Tips on Making Friends at University

I was never nervous about starting University, which is werid. I wasn’t nervous about living away from home.

The day I left for university I cried in the car, I finally realised that I wasn’t going to have any of my home comforts anymore, I wasn’t going to have my mum, or my bed, or my dog.

For someone with severe social anxiety it’s weird how, when I need to, I can throw myself into terrifying social situations.

When I started uni I didn’t know anybody, but I knew I didn’t want to be alone with no friends, away from home. I found myself confidently going into the communual kitchen to socialise with my flatmates, I found myself agreeing to go to the local club that night.

That night I found I didn’t have a lot in common with these people. I even managed to message my course group chat, which is so petrifying for me, messaging a group of people I’ve never met – but am going to be spending everyday with very soon. A girl replied to me, she came and met me – and three years later we’re still close friends.

This is one of the proudest moments in my life. Being able to overcome my social anxiety to go out and make friends, even when I didn’t have anybody to fall back on. It’s something I had to do – for me. And I’m so glad I did. University would have been so different for me if I hadn’t of thrown myself out there like I did.

Tips for making friends at university:

  •  Don’t try too hard – if someone is acting like they don’t want to talk to you, go find someone else.
  • Join group chats – you should be able to find some to join on your university or accomodation facebook pages. If you’re like me and don’t enjoy messaging group chats; try finding someone in the group and messaging them individually.
  • Dont worry – you’ll make so many friends during freshers week, but don’t be upset if you don’t find your new bestfriend straight away, good things come to those who wait.
  • Patience
  • Don’t be upset if you only have one or two close friends – sometimes that’s all you need
  • Societies – find one you’re interested in and go socialise!!
  • Course friends – don’t confine them to juse ‘course’ friends, invite them to hang out outside of lectures and seminars.

Annesar x

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Here I go

One week today I’m going to speak to a stranger about my anxiety for the first time ever. I’m terrified.

I don’t know how long I’ve had anxiety (or depression), and I don’t know when it first started. I feel like it’s always been a part of me that I’ve struggled with. When I started school, I would be too nervous to answer the register, so I would just raise my hand, if a teacher picked on me to answer a question I would just silently stare at them and cry, I would only speak to one or two people. Everyone said I was weird and shy, but maybe this was the beginning of my social anxiety.

Everything went bad when I was at college, during these two years I had no friends at all, my grandma died, and I had absolutely nobody to talk to about it. All I did was go to college and then come home and sit in my room and cry, I was at the lowest point in my life, suicidal, and very very alone.

Today, as a 21-year-old, the worst two years of my life are over, I’m studying at university and living away from home, still trying to cope, but doing a lot better. I have friends now, so that’s good progress.

My anxiety stops me from doing so many things that everyone else around me finds so easy. Nobody else seems to fall silent during group conversations, avoid going to lectures because the thought of socialising is terrifying, vomit before doing a presentation, or cancel an evening with friends at the last minute because you have an awful feeling something will go wrong.

A few weeks ago, I decided, with a lot of support from my boyfriend, to start getting help. I emailed the university health and well being centre, and my first meeting is next week. I’m beyond nervous but also excited to finally be a step closer to living an easier life.

I know I’ll probably never be completely anxiety or depression free but being able to cope with it better and make daily life easier are my main goals.

You’ve probably gathered what this blog is going to be about. I want to log my journey and also share it with others going through the same thing. I want to share the good days and the bad. The ups and downs. What helps me cope and what triggers my anxiety attacks. If nobody reads, that’s ok, I want to be able to write and process my feelings.

Let the journey begin.

Annesar x