PDA

View Full Version : Can anybody help me?



aliensdidit
2011-Oct-11, 09:56 PM
I left home for University about a week ago. I have never lived alone from my parents, I'm still trying to make friends and get to know my room mtes. But at he moment I eel very lonely at the moment during mytime at University. Also as some of yo may know I did start some topics that many easil discredit, unfortunatly they have not helped and I feel a bit more isolated and a bit more confused/

Has anybody had this experience before when at University or College? How did you remedy it, I've tried joining student societes but they are not very well organised at the moment and I am still yet to attend an event. How can I set the balance between friendship and work without letting the fomer outtake the latter?

redshifter
2011-Oct-11, 10:28 PM
You might follow through and attend one of the student society events. You might meet a lot of people that way. If you live in a dorm, you might try chatting with an RA (resident advisor) if the dorms at your university have such people. If you don't live in a dorm, you might consider moving into one, you'll meet lots of people that way. Homesickness/confusion is not unusual for someone in your situation--leaving home for the first time. I'm sure there are resources available to help you. You have to look for them though.

How about an academic counselor? They might not be able to help you, but they could probably lead you to someone who can. Heck, you could even check out bulletin boards, etc. at your school, you might find a group of folks that share a common interest with you. You could try getting involved in study groups for the classes you're taking. I'm assuming you're a freshman (1st year of college), freshman level classes sometimes have study groups associated with them. You might even try organizing a study group yourself.

I think I set a record for 'mights' in a single post...

ember
2011-Oct-11, 10:49 PM
I quite agree with redshifter's post. If you do happen to live in a dorm you might want to try leaving your door open when you are in your room. It gives off a sense of "welcomeness" and people are more likely to pop in and say hello. Also, try frequenting spots where students are known to hang out. The key is to listen to people and hear if they are talking about something you have an interest in.

If the clubs are disorganized you may want to bring this to their attention. Either that or, if you can, why not start a student club of your own?

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-11, 11:26 PM
One thing, try to avoid joining groups that are into conspiracy stuff and doomsday predictions.
The place you're in at the moment, the last thing you need is to have those fears made deeper, however welcoming the people may be.

John Jaksich
2011-Oct-11, 11:33 PM
I tend to agree with the previous posts--and my advice would be to not isolate -but slowly acclimate yourself to your surroundings.

Good Luck!

swampyankee
2011-Oct-11, 11:54 PM
I left home for University about a week ago. I have never lived alone from my parents, I'm still trying to make friends and get to know my room mtes. But at he moment I eel very lonely at the moment during mytime at University. Also as some of yo may know I did start some topics that many easil discredit, unfortunatly they have not helped and I feel a bit more isolated and a bit more confused/

Has anybody had this experience before when at University or College? How did you remedy it, I've tried joining student societes but they are not very well organised at the moment and I am still yet to attend an event. How can I set the balance between friendship and work without letting the fomer outtake the latter?

It would probably help if you told us where (at least what country) you are attending college: college in the US is very different from college in the UK. There are also great differences between US colleges. Schools where there are large numbers of commuters and those where a large percentage of the student population goes home on weekends are likely to be worse for homesick students than are schools where everybody stays on campus. Try chatting with your classmates -- sharing classes gives you something in common -- and some of these will blossom into friendships. If you like one sport or another, see if there are sports clubs: these may be better organized than some of the other social clubs. The social life / academic life balance is one many students struggle with, especially during their first year. I'd tend to suggest erring on the side of too much school work: a mediocre social life is easier to correct than flunking out.

As for feeling isolated and confused by some of the responses you get here? Some of us are impatient when we think a question isn't well-posed. Don't take it personally, as people tend to be much less considerate on-line than they are in person.

John Jaksich
2011-Oct-12, 12:06 AM
It would probably help if you told us where (at least what country) you are attending college: college in the US is very different from college in the UK. There are also great differences between US colleges. Schools where there are large numbers of commuters and those where a large percentage of the student population goes home on weekends are likely to be worse for homesick students than are schools where everybody stays on campus. Try chatting with your classmates -- sharing classes gives you something in common -- and some of these will blossom into friendships. If you like one sport or another, see if there are sports clubs: these may be better organized than some of the other social clubs. The social life / academic life balance is one many students struggle with, especially during their first year. I'd tend to suggest erring on the side of too much school work: a mediocre social life is easier to correct than flunking out.

As for feeling isolated and confused by some of the responses you get here? Some of us are impatient when we think a question isn't well-posed. Don't take it personally, as people tend to be much less considerate on-line than they are in person.



I apologize if my response was or seemed short--I would definitely concur with the notion of erring on the side of "more study" than social life. Life is long and we older individuals don't always remember some of the lonelier moments of life. If I were to offer some type of allegory--it is kind of like learning to swim for the first time or learning to ride a bike for the first time---it seems more intimidating than it really is in hindsight.

I hope this was of assistance?

LookingSkyward
2011-Oct-12, 08:41 AM
I hope you're taking some consolation that you have people you can talk to here :>
When I left home for the 1st time, I was in a small technical class, so I was able to make acquaintances fairly quickly.
I have a pretty high threshold for friendship, but anyone you can talk with to share your normal daily events and concerns can help ease the loneliness.

Reaching out for me was difficult, but “Hi, how’s your day going” is a good start. Likely a lot of the folks in your situation feel the same way.
Hope this helps, and best of luck.

dave

geonuc
2011-Oct-12, 09:21 AM
One of the things I did when attending college was to get a part-time job busing tables at a restaurant. There I met some wonderful people, some who are still friends thirty years later. Not sure if your academic schedule allows for this.

The key is to put yourself in places where people will come to you and introduce themselves - the suggestions made by others here all center around that theme.

Good luck!

As to your experiences here on BAUT, perhaps you should consider being more of a thread-participant for a while, rather than a thread-starter. That might ease your transition.

BigDon
2011-Oct-12, 12:49 PM
Also, you are suffering from culture shock, whether you realize it or not. People always ignore that like it was imaginary or a sign of weakness. But it's just as real as jet lag and lasts about three times as long, depending on how different the new enviroment is from your old one...I've known people who've fainted the first time they stood on the streets of downtown Tokyo. (As an extreme example.)

At least your not the noobie sailor who got so drunk that we put him on a MAC* flight to Guam and then the sailors on Guam put his still unconsious backside on *another* MAC flight to Thailand. There in Thailand, which was an Airforce Base, they stripped him of his ID and money, put him in a taxi and left him on a sidewalk in a rural neighborhood, being overwatched by a couple of trusted houseboys who pretended to not only not speak english, but they also to be locals annoyed at the drunk foreigner passed out on their sidewalk.

He was sooo confused. And in a worldwide gesture of universal guydom, when the local cops rolled up and the houseboys came forward and let them know what was up, in Thai, the cops played right along as well.

"So, you are in the country illegally and have no ID or Passport? Come with us please!" And they held him for eight hours and interogated him on why he wouldn't tell them how he got into the country.

All in all, as far as practical jokes go, the only one that tops this I believe is the guy who had a full sized cement mixer truck disassembled and rebuilt in his friend's livingroom while he was on vacation.

*Military Airlift Command

IsaacKuo
2011-Oct-12, 01:59 PM
I've tried joining student societes but they are not very well organised at the moment and I am still yet to attend an event.

I'll tell you something I wish someone had told me ages ago:

If there isn't someone or some organization out there already doing what it is you're looking for, maybe you need to be the one to do it.

If a student society isn't well organised, maybe it's an opportunity for you to help organize it. You could start by helping to organize a specific event. For example, if there is a space or technology related student group, you could volunteer to head a get together to look into putting together a hackerspace.

Cougar
2011-Oct-12, 03:25 PM
At least your not the noobie sailor who got so drunk that....

I guess the moral of this story is, watch how much you drink, aliensdidit!

Fazor
2011-Oct-12, 03:45 PM
I don't have any specific advice, but I can offer that I'm not much the "social butterfly." Throughout highschool, I had a small group of close friends -- most of them were people I knew since we were all 5 years old.

When I went to college, I went to a school that was 200+ miles away from home. No friends or family even remotely close. I had talked to my room mate via instant messenger throughout the summer, so it helped that we sort of knew each other. Were also lucky enough to be similar personality wise.

It took a while, but slowly through classes and talking meeting people around campus, I found a group of friends.

So I guess I do have advice -- just be yourself, and remember that a lot of the other students are in the same boat as you. Just be friendly and don't be afraid to talk to people. College also taught me -- more than any other place -- the value of not "judging a book by it's cover." Most of the people that would become good friends were ones that at first sight I'd never think were the kind of people I'd ever talk to, let alone specifically hang out with.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-12, 04:30 PM
And remember that this is a place with people from more disparate backgrounds than you're likely used to. Expect unfamiliarity, but try to see it as an opportunity to learn how the other people in your country lives instead of trying to look for a group of people just like those at home.

Cougar
2011-Oct-12, 04:37 PM
I'm still trying to make friends and get to know my room mtes.

This is not really the reason you go to university. Obviously this can be a part of your university experience, but it should be secondary. You should try to be a bit more self-reliant. Being more self-reliant may even help in attracting friends. People aren't typically drawn to others who are especially needy. Concentrate on your studies, and when you have time, pursue your interests. Friends will come, usually when you're not seeking them. Be cool. :)

selden
2011-Oct-12, 04:38 PM
aliensdidit,

Many U.S. universities have staff who are trained to help new students get used to life away from home. Information about them normally is part of freshman orientation. You might try to find out what's available at the school you're attending.

Talk to your classmates. Try to find a course that interests you which has small classes. By definition, the people taking them will have quite a few things in common with you.

Do let us know what's happening in your life. There are many people here who care how you're doing -- just look how many have already responded!

George
2011-Oct-12, 05:07 PM
If you have any religious affiliations, then you might want to find a church with an active youth group. The bonds developed here may, or may not, run deeper and be more helpful to the deeper losses you feel being out of the nest.

Also, you should schedule trips back home. There are bound to be students who will be traveling to an area close to home and these trips can also be enjoyable. We usually took some dirty laundry home to make Mom still feel needed, though she masked her true feelings about doing laundry for us.... I think.

Let your folks know how much you appreciate them and how meaningful their letters or emails are to you. My Mom would write to me and my brother, also in the same college, but we had to stop her from sending one of us a carbon copy of her typed letter. She soon hand-wrote letters and they were more meaningful, though usually shorter.

Set some other side goals and pursue them. You obviously like science and clubs have already been wisely recommended, but what about getting a Ham license or developing a hobby?

The more you can "plan your work and work your plan" the more content you will find yourself. I had to set a study schedule whenever my grades became sub-standard, but that made me more at ease with my free time, too. [Once grades improved, I soon goofed-off more, admittedly. This is why I'm not an astronomer. :) ]

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-12, 05:36 PM
This is not really the reason you go to university. Obviously this can be a part of your university experience, but it should be secondary. You should try to be a bit more self-reliant. Being more self-reliant may even help in attracting friends. People aren't typically drawn to others who are especially needy. Concentrate on your studies, and when you have time, pursue your interests. Friends will come, usually when you're not seeking them. Be cool. :)

I totally echo what Cougar said. Also, if you appear needy for friendship, you'll attract the wrong people. Concentrate on the reason you're paying all that money to be there. And smile a lot -- the friendships will come. In the meantime, come here when you're feeling especially lonely. :)

AndreH
2011-Oct-13, 04:31 PM
Aliensdidit,I completely understand how you are feeling. I myself had a really hard time in my first University year. It is more than 25 years ago and I still remeber how lost I felt. Studying physics at a technical University were 95% of the class mates were boys and again about 90% of them came fresh from the military (at that time in Germany young men were drafted and to avoid to make this happen right after getting your degree, most of them joined the army right before going to university). As they all had this in common 99% of the prviate talks in the first months was about the army time. Including the special language and the typical anecdotes. I just did not fit in because I haven't been drafted (bad seeing on my right eye, to blind to shoot straight :).
Instinctively I did what Cougar already suggested: Concentrate on your studies. The rest will follow. You are only there for one week now. There are months (years) to come.
A good way is trying to form small groups and learn together or discuss the topics of the lectures you have.
I also recommend to go to the one or other party, it might help. But don't get distracted!

Andre

jrkeller
2011-Oct-13, 06:49 PM
I went to college for 10 years. Four for my **, 2 for my MS and another 4 for my Ph.D. Part of the reason I stayed in school so long is because I loved school. Before I left for school, which was 550 miles from home and in the middle of nowhere (yes it's Michigan Tech), I lived at home. I was an extremely quite person in high school and the close friends I had were band nerds. Plus when I started my freshman year, I was still three months away from turning 18. Not a single person from my high school graduating class went to my college. Some ideas.

I think study groups are a good way to start.
If you live in the dorms, go eat your meals with your neighbors.
If you are even somewhat athletic, play intramural sports. One school I was at even had intramural cross county.
What did you do for fun before college. I can bet there is a group for that.

What I really think you should do, but it requires some nerve to do is to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a public speaking group that teaches you how to speak before groups of any size. It will help you with one-on-one speaking too. After four years in Toastmasters, interviewing for a job will be a breeze.

Middenrat
2011-Oct-14, 02:01 AM
aliensdidit, I found your links risible and said so. I see from this thread you're still a nice person and I give you this advice in the spirit of sorry about that.
Here it is. Get thee to a Youth Operatic Society. You're probably a geek who could use some culture and action, well volunteer for a scene-shifter/props builder/gopher/insert-aptitude-here, doesn't need to be a student enterprise, the local municipal variety will be better organised. 'Tis the season for rehearsing the Christmas production so you can get in at the start for added esprit.
It's a great way of meeting the opposite gender in a purposefullly fun yet structured environment, and of having an orchestra putting on a free show for you. There will be parties. Anyway it worked for me in similar straits.
Best wishes
Phil

swampyankee
2011-Oct-15, 02:52 PM
aliensdidit, I found your links risible and said so. I see from this thread you're still a nice person and I give you this advice in the spirit of sorry about that.
Here it is. Get thee to a Youth Operatic Society. You're probably a geek who could use some culture and action, well volunteer for a scene-shifter/props builder/gopher/insert-aptitude-here, doesn't need to be a student enterprise, the local municipal variety will be better organised. 'Tis the season for rehearsing the Christmas production so you can get in at the start for added esprit.
It's a great way of meeting the opposite gender in a purposefullly fun yet structured environment, and of having an orchestra putting on a free show for you. There will be parties. Anyway it worked for me in similar straits.
Best wishes
Phil


I'll second Phil's suggestion. My not-very-sociable younger daughter loves hanging out with theatre people, which is why she tries to keep involved with the props & scenery crews. Theatre people tend to be a bit more tolerant of mild eccentricity than the bulk of the population.

DoggerDan
2011-Oct-16, 09:45 AM
I left home for University about a week ago. I have never lived alone from my parents, I'm still trying to make friends and get to know my room mtes. But at he moment I eel very lonely at the moment during mytime at University. Also as some of yo may know I did start some topics that many easil discredit, unfortunatly they have not helped and I feel a bit more isolated and a bit more confused/

Has anybody had this experience before when at University or College? How did you remedy it, I've tried joining student societes but they are not very well organised at the moment and I am still yet to attend an event. How can I set the balance between friendship and work without letting the fomer outtake the latter?

I think anyone who's been to university has experienced this. YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

Yes, we've all been there. Hang in there.

There is no balance between friendship and work. A better balance requires combining the two. If the two conflict, then either you need to reevaluate work, or your friends, as you're somewhere in the middle and the two are tearing you apart.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-16, 10:57 AM
To steal the words from an unrelated but worthy movement: "It Gets Better".

NEOWatcher
2011-Oct-17, 02:54 PM
I've tried joining student societes but they are not very well organised at the moment and I am still yet to attend an event.
It depends on what you mean by "event". Even if they just meet and go nowhere spinning thier wheels, the opportunity for interaction is there.
It doesn't matter if you are in the group to get something out of it or not.
In college, I was a member of the ACM (http://www.acm.org/). I rarely went to any of the lectures that they sponsored, but the discussions within the group were very beneficial to me.
I was also in the bicycle club. I am, or never was a big bike enthusiast and only participated in the not-so-involved activities (the weekly 10 mile jaunt was enough for me). Even with my limited involvement I still made friends.