Part-Way Through Fresher’s Week

I moved to university last Saturday dreading Fresher’s Week; Now it is Tuesday and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going!

I don’t know where my social anxiety has disappeared to! I know it will probably be back soon but right now in the most socially demanding week of the university year I feel just fine.

I love my flatmates– there are 7 of us and we get along really well. 3 of us are planning to get the bus into town and go shopping next week. Lancaster is a beautiful city, although I haven’t explored it much yet. It’s only small, town-size really. It has a castle and all the buildings look quaint and old. I’m really into History as well so living in a historical city like this is a bonus for me.

On the first day our Fresher’s Reps got us all together in the kitchen to play ice-breaking games, the first event I was dreading. Incredibly, I didn’t get shy and awkward and say lame things like I usually do. We went to the college bar Continue reading “Part-Way Through Fresher’s Week”

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College Days (Part 2)

Apologies, I’m back a day later than promised to carry on describing my two years of college and social anxiety.

At college I became an expert at avoiding people- not out of dislike for them at all, but because I was afraid of being at a loss for words in conversation or of getting tongue-tied. And I do get tongue-twisted regularly; I stutter and string hopelessly incoherent sentences together when nerves overcome me. Fear of this became more and more intense, especially in 2nd year. There were several ways in which I would avoid people. I would mentally map my routes walking through college to avoid any potentially awkward encounters. I’d strategically determine whether to walk slow or fast, would stall for time in the bogs at Breaks sometimes, all sorts… Avoidance skill level = genius, Social confidence level = rock bottom

In first year I’d meet my friendship group most break times in the hall, and I was pretty good at coming to sit with them at Lunch. Some lunches I’d come out of my shell and talk more than usual. On a Thursday everyone else was attending societies or subject support sessions and I had no one to sit with. I tried just sitting in the main hall by myself to eat lunch, but I became hyper-aware of those around me who might think I was anti-soc Continue reading “College Days (Part 2)”

College Days (Part 1)

Ok, so I think now is a good time to make some sense of how social anxiety affected me at 6th form college. Hopefully in times to come I’ll be able to look back and think “I’ve come a long way since then!”

As I wrote before, I left college 3 months ago and I’m starting university shortly. If you’re not familiar with the English education system, college (sixth form) is a bridge between school and uni, usually attended from 16-18 (in my case 17-19 though) There’s a few different qualifications you can study after leaving school, and it’s your choice if you study any at all; in my case I chose the academic option of A Levels, where you choose 4 subjects in the first year and drop 1, continue 3 for the second year.

Two years ago I left my tiny independent Christian school of 20 and set out for college. I knew it would be very different from the s Continue reading “College Days (Part 1)”