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November 29, 2020, 12:25:06 pm

Author Topic: scared about uni  (Read 481 times)  Share 

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Failingvce

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scared about uni
« on: September 19, 2020, 09:38:28 pm »
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not sure if this is the right forum to be posting this on but i've been thinking a lot about this for the past few weeks. as year 12 is finishing in less than 2 months, the time to start university is getting closer. I'm scared about making new friends when i start next year. I'm naturally an unapproachable person who doesn't open up very easily. I only have one person that i'm extremely close to and the rest i would consider friends or acquaintances. while this close friend of mine is also likely to join the course i want to do next year, i would still like to branch out and meet new people. i don't want to be the type to spend 4 years without any close friends to talk to or hang out with so this has been stressing me for quite some time. i heard joining clubs was a good opportunity to meet new people but since the cohort is already so large and many people have said that uni can be lonely, i'm afraid that finding people to become close with will be difficult and challenging.
2020 subjects:
3/4 English - 3/4 Methods- 3/4 chemistry- 3/4 Biology- 3/4 psychology

Owlbird83

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Re: scared about uni
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 10:12:56 am »
+18
That's totally okay that you are feeling that way, I was feeling a bit unsure of making new friends too because I pictured everyone as scary uni people, but one thing that helped me feel differently was seeing other people's posts like this in various places about wanting to make friends and not sure how, which made me realise that maybe everyone feels the same, which made strangers seem slightly less intimidating.

My experience is probably a bit different to usual, but I have tried to join in a lot of the online social things that my uni has run, and been able to talk to a lot of different people. I will say a lot of the 'events' I've joined I talk a bit to people, and never see them again, however, the reccurring things I've done like has let me build connections with people. I think some of making friends is through chance, for example my friend said she got lucky with her group for a group assignment and they have become close, but I don't think I'm likely to talk to my group again (even though they are nice).
I think if you want to make friends and put in effort to join things and talk to people you'll be able to make friends! I think at the beginning of uni everyone really wants to make friends, so if you initiate connection the other person will be happy they didn't have to be the one to do it, imo.

You don't have to think of the stakes being as high as 4 years with friends vs 4 years alone. Maybe break it down into smaller timeframes? Every day you have a new opportunity to make friends (without sounding too cheesy), what I mean is if you don't make any lasting friendships in the very beginning, it's something that you'll be able to change at any point in time throughout your 4 years. In an art class I was actually not expecting to become friends with people in other year levels because I thought 'oh they probably already have friends and don't need more', but everyone seems willing to meet new people, (especially because they are joining in social things like that).
I definitely recommend joining clubs! ( I haven't actually yet though, but joined various MSA zoom things, like weekly art classes, dancing etc). It's cool to talk to people with similar interests! I also recommend joining MSA volunteering! I think you have a higher probability of making friends from helping run some of the activities than just participating.

I do agree with what you said about uni seeming like a massive place devoid of connection in the beginning though. I have relied on my existing friends to help me feel like I had an anchor. I haven't made any friends doing psych despite talking to many people in zoom breakout rooms and stuff. All of the people I feel connected to are from the recurring social things I've joined from the uni. I reckon I've made 1-2 friends I'll stay friends with, (possibly others). I've heard from my psych mentors and others that they didn't make any lasting friendships til 2nd year.

I hope some of this was helpful? I also wonder how people can make friends as adults though, but maybe opportunities/effort/chance combo.
I promise you you will make friends in uni if you want to! So that my promise isn't broken, if you haven't made friends in 3.5years of your degree I will forcefully befriend you haha
Good luck with uni!


2018: Biology
2019: Chemistry, Physics, Math Methods, English, Japanese
2020: Bachelor of Psychology (Monash)

Failingvce

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Re: scared about uni
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 01:54:34 pm »
+1
thank you that made me feel much better!
2020 subjects:
3/4 English - 3/4 Methods- 3/4 chemistry- 3/4 Biology- 3/4 psychology

AngelWings

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Re: scared about uni
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 05:50:26 pm »
+8
Absolutely agree with what Owlbird has said above. Just going to add my two cents here, having lived through 4 years of uni and making friends that I still talk to on a regular basis 2 years out.

I'm scared about making new friends when i start next year. I'm naturally an unapproachable person who doesn't open up very easily. I only have one person that i'm extremely close to and the rest i would consider friends or acquaintances. while this close friend of mine is also likely to join the course i want to do next year, i would still like to branch out and meet new people.
For a long time pre-uni, I was like this too. I'd sort of end up making friends with one person who seemed friendly-ish enough and stick to them like glue that eventually I would talk to the friends that they'd make along the way and become friends by association.

For uni, what helped was remembering that most others are in the same sort of scenario, as Owlbird has said - everyone wants to make friends but are a little nervous making them, particularly at the start. What I found most helpful was chatting with classmates/ group mates during group projects and keeping in touch with people who I saw regularly/ again and genuinely wanted to befriend. The next time I saw them, I would ask to add them on social media e.g. "friend" each other on Facebook. If they had mutual friends, sometimes I would start conversations on that.

I also found each new semester as a bit of a 'reset' button, in that I'd find more new people to talk to and befriend by asking simple low-hanging personal questions e.g. "Oh what other classes do you have?" when I was waiting for a lecture and asked them if the seat next to them was free (note: this was pre-COVID, but the equivalent right now would probably be when you're waiting for a lecturer's slides to load or when a lecturer is fixing technical issues). Some other examples would include:
- "What course are you studying?"
- "What are you majoring/minoring in?"
- "What year are you in?" - Not everyone is a first year student doing first year units (unit = subjects) at uni.
- "How are you feeling about [insert unit here]/ [insert assessment here for the unit you're both taking]?"
- "How are you faring in lockdown?/ How are you?" (or anything about the pandemic, if you're still stuck in that situation next year)     
Notice that the questions I listed above are hardly intrusive; this might alleviate that barrier of feeling unapproachable, but also not having to really open up. In my own experience, I found that academic-related questions usually helped to break that first barrier in a lot of people, although there's, of course, many other ways you can approach this.     

i heard joining clubs was a good opportunity to meet new people but since the cohort is already so large and many people have said that uni can be lonely, i'm afraid that finding people to become close with will be difficult and challenging.
Absolutely, clubs and club events are a good opportunity to meet new people! Classes/labs (where applicable) and online uni events are also great places to meet people, as well as social sports, in-person events and on-campus activities (e.g. just getting your regular cup of coffee on campus) when things get back to our new COVID-normal.   

Part of becoming close friends at uni for me was also about maintaining contact outside of classes, especially those that lasted. People that I still have as friends from uni often were the ones where I regularly checked up on, the ones I met up with outside of class (or even just have lunch between classes on campus), went to events outside of uni with and/or phone/ video called at one point or another.

I've heard from my psych mentors and others that they didn't make any lasting friendships til 2nd year.
It was the same here. A lot of my current friends that I kept from uni are people from second year onwards.
VCE: Psychology | English Language | LOTE | Mathematical Methods (CAS) | Further Mathematics | Chemistry                 
Uni: (Hons)
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Failingvce

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Re: scared about uni
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 09:40:34 pm »
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Thank you!!!! :)
2020 subjects:
3/4 English - 3/4 Methods- 3/4 chemistry- 3/4 Biology- 3/4 psychology