I’m really ready to go back to university now after the 4 summer month break. I have some great friends at home but… and it sounds really harsh… I’m ready to go back to university and not have to… I feel horrible saying it.
Maybe it’s more of an introvert thing than a social anxiety thing but I feel like I’ve had more than enough socialising time back here. And I almost want to be a recluse for a while. But it’s not quite that because I also miss my uni friends a lot and I can’t wait to see them.
A few very minor personality clashes have happened this summer but nothing serious. Just niggling things that always come up now and again. So it might be that as well. Also I felt like I let a friend down a bit today when I agreed to something and then backed out because I realised that might be a decision that would be bad for my anxiety. I think she was really disappointed. If I could be a recluse and have my very own straw hut in the Alps that might not have been a thing.
Anyway, disclaimer, I love my friends and I wouldn’t trade them. I hope I’m not an awful human being 👍
…Technically yesterday, because I just looked at the time and it’s 1:30am.
So yeah, I didn’t really feel nervous in the build up to it. Frankly I was looking forward to the openness of being around other students at my uni with anxiety. Although I may have freaked out slightly about 10 minutes before when I wanted to just triple check the lecture theatre it was in on the uni emails and the system was glitching and not giving me access. But after going to The Base and uncomfortably asking the receptionist to double check, I got to the right place and was on time.
I put on a very collected demeanor and walked into the lecture theatre. I noticed a lot of students sitting there looking absolutely on edge. I didn’t see anyone I recognised, which was a bit disapointing. I wrote a name badge and took a questionnaire and sat down on one of the front rows. There was a girl sitting on her own there and I internally debated whether to go by the usual unspoken rule of l Continue reading “First Group CBT Thing was Today”
In what’s-your-favourite-poem class (conventionally known as English Literature):
Seminar tutor asks if we’ve all picked lines of Wordworth’s The Prelude which we liked to talk about in class, as requested in an email nobody remembers from before the Christmas holidays. Up until this point I’ve been thinking I’m fairly well prepared. But no, I haven’t picked lines, poem too long to relocate the bits that stood out to me now. Try anyway. Flick rapidly through the pages of this poem as quietly as possible. Everyone else sits in silence also hoping they won’t get picked to talk about something. Creeping gut feeling she’s about to pick me.
“Did you pick anything Charlotte?” Gut feeling confirmed.
Me: “I remember seeing lines that I liked…” flick even more desperately through The Prelude, hating the uncomfortable class silence, ‘I’ll find something…’
Keep scanning pages for something, why do none of the bits I annoted earlier on the bus seem verbalisable to me? Dilemma what to pick. Th Continue reading “Being Put on the Spot in Class”
So it feels like ages since I last posted. In a nutshell what has happened since then is I finished CBT for social anxiety, I had end of year exams which stressed me out a lot considering they don’t even count towards my degree, my internship got postponed until next summer, I finished first year (and sort of fell for someone in the last few weeks, round of applause for me…) and I came home for the summer.
In a nutshell. But you know I never just write “In a Nutshell”!
On the SA front: I finished CBT after 10 sessions, and it seems to me like I can barely remember the stuff I learnt but somehow anxiety improved a lot anyway. I’ve practically written a book from the notebook/diary thingy I had to keep documenting all the situations that happened which caused me anxiety. The psychologist guy read it every week, and towards the end he said there was a Continue reading “End of first year, CBT… General Positivity (really scraping the barrel for a title here, can you tell?)”
It was a quiet Saturday morning and I hear one of my flatmates and lots of unfamiliar voices in the hall. A minute after they go out I emerge from my room to go to a society. When I open the door of the block to go outside I see my flatmate with grandparents, parents and a couple of other relatives dawdling about. So all of them except my flatmate initially turn around and just stare at me suspiciously for some reason I can’t comprehend. I smile awkwardly back and no one says anything and then my flatmate looks around and waves, saying “Hey” uncertainly. I smile properly, wave and say “hiya” back but it’s weird. Then I walk in the opposite direction to prove to said gawping relatives that I’m not a stalker or undercover criminal.
What even was that?
I have also made several new discoveries today.
1. Sitting on the desk is way more comfortable than sitting at the desk.
2. There are 2 spiders living in my window (on the outdoors side), not just 1 as I originally thought.
3. And I totally started writing a new story that I got inspiration for yesterday and I wrote tonnes and tonnes of ideas for it in bullet points. I don’t usually write dystopian stuff but this idea has a sprinkling of that element to it. It’s in the future and people live underwater because earth got too dangerous/overpopulated, but then this one girl reads a book and finds out there is in fact a world above water which people originally came from. So she’s all like “I’m going to find it” etc etc. I promise it’s more exciting than it sounds.
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 🙂
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”
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”