to ask you if I'm being overly paranoid?(16 Posts)
Hi, first time poster here. This is probably going to sound like a very childish thread compared to most, but I'm hoping that most of you will have had experience of this kind of thing and so can tell me if I'm being ridiculous (which I probably am!).
I'm 18 and have recently started university. As a bit of backstory - I've never been that great at making friends, and the friendship group I've had growing up haven't always treated me that well (though I put that down to childish behaviour which I've probably been guilty of myself). I've never really been on the same wavelength at them, and although we get on I always had a niggling feeling that uni might be my chance to make friends where we're more equal.
Anyway, luckily for me I made some friends very quickly on. Let's call them Anna and Beth. They know each other from their course and live in the same halls as me. We tend to meet up at least once a week for a drink, and gradually we met somebody else, Claire, who again lives close to me. For the first time in my life I've been able to have a real proper laugh and I'm loving it.
Last week I heard Anna and Beth pass my room in the direction of Claire's. With my history of having friends exclude me I immediately thought the worst, but managed to calm myself down. Since then though I've been seeing little things like A, B and C meeting up for meals without inviting myself or any other of our friends. When I do go up and say hi, I feel as though they keep bringing up their injokes as if to tell me that they don't really want me there. They both cancelled on our usual weekly meet up today, and I'm scared that I've managed to repel them like I do most people eventually.
Reading this back, there's absolutely no evidence that they don't like me. I just can't shake the feeling though. I think I'm scared, homesick and lonely and I don't want to lose this good thing. I thought I was making a fresh start at uni, but all of my insecurities have come flooding back in this last week. I feel like I'm going mad. Please tell me it'll get easier? I don't want to be a social hermit for all of my life.
It is so hard to make very good friends. If you have one or two that you could call up at anytime and know whitout a doubt they will be there anytime anyplace you are extremely fortunate. I am an introvert and it is difficult to make close friends . I have 2 very close friends and many acquaintances.
It takes time and your young at univ. Enjoy meeting new people and try to have a good time while learning something to survive in this crazy world.
You will make a few life long friends, it just takes time, hang in there.
Been there, bought the T-shirt, OP. I was very much bullied in secondary school and it took a long time to get over the feeling that there is something wrong with me that is apparent to everyone else except me. And yes, I was very paranoid at 18. Try not to think the worst, OP. Little by little you get over these feelings and if these girls turn out not to be your bosom friends, that is because the friends you start out with at a new school aren't always the ones you end up with. But no, just because some people can't appreciate you, does not mean that it will be like that for all time.
I am the same (although a lot older than you) and would suggest joining some groups so you have a reason to meet up with people rather than just for a drink.
I agree with NCIS. Its only Novemeber, still plenty of time to join societies! If there was one thing I wish I had done differently at uni then that would be joining more clubs.
What strikes me here is that you're talking about things usually happening when it is barely November in your first year at uni. You've met up with two of these girls once a week for four weeks, so four or five times total, and the third less than that. At this point, I suspect they're considering you to be a not very close acquaintance. Not because they hate you or you've driven them away, but because you've barely spent any time with them.
Who do you eat lunch with? Dinner? Who do you sit and drink coffee with, or grumble about your lecturers with? If the answer's "nobody", maybe you should consider suggesting it to your new friends. If they've been interacting with other new friends daily and you once a week, they're bound to be closer to their other new friends.
It's not always the case, but I think often the friends you make quickly at uni aren't the right ones and tend to fade away quickly, making way for more fitting, deeper, lasting friendships with people more suited to you. Like you I made friends in my halls in the first few weeks, but by new term in January, we'd largely figured out - albeit unspoken - that we didn't quite fit with each other. I ended up being best friends with a girl on my course who I hadn't even noticed in those first weeks and hadn't spoken to until the end of that first term. I know it's hard when you're homesick, but please try not to set too much store by these three. Instead try to join in with a wider group, and look around your course, see who else you might have overlooked. Chances are there'll be someone - several someones - who you get on better with. Although you can of course keep being friendly with ABC. Take care and, if at all possible, try to think about putting others at ease instead of focusing on your own unease. I know it's hard cos I've been there, but it does help.
There is lots of opportunity at uni to meet loads of different people from all countries and walks of life. Give yourself a break! You've only been there a couple of weeks. Have fun in the meantime, like the others have said join different groups that interest you, mingle and enjoy yourself.
I met my best friend at university, we met on the first day of induction and have been through loads together since then - 19 years of weddings, babies, bereavements, the whole shebang.
Please don't put so much pressure on yourself, if you believe that it's hard for you to make friend or that you 'repel' people that will show to others which may be why the girls are distancing themselves from you.
Try to get into the mindset that you will enjoy making new discoveries and having new experiences and that will show in your demeanour. Enjoy yourself! I wish I was at uni again, miss lounging around the union drinking pints <sigh>
We've all been there. Honestly it's not you...it's nothing you've done to repel them. Some girls are just like that.
I've never thought of myself as someone who had a hard time making friends but at uni the same thing happened to me. I moved on. It hurts a bit but just shrug it off.
Do you go to any clubs? Or any extra activities at uni? If not, join some...you will soon meet more people.
Maybe also call one of the group up...the one who you trust most and ask them to do something with you...just two of you. Sometimes that's easier than a group.x
Thanks you everyone for your advice. I expected a complete mauling so this is a nice surprise.
Putting it into perspective you're all right - it's early days and I shouldn't be so worried. I think it's just the fact that I've been so desperate for my 'new start' to work and for me not to be lonely like before that I've started to get a bit desperate. I'll calm down and let things happen naturally now and hopefully it'll all come together.
As for who I spent meal times with, it's usually A and B. Thinking about it it's always been fine when I've spent time with them like that so I don't know why I'm fretting so much. I have two other friends who are really lovely people, but I feel like I'm forcing a laugh when I'm with them. As much as I'm happy to spend time with them, I don't want to end up in 'fake' friendships like I did in sixth form. Anyway, I'll grow up a bit and think positively - if I keep smiling and being friendly I can't go far wrong, can I?
Thanks for the advice about maybe going out for a coffee or some lunch with them. I'll give that a go next time I see them and see if we can get anything planned. In the meantime, I'll try and be more sociable elsewhere in uni. I'm in a few societies but I haven't really had more than a pleasant conversation with people so far. I'll keep going and hope that it pays off!
Again, thank you all so much. It's comforting to know I'm not alone or going mad.
No you're definitely not alone!
Join a sports club, cheerleading or dance if you're not overly 'sporty' great for fitness too, practice 3 times a week will take your mind off things and you need to really trust your team mates (especially in cheer) so you'll make great mates.
i would say a walking club, if you are anywhere rural.
I didn't meet my lasting uni friends until the second term. I remember walking into a room as I was getting to know the group and suddenly realising that I was like them.
Two decades later and some of them are still with me and I'm married to one of the group.
Another thing to think about is volunteering in the Student Union, or as a Student Representative. I found the sports clubs to be very drinking based (or at least that was how it seemed to me at 17) and intimidating, but in the Student Union, I found a lot more like minded people, and also learned lots of transferable skills that have helped me in the workplace!
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