6 ways to not to screw up your social life in your first year of university
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Looking back on my first year at university, academically it’s gone incredibly well. First year does not count for anything on my course, but I need to average a 2:1 to keep my options open. I should get that. But let’s be honest, nobody came to university just to learn. They also come for the social aspects. My attempts at having a decent social life have gone down about as well as Judas Iscariot turning up at a Disciples’ reunion. Instead of crying about, I’m going to tell you the exact opposite of what I did, so you don’t make the same mistakes. 1. Be confident I’m naturally incredibly shy, so I don’t naturally approach people without reason to talk to them. If someone approaches me and I get to them, then I transform - but it’s that first conversation that is the hardest. Looking back, spending the first meeting at induction starring out of a window like an extra from a 1990s grunge rock video was a tad counterproductive. If you act like a bit of an emo, people think you don’t want to talk to them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that could be a problem. The worst incident was at a pub. I was with four people I hadn’t really spoken to at that point, I offered them gum, that was about it for my interaction. I really didn’t want to butt in on their conversations. Looking back, I can’t think why. I doubt they were discussing national secrets. Four seats were available, there was five of us. A girl kindly offered me her seat but I said no out of politeness. Without a chair or reason to speak, I stood there watching Wolves v Chelsea in the FA Cup. West Ham had already been knocked out by this point, so I didn’t really care about the result. I pretended to, anyway, so I didn’t have to sit awkwardly. I even pretended to be angry when Chelsea went 0-2 up and left the pub, then I realised that I was left alone outside a pub with nothing to do, I went back in. That definitely didn’t seem weird, right? I think the advice I’d give to counteract this is just try not to worry, especially at freshers, no-one really knows anyone. It’s a clean slate to show people the kind of person you are and learn more about them. 2. Don’t Get Paranoid Within a month, I was convinced everyone on the course hated me - including the three or four people I was closest too. Really small things made me convinced people hated me. Like not replying “Thanks” or “you too” when I told people to have a nice day. I can only imagine if someone had signed off an email saying “Regards” instead of “Kind Regards”, I would’ve completely lost it. No one actually did hate me, because I hadn’t spoken to anyone and given them a reason too. Although, there’s an argument to be heard that was wishful thinking on my part. You should try not to worry; all that worry was in my head. Remember not everyone will like you and that’s life; just avoid the people that don’t and try not to think about them. There are bound to be people who enjoy your company, so focus on spending time with them and showing you appreciate them. They’re far more important than the haters. And they could introduce you to more friends. 3. Have somewhere to crash for late nights CBeebies stays out later than I do.
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