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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Social Anxiety in College

So I'm new to this site. I was looking for an online (free) way to cope with and try to fix my social anxiety. I am in my second year of university (undergrad) and I am struggling. I literally have no friends. I think my "friends" from high school only hang out with me because they feel obligated to. I am working on getting away from them because of the toxicity. I would rather be actually alone than be with people that make me feel lonely. My roommate last year was a horrible, snotty person, so not friend material. And my roommate now doesn't seem to like me. My suitemates seem to have their own thing going on and I'm too scared to interact. I know I have always been shy, but high school and college have made me realize that it may be something more. Just thinking about going to a social event, interacting with strangers, and even going to the hall to talk with people from my hall when they're outside makes me nauseous. I'm just not like other girls. The loud, talkative, super friendly, always smiling girls. They make friends so easily, I see it happen everyday. I'm just not like that. I wonder if I just haven't met the right people, or if I need to change my approach...

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I know how you feel, social anxiety sucks

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Yeah it does. I wish I could be cleansed of it

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Hey, your not alone. I have major social anxiety too. I don't talk to any of my husbands family members because they are rude and make me anxious so they all think I'm a jerk but I am not. I'm a very caring person but nobody knows it cuz I don't have any friends and I don't leave the house. I decided to go back to school next month and I'm terrified that people won't like me cuz they never do and that I will fail. I feel exactly like you do about going to any type of social event it's jus so scary to me. I'm so socially awkward and never know what to say to people. I don't know what's wrong with me that nobody likes me and it's getting worse with age. I hope me opening to you has helped you know that your not the only one and if you need to talk ever jus hit me up on here.

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Yes omg! It’s like I’m so scared to interact, people can’t get to know me and think I’m weird or something. I never know what to say either. I suck at introductions and small talk. And I was actually thinking of doing my masters online instead of at the school when I graduate. I can’t take this anymore

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Yes I completely agree I'm So nervous for school. My niece is doing her masters online and she is very smart and is having a very difficult time with some classes esp if she needs help in it. If your a hands on in person type of learner in class would be better but if you think you can handle everything online with very little direction then def go for online. I took a couple classes online and had a very hard time with one of them I didn't have much help and things I didn't understand on my own. What are you going to get in your masters in? I don't have any degrees I will be jus getting a certificate. If I had the money I would def get a degree. I wish you lots of luck. When I went to actual classes nobody paid any attention to me or tried to talk to me at all so I had like no interaction. I actual dropped the class cuz I found out the teacher was gonna have ya do a presentation and I wasn't having that at all no way humanly possible could I do a presentation in front of people. I also have depression and regular anxiety which doesn't help either cuz I can barely get out of bed and have no one to talk too.

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I’m going for a masters in Psychology, ideally M.S. yeah I’m also worried about the lifetime of student loan debt I would be in. And presentations totally suck for me. When I get my Ph.D. I have to present my dissertation and it’s so far away but still stresses me out. I dont think I have regular anxiety all the time, just in social situations. However, this social anxiety does bother me all the time so maybe it is regular lol. Yeah I don’t have anyone to talk to either. I have a boyfriend, and he knows I’m not very social and don’t have many friends. But I’m completely myself around him. the fun, funny, outgoing, loud af person with him, and I don’t feel like that with many people.

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Social anxiety hit me hard when I went to college and now it’s terrible I stoped going to college bc it was too much now I deal with sever anxiety disorder. I wish I never went bc I knew no one and I was out of my element.

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Yeah I feel a little lost here. I don’t want to hang out with my high school friends bc I don’t think they like me anymore. I lowkey don’t want to be here, but I don’t want to be a disappointment and drop out. And I know I need the degree for my career

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Transfer. I transferred to a community college at home in my comfort zone so I could live at home

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Home is definitely my comfort zone lol. I just don’t think people would understand

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At that point I had to make my own choices so I could protect myself and my anxiety doesn’t allow me to be mean bc I can be mean when I’m having anxiety

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I have social anxiety and I just graduated a few months ago. College really helped me conquer some of my anxiety. One of the things I would do is sit by a stranger in my large lectures and try to talk to them before class started. It was absolutely terrifying, but I would tell myself that if it was terrible and the interaction didn’t go well at all, then I could just sit somewhere new next class and I wouldn’t see that person again. That really helped me improve my small talk skills and get over my fear of talking to strangers, plus I made some friends in some of my classes. College put me in a lot of situations that gave me anxiety, but it also forced me to face some of my fears, so in the end, it was worth it.

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Thanks for sharing that, I may try out that strategy!

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Hey guys. I don't know if this helps because I don't have social anxiety but there are so many people at the masters and ph.d. level who don't "fit in". I wouldn't worry about it. Presenting a dissertation or masters paper is all about taking about what you KNOW. Which is your paper and YOU are the person who knows it best!!! Perfect setup!! I had major depressive episode during my PHd but I was able to focus and do it ok with meds and counseling. i know you all can too!!!! Believe me!!! If it's part of your dream to study at the masters or PhD level please do it!!! You are all worth it!!!

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Omg thank you! That really made me feel better about pursuing this education path. What do you have your PhD in?

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Ok so I guess anyone can reverse engineer my identity by looking up all my info from my posts but in the interest of honesty and this post.... sociology. I ended up working in corporations as a data scientist. YOU CAN DO THIS!

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THANK YOU!!! And I'm not interested in revealing your identity lol

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Thanks!!!!

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I just wrote on your other post, but I would recommend maybe talking to a therapist or doctor about this. I’ve been on medication for social anxiety & it’s helped me a lot. You deserve to have a nice time in college & make some friends. <3

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Aw thank you! I've actually tried medication for depression last year and I didn't really like it and I don't think it worked. Would medication for social anxiety be different?

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Hello Wowzerzzz. Some things that might help you work on interacting with others, and help to bring you out of your shell is to work on things like walking with your head up, instead of down, try to not avoid eye contact-(this will also let others know that it's alright for them to approach you), and start with just a simple smile and nod, or smile and say hi, hello, good morning, how are you, etc., when passing people. It will get easier to do the more you practice doing it.

Once you've greeted several people a day over the course of a couple of days or a week then start to include more actual interaction with somebody. Look for people who are sitting alone who don't appear to be wildly studying for a test they're getting ready to take in 5 mins, or look for people who appear to be lonely because chances are they too are having trouble interacting with others, and you might be helping them too while you are also helping yourself.

You could also practice interacting at home in front of the mirror, pretending that you are talking with another person- (be sure to monitor your smile, facial expressions, eye contact, body language, etc. all of which play important roles in communication). Try to come up with some topics to talk about in advance such as, sitting down next to them on a bench with a bottle of water, and saying something like, "It sure is hot outside today, isn't it?" Then allow them to answer and then say, "I heard it's suppose to rain on what ever day, I sure hope the rain helps cool things down, instead of making it hotter, don't you?" ask them what's their major, how long they've been in college, are they from that town, or talk about the high cost of tuition, specific teachers if they have a class you've taken, or are majoring in the same thing, etc. Try to always ask open ended questions, instead of questions with just a Yes/ No answer, that way when they answer your question you can then elaborate on their answer easier, and the conversation won't seem as awkward, yet will be able to continue on. Hopefully this will help. Best of Luck to you Wowzerzzz, and ever body else on here who is also having issues with social anxiety.

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Wow that’s some really good, detailed advice. I like how it starts small and it’s not just “go make friends”. Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s really going to help!!

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You are quite welcome Wowzerzzz. You can do this, one step at a time. Keep us posted on how you're doing. Have a Wonderful Day.

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With this reply to your post, I just wanted to write/type my feelings out. I really don't expect any replies, but I will thank any and all in advance who wish to do so...

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I know exactly how you feel. I returned to the United States after living abroad for close to fourteen years. I'm also finding it difficult to make friends as most people my age who live here have never left the U.S. and have no concept of living in a foreign country. It's hard for me to talk with a lot of people because all I hear is football talk and small town local gossip... Almost everyone has known one another since childhood and being considered an "outsider" makes developing friends hard and you're left with mere acquaintances.

I have always struggled to make friends having moved around so much as a kid and it was the kind of the same living abroad as my job had a high turnover of teachers coming and going. By the time you got to know someone, their contract was done and a new person came in. It wasn't until much later when I developed close friendships, but unfortunately, I returned to the U.S.

I just feel really lonely most of the time. The only thing that keeps me going is my academic work in grad school...I can distract the loneliness for a while, but it comes back tenfold when assignments are completed.

I guess that's another reason I happened upon this "HealthUnlocked" group. I've abandoned my Facebook page because I got so tired of looking at people on a "friends" list who posted all their happy moments and vacations and other events AND here I am struggling.

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HI! So sorry I am just replying. I was just looking through my posts and realized that I've never read this one, must've slipped by me. But yeah, I also tend to divert my attention in my academics. It helps me not focus on the fact that I have no friends and zero plans. As with you, when assignments are turned in I feel a little empty. Especially with winter break coming up I will go home and have literally nothing to do but be tortured by my mind.

I also have seen myself on social media less. I didn't do it on purpose, I just got busy with school and I'm trying to keep my head out of the clouds. But it helps not seeing everyone with all their friends everyday. meanwhile I am just struggling to speak to someone in class. I totally understand just having mere acquaintances. It sucks for me, because I want more meaningful connections but can't make them. I also do not talk about the same things as people around me, so I find it simpler to not talk at all, which makes me seem super weird to others.

I am sorry about your experience with people due to your living abroad. Were you able to keep in touch with the friends you made even though you're in the US? I myself have never been abroad, but I am planning on going this summer. Any tips??

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No need for apologies,

I may have a suggestion for your Christmas break. You mentioned that "I will go home and have literally nothing to do but be tortured by my mind," yet you can always go back and reread some texts from a class that you may have enjoyed this semester. That is one of the things I am doing because I had a book I was reading for a class and only had to read a few chapters for the assignment, but really got into the narrative. I'm actually planning on reading from where I left off and hopefully be able to enjoy it more now that I don't have to analyze it and write on it.

With regard to traveling abroad: Try to learn a little about the place you visit, especially the customs and at least some important phrases in that country's language. You would be surprised at how far a few words in one's native tongue will get you as a foreigner and a traveler. Many see us as the "stupid American" who thinks everyone should be speaking English wherever they go. It used to drive me nuts when I lived in South Korea and I would see and hear foreigners/travelers not even attempting to say "hello" or even a "thank you" in Korean. How hard is it to at least make the effort?

As to your question about keeping in touch with friends who are still abroad...yeah, I still keep in touch with a lot of them when I have time to actually sit down and text or when we are both online for a chat on FB messenger or video chats. I've been blessed to still keep in touch with a lot of my former students and it's been so much fun interacting with them on more personal matters since I am no longer their teacher. For a few, I've become the "older brother" who just so happened to be their teacher once and they have asked me for help or advice on college (for the older students) and high school life (for my middle schoolers).

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Ooh that’s a good idea. I also have a few fiction books at home that I haven’t finished (like Harry Potter and the cursed child hehe). I also plan on doing some exercise and spending time with my younger sister to occupy my brain.

I watched a few films about tourism in one of my classes, and it displayed how Americans and Europeans act towards native people, and I do not want to be like that. Just makes them feel awful and it just looks tacky.

And that’s great that you have people that look up to you! I’ve got some kids that I tutor that do the same and it feels amazing. I hope you stay in touch with everybody.

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See, there you go mate!! You have a good plan to keep your mind preoccupied.

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Haha hopefully I can stick to it. And being around my family always helps

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Well, I'm sure if you really want to stick to it, you will.

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The semester is wrapping up, so I figured I might just check up on you. Hope all is well.

Cheers,

M.

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