I have had no social contact for a year. Help!
Our elder has some suggestions for a freshman heading to college for the first time. First up? Pick your spot in the library.
Hello. I am going to college on the 10th of August and I am pretty scared about it. The thing is I am really shy and introverted. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make friends and have a happy college life. I am scared most of the time when I am in a new place and with new people. I want to change and be more extroverted but I am not sure about it. My parents and my brother have always kept me in a protected environment and I have literally had no social contact for a year and so I am really terrified about going to college. I don’t usually care what other people think of me but right now all my insecurities are coming forward: my looks, my weight, everything. I don’t know how I would deal with college life. I want to be happy and this college will be a happy thing for me but I am being too scared in this process. I am from a small town and my school was pretty small too so everyone knew everyone and now I am suddenly going to the city in this huge college and I am going to live with two strangers. It’s scary. Please help me. I don’t know if I’ll be alright.
Your nervousness heading off to college is something every freshman experiences, and I am confident you will get through it. Leaving home to live with roommates, finding one’s way around campus, coping with loneliness and uneasy feelings is definitely a big deal.
The mindset I often employed when faced with such situations at your age, was to project ahead and remind myself that hundreds of thousands of other “kids” got through this, so I will, too.
I do have a couple of suggestions for getting past the initial period of adjustment.
Do not closet yourself in your dorm/apartment room to study. Find a comfortable spot in the university library, and use it regularly so it becomes a refuge and a habit. I still (can you believe it!) recall my spot at a long library table and the handsome man I spotted a few tables away. It seemed that both of us had the same strategy, because he and I were both there in the same seats time after time. Eventually our eyes met, and we became better acquainted (if you know what I mean!) Now this has nothing to do with academics, though we were both students, but the repeated crossing of paths led to an interesting freshman year romance!
Similarly, you can find a spot in the student union (coffee shop) and have daily coffee breaks there. Having a routine where the crossing of paths can lead to social interactions goes a long way to making college life less lonely.
I also recommend that you explore recreational opportunities at your school. There are probably outings or gym classes or theater events that will bring you together with other students out of the classroom environment.
I hope your roommates are compatible. It will be an experience for all of you! I am still friends with a woman I met in French class as a freshman 61 years ago!!!
Try some positive self-talk in the days before “take-off” and be brave! You can do it!
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