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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 08:28 PM
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Need a little bit of advice and as BJ is full of young people - I'm certain this is the best place to get it.

My son has just started at University - and I'm very worried. He doesn't seem to be settling in at all. He hasn't met/gelled with his hall mates (not for any lack of attempt on their part - he just finds it incredibly difficult to socialise - he's very much a loner).

Are there any out there/on BJ who felt similar in their first few days at Uni? I'm hoping once his course starts things will change (he's barely stepped out of his room so far and hasn't taken part in anything to do with Freshers week - he really dislikes great hordes of people milling around). I truly don't mind if he tells me this week that its not for him ... but I'm not sure how much/how long I should suggest he gives it before he does pack it in.

You honestly don't know how much ANY advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kath!
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SGrey
post Sep 23 2015, 08:31 PM
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I started uni very much the same and had awful flatmates but if one thing made it better was definitely having such good friends on my course. See how it goes when he starts his course because there is a difference to socialising with those hes living with to those on his course - he'll have more to talk to and have in common with them so wait until you see how that goes.

Also, despite not being a big socialiser (is that a word?) he might find societies and clubs a good way to go - what interests does he have and what societies are ran at the university? Some are bigger than others so it might be worth looking for a smaller one to join!
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Rooney
post Sep 23 2015, 08:35 PM
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Kath the best piece of advice I can give is that you have got to make the effort to get involved. If you don't make the effort then you don't have a hope in hell's chance. It's overwhelming for a lot of people, but it's the same for everyone. 90% of people starting will know nobody. However much they try and mask it, literally most of those 90% worry about making friends. Sometimes you just have to be open minded about who you make friends with. But I cannot stress enough that your son needs to make the effort in his first week. If you just go in to a shadow and hide in your room then things aren't going to get any better, it will only get worse.

The anxiousness in my probably kicked in the week after Freshers tbh, and I felt that maybe Uni wasn't for me for about 3 days. But then after that, that was it - I was hooked. Miss it so much!!
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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 08:41 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ Sep 23 2015, 09:35 PM) *
Kath the best piece of advice I can give is that you have got to make the effort to get involved. If you don't make the effort then you don't have a hope in hell's chance. It's overwhelming for a lot of people, but it's the same for everyone. 90% of people starting will know nobody. However much they try and mask it, literally most of those 90% worry about making friends. Sometimes you just have to be open minded about who you make friends with. But I cannot stress enough that your son needs to make the effort in his first week. If you just go in to a shadow and hide in your room then things aren't going to get any better, it will only get worse.

The anxiousness in my probably kicked in the week after Freshers tbh, and I felt that maybe Uni wasn't for me for about 3 days. But then after that, that was it - I was hooked. Miss it so much!!


This is the problem and its why I think he should pack it in now before it gets worse. He isn't making an effort at all - whether through laziness or just being painfully shy. As Sean suggested - it may get better when his course begins ... but if he goes on as he has done this first week (he's only gone out of his room to buy a sandwich and a drink to bring back to his room to eat) then he'd best pack it in now before the debt piles up any more. The problem is - I think he only went to Uni to please me. I don't think he wanted to go at all - he really misses his friends at home (none have gone to uni - they've either got apprenticeships, are staying at 6th form, have got jobs - or are just still pondering on what to do with themselves).

Thanks for all your help so far people - it is appreciated.
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SGrey
post Sep 23 2015, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE(Kath @ Sep 23 2015, 09:41 PM) *
This is the problem and its why I think he should pack it in now before it gets worse. He isn't making an effort at all - whether through laziness or just being painfully shy. As Sean suggested - it may get better when his course begins ... but if he goes on as he has done this first week (he's only gone out of his room to buy a sandwich and a drink to bring back to his room to eat) then he'd best pack it in now before the debt piles up any more. The problem is - I think he only went to Uni to please me. I don't think he wanted to go at all - he really misses his friends at home (none have gone to uni - they've either got apprenticeships, are staying at 6th form, have got jobs - or are just still pondering on what to do with themselves).

Thanks for all your help so far people - it is appreciated.


Even if he has gone to uni to please you, he might end up loving it. Is he far from home at all because trips home definitely help with seeing friends and family you miss back home but still settling into life at uni.
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Slick
post Sep 23 2015, 09:03 PM
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Kath, I reiterate what Rooney has said. Your son won't get anything out his uni experience if he doesn't get out of his room and speak to people - there will be plenty of opportunities even for the painfully shy to mix with like-minded people. And what your son needs to remember is that university in the first few weeks is FULL of nervous, anxious people wanting to find a friend. He'll never have a chance like this, so please try to encourage him not to waste it.

I disagree somewhat with the poster above - I think visits home or family popping up at uni only serve to increase homesickness. It's very much a case of getting stuck into uni life and getting on with it.
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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 09:06 PM
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QUOTE(SeanGrey @ Sep 23 2015, 09:43 PM) *
Even if he has gone to uni to please you, he might end up loving it. Is he far from home at all because trips home definitely help with seeing friends and family you miss back home but still settling into life at uni.


He isn't far away at all - less than 20 miles. In some ways I think it may have been better if he'd been at a university a bit further away - it would have forced him to become a bit more independent. He's coming home this weekend before his course proper begins so he can catch up with his friends. He has told me that no matter what - he will stick it out until Christmas (which I was a bit surprised at). I'm just hoping that once he meets his course-mates things will start looking up for him.

Sean - thanks again for your words of comfort (and you too Rooney) and if anyone else has any hints and tips - please keep them coming! XXX

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Michael Bubré
post Sep 23 2015, 09:07 PM
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Well this thread is slightly depressing to read considering this is nearly exactly my situation right now lol. (For the record it's not like I haven't WANTED to leave my room, it's just proving extremely difficult to overcome my anxiety about being around new people).
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SGrey
post Sep 23 2015, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE(Slick @ Sep 23 2015, 10:03 PM) *
Kath, I reiterate what Rooney has said. Your son won't get anything out his uni experience if he doesn't get out of his room and speak to people - there will be plenty of opportunities even for the painfully shy to mix with like-minded people. And what your son needs to remember is that university in the first few weeks is FULL of nervous, anxious people wanting to find a friend. He'll never have a chance like this, so please try to encourage him not to waste it.

I disagree somewhat with the poster above - I think visits home or family popping up at uni only serve to increase homesickness. It's very much a case of getting stuck into uni life and getting on with it.


Yes but if hes not leaving his room and he misses his friends and is too shy is secluding himself further when a chance to talk to people he knows going to help? Seeing his friends starting apprenticeships and jobs might a) make him realise he wants that over spending three to four years studying for a degree or b) inspire him to get out and make new friends because hes realised his other friends might move on further.
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Slick
post Sep 23 2015, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE(SeanGrey @ Sep 23 2015, 10:07 PM) *
Yes but if hes not leaving his room and he misses his friends and is too shy is secluding himself further when a chance to talk to people he knows going to help? Seeing his friends starting apprenticeships and jobs might a) make him realise he wants that over spending three to four years studying for a degree or b) inspire him to get out and make new friends because hes realised his other friends might move on further.

Well I agree he obviously needs SOMETHING to give him the oomph to put himself out there - however, if he's having a bit of a pity party because he's missing home, I don't think visiting home is going to help at all.
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SGrey
post Sep 23 2015, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE(Kath @ Sep 23 2015, 10:06 PM) *
He isn't far away at all - less than 20 miles. In some ways I think it may have been better if he'd been at a university a bit further away - it would have forced him to become a bit more independent. He's coming home this weekend before his course proper begins so he can catch up with his friends. He has told me that no matter what - he will stick it out until Christmas (which I was a bit surprised at). I'm just hoping that once he meets his course-mates things will start looking up for him.

Sean - thanks again for your words of comfort (and you too Rooney) and if anyone else has any hints and tips - please keep them coming! XXX


That's what I did by going to uni just over three hours from home. But at the same time my freshers week and the subsequent two months after were terrible (need not go into that now but anyhow). Do you know if his flatmates are the "party" type or overly social? University housing offices often can reallocate individuals to halls where they have a preference of gender or noise for example, so that might be something to consider breaching in conversation.
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SGrey
post Sep 23 2015, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(Slick @ Sep 23 2015, 10:09 PM) *
Well I agree he obviously needs SOMETHING to give him the oomph to put himself out there - however, if he's having a bit of a pity party because he's missing home, I don't think visiting home is going to help at all.


It could have the opposite effect to that though - I'm going into my third year now and even I get spouts of home sickness which is overcome by having people visit or going home for a few days like I did at the start of last month. Everyone is different I suppose but if he were to go home and go back feeling more home sick, he'd know that going home regularly won't help that much and might show him other avenues to overcoming the feeling.
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Slick
post Sep 23 2015, 09:13 PM
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QUOTE(Kath @ Sep 23 2015, 10:06 PM) *
He isn't far away at all - less than 20 miles. In some ways I think it may have been better if he'd been at a university a bit further away - it would have forced him to become a bit more independent. He's coming home this weekend before his course proper begins so he can catch up with his friends. He has told me that no matter what - he will stick it out until Christmas (which I was a bit surprised at). I'm just hoping that once he meets his course-mates things will start looking up for him.

Sean - thanks again for your words of comfort (and you too Rooney) and if anyone else has any hints and tips - please keep them coming! XXX

It's very early days Kath and far too early for him to have settled in if he's shy. Perhaps he needs to realise that. He needs time and encouragement. I wasn't an especially confident person when I started uni, but I knew I had to go out and meet people and thankfully, within hours of arriving, my flatmate invited me to a party. The thing is, he's not going to get offers if he hasn't got somebody (like a flatmate or coursemate) to speak to in the first place.
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Slade
post Sep 23 2015, 09:17 PM
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If it's any help at all, my first two days at Uni this week were anxiety-ridden and I completely felt out my depth, but today we had a 'get to know your coursemates' type activity and I loved it, today genuinely gave me some hope that I will actually enjoy Uni to some extent despite being such a worrier. What I'm trying to say is that it may be far too soon to judge, and like you say, maybe wait until he gets stuck into his course first - an extremely valuable opportunity where he will be around like-minded people and find he may enjoy it a bit more once stuck in.
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Ryan.
post Sep 23 2015, 09:19 PM
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I've always been a very shy person around everyone except people I know very well, I went to university not just because I wanted to continue studying but because I just knew I had to get over my shyness and build confidence. I was lucky in that in my halls, only 1 of my 3 flatmates moved in the same day I did and we had the best part of a week just us two. She was from the city and showed me around and helped me settle in super quickly. On the second or third night, she offered me to go out at night with her and her friends from home and usually I would have said no, but I just knew I had to try it otherwise I could fall back into the shyness I was trying to overcome - and this night out is still my favourite night out ever and I'm so glad I went.

That said, once my other flatmates moved in the following week we all got on well but we drifted apart pretty quickly and by the end of October didn't say much more than hi to each other. So getting on with flatmates in terms of them being your best friends at uni certainly wasn't the case for me and your son shouldn't be put off by that. My friend circle ever since October of my first year (I'm now just starting final year) has been of coursemates, and my course was very helpful in putting us in our tutor groups in an induction lecture in the first week and setting us on a city treasure hunt to all get to know each other - and the majority of this tutor group are still some of my closest friends today, and I met the rest of my closest friends through the people in this tutor group.

I know that doesn't really help you, but I'm trying to say that he should at least wait until he's had a week or two of lectures if possible as more than likely he will find his friend circle there, rather than in his halls. At the same time, when he does meet coursemates, he really needs to try and say yes to as many opportunities people will give him to go on a night out, or just for a quick drink or anything. It's very difficult, but once I took the plunge on that very first offer when my flatmate offered me to join her and her friends, I know that was a big turning point for me. Of course the shyness could be even more intense than mine ever was and therefore it's difficult to know exactly what to advise, but I really encourage the mentality "if I do go out this once, what's the worst that could happen?". The worst that could happen is just that I feel like an outsider and awkward, but at least I would have gave it a go and it was only a few hours of awkwardness if it did happen.

Not sure if that really helps, but at least its another viewpoint to read! kink.gif
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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 09:41 PM
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Can I just say thanks to everyone so far for their input (if I don't thank you individually - believe me - I am thanking you - I'm just taking everything on-board). I'm working through everything at the moment. I guess its just such a dilemma for me as when I went to Uni/Poly - I found it dead easy! I wasn't in halls even - I was in a house full of girls at a different place of education and in different years from myself - my best mates WERE in halls! I think its because I'm just a naturally GOBBY person! Thanks everyone - and if anyone has anything they think is of value - please - add it here - I'll be more than grateful.
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Cameron
post Sep 23 2015, 09:42 PM
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Kath, I was really shy in my first day, but once he gets into his workshop / seminar groups he will soon form friendships as you have to work closely with others, so don't worry!
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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE(Cameron @ Sep 23 2015, 10:42 PM) *
Kath, I was really shy in my first day, but once he gets into his workshop / seminar groups he will soon form friendships as you have to work closely with others, so don't worry!

Tomorrow he has a whole day workshop (it seems like something of a Krypton Factor thingy) which I've told him he has to throw himself 100% into! If this doesn't work ... I'm crying!!!

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Slick
post Sep 23 2015, 09:45 PM
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Has he tried leaving his door open when he's in his room? That way people will come to him rather than him feeling he has to go out of his way to speak to other people. It might help in his early days.
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Kath
post Sep 23 2015, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE(Slick @ Sep 23 2015, 10:45 PM) *
Has he tried leaving his door open when he's in his room? That way people will come to him rather than him feeling he has to go out of his way to speak to other people. It might help in his early days.


We've told him this! And we've got a wedge ready for him to take back! At the end of the day - its all up to him now.
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