Indecisive

As the title suggests, I’m feeling a little bit indecisive at the moment!

The Christian Union at my uni have meetings twice a week. The Tuesday one is the bigger meeting for people from all over campus and the Thursday one is a small group Bible study just for people in your particular college. I’m settling into the small groups one on a Thursday fairly alright but today is Tuesday and I am lacking the motivation to go to the larger meeting.

It’s the seventh week at university now and I’ve been to the first 2 Tuesday meetings, neither of which was especially traumatic in the social side of things. The first was just an introductory thing where a large percentage of us didn’t know each other. At the second one, I floundered a bit when everyone was just mingling but then a few second years came up and kindly started conversation with me. I sat with them for the talkie bit because I couldn’t see anyone else I knew, and they didn’t seem to mind. Afterwards I got talking to a girl who is also on two of my courses and in one of my seminars, and we had a good conversation.

Then I missed a few of the larger meetings because of my workload, but I managed to get to a few of the Thursday small groups, where there’s about 10-15 of us. So that’s all good.

Basically, the more I think about it the less I want to force myself to go to the larger meeting because I’m scared of not having anyone to talk to at the beginning or anyone to sit with. That sounds really petty but I don’t want to be seen as that girl who stands in the corner with her phone while everyone else socialises.

There are at least 3 or 4 people I feel confident talking to but I haven’t mastered the art of going up to someone I know when they are already talking to several people I don’t know and successfully joining in with the group conversation. I tried this the other week when there were just 2 people, one I did know and her friend who I didn’t know. It started off ok but then a third year joined the conversation and because I was quieter than the other two she started well-meaningly trying to talk to me, separate from the others. So I was there trying to figure out what they were talking about and join in, when she’d suddenly ask me what I was studying or something. It was sabotaging all my concentration on attempting to fit in. Then as things were going on like this, horror of horrors, she asked me “Do you know them?” gesturing towards the other two (who were none the wiser). She thought I was a total stranger just third-wheeling and not saying anything! I think my feeling of “I cannot believe you just said that” was evident on my face when I replied “Yes” because she didn’t say owt else after that.

In my defence it was early in the morning and my brain was way too slow to be chatty.

All that aside, I am leaning towards not going to the large meetings as I’m likely to just embarrass myself if I’m feeling stressed about it the whole time. I think it’s achievement enough that I’m more or less fitting in at the weekly small event, so maybe I should just let myself be proud of that. Thoughts would be appreciated though šŸ™‚

Finding Routine and Settling in

If Fresher’s week went slowly, my second week at university has flown by. Nothing much happened this week, except for settling into the new routine. I don’t have any morning lectures or seminars, which means I now get the dream life of lie-ins all week long. This may change when I start to get coursework and essays however.

Things took a dive on Wednesday when everything seemed to go wrong; for one thing I took some clothes down to the launderette and accidentally put the washer on without any detergent in. That was a waste of money. I also managed to fail at online shopping one day so the next day traipsed into town on the bus and back to go to the supermarket, carrying 5 heavy bags all the way back to the bus in torrential rain.

All in all, however, things were good. I can’t say I’ve made any friends on my degree courses yet, but then I don’t have that many lectures and seminars to go to a week. A couple of the girls in my flat who have much fuller timetables were inviting new friends back to the flat or going to their friends’ flats and I was baffled by how anyone can reach that stage of friendship so fast.

I feel very much at home with my flatmates though and that gives me a huge sense of contentment. I had a conversation with one of Continue reading “Finding Routine and Settling in”

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”

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 themĀ 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 bogsĀ 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)”