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>> No. 5732 Anonymous
21st June 2015
Sunday 1:49 pm
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After some years in the wilderness, I think I've finally gotten over my Crippling Social Anxiety.

I mean crippling. I've just finished my first year at uni, most of which I spent lurking in my room eating toast and watching tv.

But, after years of being told I'm 'actually better at socialising than a lot of people', it's finally sunk in so I'm not so much scared about how to go about getting friends in second year [go to societies, go to events and the post-events drinking, extrapolate the people I meet into nights out, make an effort to meet my flatmates since I'm living solo in some cheap private halls, etc] as wondering how to disguise/explain how I managed to meet exactly no one in my first year.

I know meeting people as a second year is 'harder', but meeting people is easy enough really. The thing that worries me most is getting 'found out' by the people I meet as somebody with no uni-mates in the city despite being in the second year. Should I attempt to just gloss over it and hope no-one notices?

I'm almost considering saying, if I have to, that I spent most of my time outside of studying looking after an ill relative. But my head says there must be a better way than that. My lack of experience of uni social life makes it hard to second guess what a good approach would be. Any advice from uni lads?

also general uni social anxiety thread? I'd happily share my experiences if
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>> No. 5733 Anonymous
21st June 2015
Sunday 2:19 pm
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also general misuse of the word extrapolate thread.
>> No. 5734 Anonymous
21st June 2015
Sunday 3:42 pm
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>The thing that worries me most is getting 'found out' by the people I meet as somebody with no uni-mates in the city despite being in the second year. Should I attempt to just gloss over it and hope no-one notices?

A harsh but liberating truth is that social anxiety is fundamentally driven by a self-defeating form of egotism. When we worry about what other people think of us, we're profoundly over-estimating our own importance. People are generally far too busy thinking about themselves to notice the minor embarrassments of others.

For example, most people worry that if they go to a concert or a nightclub or a restaurant alone, they'll be judged to be a loser with no mates, but that fear is almost entirely unfounded. In reality, nobody is paying that much attention to the people around them. Our anxieties make us imagine the world as being infinitely more hostile than it really is. Even if we were being judged in that way, would it really matter?

There's a peculiar mathematical fact called the friendship paradox that makes most people feel a bit socially inadequate. The simple explanation goes like this: You're much more likely to be friends with someone who has a lot of friends than someone who has few friends. Social groups are invariably held together by a small hub of very gregarious people. Having very few friends is in fact normal, but for obvious reasons you're much more likely to meet people who are very outgoing and spend a lot of time socialising. It's a bit like going to the gym and noticing that everyone there seems much fitter than you - what you're seeing is a biased sample.

In short, don't worry about it. If you're good company, people will want to be around you, regardless of your anxieties. Some people might judge you negatively if they know that you struggled to socialise in your first year, but others will empathise with your situation and help you to get out of that rut, so it all evens out. This is especially true at university - everyone knows what it was like to turn up as a fresher and not know anyone. Most students feel lonely in their first year. The only way you'll be harmed by your past is if you let fear stop you from getting out and meeting people, if you close yourself off for fear of being hurt.

If social anxiety is really holding you back, speak to someone at Student Services about counselling or therapy. Most universities have some sort of counselling service, and many have really excellent services available.
>> No. 5735 Anonymous
21st June 2015
Sunday 7:45 pm
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I'd like to add, that the first year you spent feeling rather lonely and without friends can be to your advantage. I don't doubt that you learnt a lot and it brought you to where you are now- the experience may have been bad or negative, but I do believe you learnt a little about yourself and your independence. At the very least, you can start your second year with a clean slate and a more mature approach (against starting the second year as the 'guy who always threw up at parties').

And, I shouldn't imagine that you have to hide your last year. I highly doubt that people will change their opinion of you if they 'discover' you made no friends the year previous. It's fine, anyone that doesn't tolerate it isn't worth your time.
>> No. 5791 Anonymous
16th July 2015
Thursday 4:49 pm
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Just finished first year and made some good friends of varying levels of closeness.
I'm good at managing friendships at uni as I see everyone as often as I need to.
Now it's the holidays, it's different. I talk with them over facebook/whatsapp although it's difficult to keep it interesting and finding new things to talk about, without it feeling forced. Easiest way round this is visiting people which I've done where I can.
As for people I see occasionally, I'm trying to make an effort to talk to them at least once this holiday so that they remember me/it wouldn't be awkward to talk to them when the new year starts.

Same goes for next year, I suppose. There'll be people I won't see this year - should I ask them out or let them contact me?

Honestly, I'm hopeless at facebook and the like. I wouldn't use it if there were another way.

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