Saturday 8 October 2022

Freshers week: How does everyone have friends already?

This individual shares their experience starting university and experiencing freshers' week. Everyone seems to have their group of friends already, which makes them feel like they are already an outsider, as well as having to deal with feeling lonely during freshers week.

- Anonymous

I am a very social person, a people person some might say. I have never really had any problems making friends, and neither have I ever felt lonely, being a twin. I always had my sister with me, but now that I have fled the nest to study at university, I have had to venture on my own in the big scary world filled with university teenagers. It is the time of the year where University students are given a green pass to get as smashed as possible, drink their guts out, blackout and come home at 4am without any questions. This is the time known as "Freshers week". As someone who is not a heavy drinker and prefers other social activities, right off the bat I knew I would have a hard time assimilating because I already had to do something I did not really enjoy in order to meet new people. Nonetheless, I persevered and pushed myself out of my comfort zone in order to meet my new classmates, or who knows I might never talk to any of these kids again after this week.

Saturday rolls around and it has been a whole week, I look around my campus and there are already large groups of friends surrounding me. How has everyone already joined a group in less than a week? I have like one person I would loosely call my friend. Am I the only one who is having a hard time making friends? At this point imposter syndrome was in full swing, I definitely did not belong here. Was I a loner? I have never been a loner, what was wrong with me? All these thoughts took up most of my time, and I started to feel insecure about myself. Clearly, there had to be some sort of defect because everywhere I look people have their friends, I am the only one not surrounded by people. Is this what the next 3 years of university are going to be like?

Classes have not even started and already I am full of doubt and nerves and my self-esteem has seemingly disappeared. I might not be the only one, and it might get better, but as of now I feel hopeless, alone and I have no confidence in myself. I want to make friends, I have joined societies and sports clubs, I am saying yes more times than I ever have in my life, but it seems to be going nowhere. I might sound dramatic, and for my case, I really hope I am, it has only been a week, but my confidence is shattered and the determination I started with to make friends, has somehow shrunken into nothing. Is there anyone else out there that feels the same? 

Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health or supporting a friend, help is available.

I am 19 years old, recently moved to the UK from Denmark to start my undergraduate degree in Business and Management. I am sharing my story because I feel like people will relate and that there are many students who are in the same situation, and dealing with the same thoughts. Maybe if they see that they are not alone, they won't feel so lonely anymore.

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