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libby:)

Making friends at university

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libby:)   

I know i've got a while yet, but i'm going through the process of deciding what course I want to do at university- when I go back to college next next September i'll need to start applying for university (if that's what I want to do). Apologies in advance, because this post is a few paragraphs long (but it shouldn't be too bad, hopefully).

 

Basically, i'm questioning whether it would be a good idea, since I seem to be pretty bad at making friends, but I really want to further my education and I currently have a specific course in mind. However, I don't want to go without consistent contact with people for 3/4 yrs, and even the thought of going to the open day makes me feel anxious.

 

If i'm put in a room with people I don't know, and none of my existing friends are there, i'll have no way to break the ice/meet new friends, so I just sit there silently. Obviously, this isn't going to gain me any friends. I also have social anxiety and no conversation starters, so I don't really know what to do. Even if people approach me, the chances are that i'll be polite when answering, but not initiate any of the conversation myself and only answer things they ask me. This makes me seem really unapproachable and boring.

 

Also, when i'm in new situations, I usually like lots of time to be silent/read etc. and adjust, but my understanding is that at freshers' week you're supposed to make an impression and make the majority of your friends then. If we were in small groups this might be easier, but i'm guessing there will be a lot of people there.

 

I'm not exactly sure what happens on freshers' week (apparently there are societies ran by students and a lot of partying/drinking) but that's all I know about it, so it would be useful if someone could explain what happened to them. It'd be useful if people could describe the actual process/ procedures which take place in the first day- the thought of not knowing what will happen makes me very anxious, especially when I have no familiar people or surroundings. Another problem is that I hate partying- to be fair, I enjoyed a small house party that my friend threw. I had a couple of shots (nothing too crazy) and I really enjoyed it, because I was with people I knew well. :drunk: If you met me and saw me with my friends you'd probably not realise I had Aspergers, but when meeting new people I look really shy, timid and withdrawn since I have nothing to say.

 

Any advice or university experiences would be really helpful. Just wondering, can you take a friend with you as well as your parents on open days? I'm not sure if that's a common thing (and idk if my friend would want to go on a long car journey anyway), but it would probably make me a lot more approachable/ less nervous. Thanks!

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bed32   

In my experience making friends at university is much easier than at home.

 

The nature of university life (particularly on campus or where the university dominates an area) is that you are constantly together with a comparatively small group of people with common interests. So you attend lectures, eat in hall and so on on a daily basis. That also provides a lot of areas of common experience and interest to start casual conversations.

 

On top of that universities tend to have a lot of organised clubs and events which are again good ways of getting to know people. If you attend any club regularly you have common interests to allow you to start conversations, and the regular contact makes it easier to build friendships with people if you are one of those who doesn't make a good first impression, or takes time to get to know someone.

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trekster   

Ask the disability department if they can help you find other aspergers in your area.

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Tanya52   

Hi

I experienced everything you described and more. In addition I'm not a native speaker and has been a student ( mature) for the last 7 years. It might sounds crazy, but once I decided that I deserve better. So, I often felt like a kamikaze, learning to make small talks and trying to read and understand emotions. The best thing is that your anxiety ( in my case panic attacks too) are no stronger then you. I tell you! The second best is that people are good. Really! I've learnt to learn to trust others.

think

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Hi libby

 

My eldest son has just finished his 2nd year at Uni. He hasn't made any friends. He chose to do English Language and Linguistics. He is hoping to change to Audio and Music Technology in September.

 

Basically the amount of written work needed for the English is overwhelming for him and he has basically spent 2 years in his room 'trying' to get work done. He just scraped through the first year and thought he would do better in the 2nd, but he really hasn't. We think that doing a course like music is going to be more sociable and will enable him to make friends more naturally as he has a real passion for music, and hopefully he will have to get involved in music events as part of his degree so will meet people through that.

 

He has made things very much harder for himself as he won't tell Uni he has AS and won't get help or take advice.

 

So 2 bits of advice from me - think about how much written work is involved and whether you really want to commit to that, and let the Uni know about your AS and accept every bit of help going. My son doesn't get the extra financial help of DSA because of his stubborness.

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hi libby.

 

people these days do seem more tolerant of others?

re: the university thing,

 

folks are more chilled now?

 

it be ok. It isn't like the old days. all the younglings are pretty cool. it will all be ok hugs x

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