Life Experience Of Loneliness

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Talking to new people and making friends is something I’ve always struggled with. Even the thought of being surrounded by strangers and having to hold a conversation gives me shivers. I’ve never been good at talking to people and confidence wasn’t something that I’d ever had, but recently with all the new changes about to come social anxiety is something that I’ve had to deal with. My most recent life experience was a few weeks ago when I attended an open day at a university I applied for. As soon as I arrived I instantly wanted to leave. I entered the room full of strangers and immediately felt uncomfortable and nervous. I never talked to anyone the whole time I was there because I was too busy wondering what they would think of me and what if no one liked me. Instead of learning about the course I wanted to do or looking around I was too preoccupied worrying about everyone else’s opinion of me. While there I met one of my close friends who was also thinking of attending there. Being with someone I already knew made me feel a little more comfortable but I was still anxious and left the event early.

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The friend whom I met there had been one of my closest friends for a long time. After the open day, he told me about how much he enjoyed it and how excited he was to go to university and meet new people. I told him about how I was worried that I wouldn’t make any new friends but he didn’t understand why I felt that way as he thinks he will make lots of new friends. He had always been very confident and forward which I admired but was also slightly jealous of. He could easily talk to anyone whereas doing something simple such as answering out in class seemed like a challenge to me. Even something like talking to my family on special occasions is hard for me. Being in a room with people I know is stressful because a simple conversation makes me nervous. I wished that I could be as confident as my friend was because I knew that I was holding myself back by being reserved and nervous all the time. He assured me that he would remain my friend if we both went there but I didn’t want to have to rely on him to be my friend. I have always relied on my friends to go out with or sit with in school but I wanted to try and do things for myself. When I think of going to university the first thing I think of is what could go wrong. All I associate with leaving my friends and going to a new place is stress and I worry that I might feel lonely. I’m nervous to leave my current friends behind and move on to a new place alone.

My first life experience was in secondary school where I found it hard to make friends at first. I didn’t mind being in class but disliked breaks and lunch where I felt lonely and neglected. If an event or function has already started I find it very difficult to enter. I would wait and hope for others to come along late so I can go in with them. I always moved from one group to another, constantly feeling like a misfit and that I never fitted in anywhere. My reply to invitations to go out with friends would always be no and I would provide them with an excuse. I thought it was safer to stay at home so people wouldn’t see my awkwardness and shyness but I still longed to fit in with my peers and converse naturally with them. When talking to people I find myself blushing and always try to hide my face behind my hair and I’m visibly nervous. I tend to sweat quite a lot in such situations and have a massive fear of blushing and I tend to avoid all situations where this may occur. I have a fear in social situations that I will draw attention to myself, make a fool of myself, or that people will laugh at me. People might think that I was very nervous, boring, strange, or unusual. I feel different from other people when I’m around them. I am anxious around people that I don’t know and find the ordinary social situations that everybody encounters very difficult. These can range from going to the shops, ordering at a restaurant, or even just getting on the train.

Recently I’ve been trying harder to become more confident. Although it’s tempting to always avoid social interactions I try to say yes to going out with my friends and doing things that would usually make me anxious. I’ve told my friends how I feel so that I can feel more comfortable when going out with them. I try to focus more on myself and my goals instead of what other people think of me and I know that if I push myself to make new friends I will. I’m starting to feel more confident about going to university and taking on new challenges although I know I will still struggle at first. I’ve learned that sometimes everyone feels anxious and worried in social situations but there are ways to cope and improve everyday life. I think that it’s important to tell people how you feel as they could support you and in the end, it may make you more comfortable and happier.

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