, really don't worry if you don't meet people from your course - no one talks in lectures anyway.
A very good way to meet people is through societies, you get to meet people in a chill environment and you already have a shared interest, so there's already talking points to get started with.
I think something I wish I'd known a year ago is that it's okay not to do every single thing that's on offer, and it's okay if you don't have the same uni experience as everyone else. It's okay if you don't want to go out clubbing every night, or if you find it hard to talk to people. What helped me was accepting the nerves and the fact that I am an introvert - as once you accept that part of yourself, you can stop punishing yourself for not being able to do the things that you feel like you should be able to. Because ultimately, you must only do what you feel comfortable doing, and it will all work out in the end. I hope that it starts getting easier for you soon, if you have any questions or anything feel free to ask me, I'll try my best to help.
Reply 3
Original post by iFreudianSlip
Hey, first of all, please dont worry. Starting uni is hard, and finding it difficult to settle in is normal. I am just starting my second year, and I remember a year ago I was in a similar situation; I have social anxiety as well and found it incredibly difficult to talk to people and felt like I had made a huge mistake going to uni. All I can say is it definitely gets easier. It may take a while, but it WILL happen. I wouldn't say I've made "friends for life" at uni, but I have definitely made friends who I can meet up with, and really, that's all you need right now, and you will find those people, if that's something that you want. Also, really don't worry if you don't meet people from your course - no one talks in lectures anyway.
A very good way to meet people is through societies, you get to meet people in a chill environment and you already have a shared interest, so there's already talking points to get started with.
I think something I wish I'd known a year ago is that it's okay not to do every single thing that's on offer, and it's okay if you don't have the same uni experience as everyone else. It's okay if you don't want to go out clubbing every night, or if you find it hard to talk to people. What helped me was accepting the nerves and the fact that I am an introvert - as once you accept that part of yourself, you can stop punishing yourself for not being able to do the things that you feel like you should be able to. Because ultimately, you must only do what you feel comfortable doing, and it will all work out in the end. I hope that it starts getting easier for you soon, if you have any questions or anything feel free to ask me, I'll try my best to help.


Original post by Anonymous
Hey! I know what it feels like to be lonely in university, and it is a horrible feeling! But here are some ways to combat the bad feeling:

1. Understand that the people's friends at the start of the academic year are very likely not going to be the same people by the end of that same academic year, and that's okay. From this, you should try to get to know people that are more open to making friends rather than trying to add yourself to a friend group that existed well before university, because people can be cliquey in that way. :frown:

2. Join societies that you are interested in and try to mingle with other people within those societies. There is a very good chance that you'd have similar interests to those people which makes it a lot easier to find people you have things in common with.

3. Consider trying to find ways to improve your public speaking. I know that you said you suffer from social anxiety, but being able to project your words/ideas onto others is a very important skill to have, not only for during university but also especially for after university. One simple way is by asking your seminar tutor questions that you may be confused with during the class - the first time is scary but after a few times it is not.

4. Do not be influenced by others to consume drugs/alcohol because it reduces your social anxiety. Instead, you can try exposure therapy, where you exposure yourself in a situation where you have to socialise and then you realise it's not that bad. As someone who has suffered with social anxiety in the past, it can look like everyone is looking at you but trust me that is not the case - people don't really look at you unless they have a reason to look at you.

5. As for the mental health part, please let the Wellbeing department of your university know as soon as possible. It is great that you are able to recognise these issues you're facing quite early on. These enquiries usually have a waiting list to reach to individuals, so the sooner you let the university know the quicker they can tend to you which puts you in a better state overall. If you take too long to reach the Wellbeing, it can worsen your mental state as you know you need to be tended to as soon as possible, but they can't because there are people who contacted them before you.

thank you guys for the advice :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
hello guys, sorry for this long rant and for the poor English but I just needed to get this off my chest. So I've just started attending uni and I already feel horrible. I attended my first lesson today and I felt so insecure and out of place. I only managed to, and forced myself to talk with one person but that's only because we were made to discuss about our subject. Plus it was as though everyone already made friends before we even started the lesson as there were groups of people talking to one another like wtf?? I also feel like absolute sh*t right now due to a lot of things such as doing horrible in my alevels due to my mental health issues (undiagnosed social anxiety and, I suspect, mild depression) and therefore not being able to secure a place in my firm choice uni (and even my insurance choice) so I was forced to come to my current uni which, I guess, I'm grateful for as they accepted me despite me getting grades well below the entry requirements, but I still feel so empty... I originally wanted to take a gap year and resit my alevels in order to reapply to a better uni but my parents wanted me to move forwards and plus apparently not a lot of people get better than their original grades, so now I'm stuck at this uni and I'm really put off by the location (though it's an hour away from home) and the amount of parties happening here plus the type of people (extroverts) too. I feel really homesick aswell and stressed. Basically a whole bunch of negative emotions. I was crying recently because of the whole situation and I really don't know what to do at this point. I don't know if I can make friends and/or even feel fully okay being here. I could keep going on but I'll leave it at that. I'm a very insecure, awkward and socially anxious person. help :frown:


Hi there,

Lots of people find their first year of university really hard. I know I did. I think that there is alot of change happening all at once which doesn't help the situation especially when leaving home for the first time. Many people have also told be that going through clearing made the transition harder as they didn't have as much time to get used to the idea of that specific university as everyone else.

In terms of feeling social anxiety, you will find your people I am sure of it. You could try joining some societies in things which you are interested in and there you will meet people who like similar things to you.

I would also recommend talking to someone at university about the way that you feel, either a lecturer, someone who you can trust or the university may also have a counselling or wellbeing service.
I wish you all the luck for university and hope you feel happier soon

I hope this helps,

Ellen
Y4 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland
Digital Ambassador

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