So you are a new starter at Uni or College – how are you feeling about that?
Making friends can feel super stressful but try to remember that everyone is in the same boat.
The great thing about this next stage is that you can reinvent yourself to an extent. There are so many new people out there who don’t know your background and don’t know who you are that it allows you to wipe the slate clean and start afresh, if you want to. How cool is that?
Above all, the most important thing to remember is just be yourself.
We tend to stick to what we know, it makes us feel safer and we all like that feeling of fitting in – right? Adults do it too…Our Pilates Group / The Golf Club / The Hockey Mums…life still holds those patterns.
But you can find a different tribe, the tribe that makes your heart sing – the tribe that mirrors your passion - your vibe attracts your tribe.
So, the trick is, try something new that tickles your fancy. There will be loads of different clubs and societies. Wine Tasting, Rock Climbing, Harry Potter Appreciation Society, Rugby, Rowing, Cheerleading, Chess, Chocolate Society, Drama and Performing Arts …
Get my drift? Just have a go and see what floats your boat. Maybe try something that you didn’t have the opportunity to try at school.
Join a whole load of these societies and clubs and you will find your tribe – I promise you that.
Don’t give up at the first hurdle. You might realise that you really don’t like playing the bagpipes after all but at least you gave it a shot and you’ll probably find that whilst the club wasn’t quite your thing, some of the other people there looked good fun.
If you are going to re-invent yourself at least make sure you like the person in the mirror and that you are comfortable with who they are turning out to be. There’s absolutely no point pretending you want to be part of the tennis squad when you can’t bear the thought of ball sports and the very thought of two weeks of Wimbledon coverage in July leaves you cold!
It would seem a waste of your time, joining the vampire society if you can’t stand keeping funny hours and faint at the sight of blood.
There will be people out there looking for someone just like you. So get looking.
You might have to jump out of your comfort zone a bit but what’s the worst that can happen? If you make a fool of yourself, laugh about it in the bar afterwards. There’s nothing more appealing than someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and doesn’t mind laughing at themselves.
Try not to let your social anxiety hold you back. Acknowledge it, sure. But then just move through that.
It’s all a bit of a game anyway. You’ve heard the phrase Fake It Till You Make It? That’s what most of the other students are doing at the moment too. Many of those kids are feeling just as nervous as you but they are just hiding it better. It’s all about wearing a mask for a while and just getting on with it.
Let your weird light shine bright so the other weirdos know where to find you.
Eventually you will start making friends with people just like you – who like things that you do.