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Lonely College Student? What?

I'm 20 years old and in college. I should be having the time of my life, right? I should be out mingling and partying and meeting new people daily...right? I'm not. I'm really not. It's Saturday night, 10:30 to be exact and I've been sitting here just trying my darndest to convince myself that I'm a normal 20 year old college student. But I'm not, I'm really not. I'm 5'6, 135 lbs, blonde haired and dark brown eyed. I'm pretty, maybe not beautiful but I'm pretty. So why can't I meet a God-damned person? Why can't I have friends and boyfriends and people who call me to hang out? Why?

I stay cooped up in my stupid apartment...going out only for class and food. I stay hidden here, away from the world because I'm scared to go out. Why? I really couldn't tell you. I'm scared of uncomfortable situations and awkward silences. I'm scared of bad conversation and sounding stupid. And you know what? I'm increddibly...increddibly lonely. But you know what? As scared as I am of being alone forever, I'm even more scared of not being alone. What's wrong with me? Who thinks like that? I keep people at an arm's length because any closer and they could hurt me. But, keep enough people far enough away and soon enough those people are going to go and find people who will embrace them. And soon enough I stop keeping people at even an arm's length because even they walk away.

Please, please if anybody can in anyway (and hopefully a major way) understand this and connect to this, please contact me. I honestly think that I'm alone in doing this, acting like this. It's so abnormal and crazy that I feel like the only person in the entire world that feels this way. Am I?

escritor93 escritor93 18-21 432 Responses May 9, 2009

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Probably no one will see this but I'm on my dorm floor about to chug a bottle of ibuprofen and die a slow painful death because of about 90% of this

I am the same way I really have nothing for you, I go to college and only do my work. People try to talk to me and I put my ear buds in. I work at a grocery store and even in my ****** looking uniform girls will hit on me. I just pretend like I dont notice. I'm scared to go to bars. I have no friends and I dont know how to fix it because I am too afraid of people.

omg I am just like you i am always alone, my life seems meaningless and feels like no one except my parents cares about me, I can't keep conversation going and I am just afraid of talking to people. this world is so mean

I was like that when I was 20 and in school. I used to be an outsider. No friends, no one to talk, only got out of my room for classes or for food. I was like that at 13. I dreamed to have friends one day, to go to the party and have fun. I hoped that when I would be a little older, I would have friends. I was 20 and was the same. Hope slowly began to wade away. I'm 27 now and still the same. Hope gone long time ago. I'm smart, educated and good looking. I keep people on arm's length, because I afraid to be hurt. They think I'm mean and full of myself. I'm not. I spend my evening alone talking to myself. I am my only friend. I am alone in this world with milliards of people it's just me... alone...

I'm 24 and still like that. I'm also a little crazy and I don't meet people often nor do I keep them around for long. I also don't do well on my own b/c I am too easily freaked out by things. I'll have some interesting life choices to make and it sounds like you do too. Hang in there and find people whom YOU like and get along with easily. Friendships/ relationships shouldn't be forced. Good luck.

Wonderful post, look at the people you have opportunity to connect with and have with more depth than it sounds like at your university. What seems to be the difference? Well it's not just a computer screen and some distance that has attracted people here to want to relate to want to understand why you feel that way.

It's because you said something open, honest, and that everyone here can connect with. We walk around outside too yah know, there are people at your campus that feel the same way. The odds of you two meeting would be pretty little if they have regressed to hibernation of sorts...but they go out for food, they linger in the library, and add a more universal touch to this, even the most popular, outgoing, sociable people you meet. Feel lonely if they don't have someone that is close. Talk to people with open honesty. There is no such thing as bad conversation when you talk about something that is real, true, and an issue. Ideas create some of the highest forms of communication you can have. If the person happens to be rude to you? Mean? It's not due to bad communication or conversation, it's their own insecurities, it's their own character faults, it's something that you should easily separate from.

My advice to you is this.... nothing. Stop trying to "blend" and just be yourself. If you're an introvert, be that. Contrary to popular opinion, they're not losers and social misfits.
I think you're depressed because you think you should "be like everyone else". Sweetie, you're at the beginning of the journey. Don't go out and seek another personality and duplicate it. There are already too many sheep in the world.
Be you. In all your weird, mysterious, hidden ways. Who knows? You may just meet people you can genuinely connect with. Maybe a young man cut from the same cloth?
I REPEAT. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.

Hey. Are you an only child ? Do you have distant relationship with your parents, who had a dysfunctional marriage ? You're not alone. I'm in exactly the same position.

You sound like me when I was at college. I'm also 20, female, blond(ish) hair and brown eyes (not that it makes a difference, just thought I'd mention!). I'm incredibly lonely these days too. In fact, I have been for a long, long time, but for some reason I keep pushing people away... Don't worry, you're not the only person in the world that feels this way, believe me! I'm exactly the same. I have friends, but I never make a move to ask them if they want to meet up or anything because I'm also scared of awkward silences, not knowing what to say, seeming stupid, being over-aware and overly concerned about how I'm acting and what people think of me, and above all I'm always afraid that who I'm with is not enjoying my company or thinks I'm boring or something... (which I don't know why I think that because plenty of my friends seem to like me). Maybe you just need to find someone that you can tell all this to and won't judge you for it - someone like you - and they like you for who you are anyway, and they don't care about 'awkward' silences etc. Maybe that's why this website/forum is a good place to be :) I like how during the signup process it said 'Welcome Home' :)

And now I just saw that you posted this in 2009?! hahahahahahaaaa what on earth! Are you even still on here? What's going on??? heheheeee this always happens to me...... Reply back if you're still on here ;)

Umorella, I came across this thinking the same thing. I think we can all agree that we're (somewhat) attractive :) - but I find it hard to stay motivated recently I keep thinking about "what's the purpose" "why should I bother" etc. and though I'm aware they're negative questions to ask - I still do and they just bring me to conclusions of being alone (hence me being here) ...I'm 20yo going on 21, in college called an "over achiever" yet - people seem to hate that. Hmm...

Haha, it's not often you come across "over achiever"s these days :) I'd say good on ya! The people that hate others who do well in their studies are just jealous, and not worth making friends with anyway... Don't care too much about what they think. The most important people will love you for who you are, which is exactly why we should have no fear in meeting our friends/new people! :) What made you start having these negative thoughts though? And who are the ones calling you an "over achiever"? :) Maybe it's them that are just "under" achievers ;)

I may have a different way of thinking but I tend to look for pearls of wisdom in film. I think the film is called "Beautiful Girls" and its the Rosie O'Donnell character that speaks something to the effect of there is always someone out that that is envious or wants what you have whatever that may be. There is also the old story of the city mouse and country mouse who want each other's lives only to find out that their own is best for them. Finally there is the "what if" idea of being able to trade with someone to gain perspective... I personally would love to experience 18-21 years old again and to have a challenge such as not being comfortable as you say... I am not diminishing what you are saying as I think it is real but I suspect that in time, you will get past it... and I just notice that this post is from 2009 so I wonder where things are at today... I suspect that your relationships might be more developed than mine... I am not with anyone and just signed off on a separation agreement... I only am offering perspective again - not trying to take away from what you said - please take care.

I can absolutely connect to this too. I am 21 and I am also a university student. I moved to Kamloops to take a diploma program in tourism because I really want opportunities to travel. I got to this city and instantly realized what a crap hole this city is. I liked my program at first but I couldn't really find anyone who I connected with. I had acquaintances at school but nobody who would call me up to hang out outside of school. I spent a year and a half of my life living away from my family and my boyfriend feeling incredibly lonely and isolated. Even my roommate stopped inviting me to hang out and was never at home. I spent so much time alone at home wishing that I had someone to spend time with and to go out and have fun with. I felt the exact same way where I thought being 20 and 21 wasn't what I pictured. I wasn't having fun or making memories of my youth, I was just existing. I didn't let anyone I met at school to get too close to me because I didn't want to put it all out there only to be rejected or forgotten about. I kept everyone at arms length because I wasn't sure where I fit in. I didn't want to get too close to anyone in the city of Kamloops because I couldn't picture myself staying there so what was the point of making close friends if I was just leaving to go some place better once school was finished? Well I have to say being lonely is the worst and you should let people in to get to know the real you because even if it seems scary, it's better to have at least one good friend than to spend most of your time alone. Sometimes if you put yourself out there and act friendly even if you don't feel like it, you will meet somebody who makes it more worth while. University/college is so so much better when you have good friends by your side. I really hope you find somebody who you feel comfortable enough with to let your guard down and let them get to know the real you, because it'll really make you feel so much better. Trust me, I know how you are feeling.

so, it's a normal. many-many people don't have friends, really friends and go to school-university-work and live in their own lives.
you are an introvert, important not to worry.
want to communicate - write. you are not alone in the world.
if you learn to not pay attention to it - will enjoy life!
your story reminds me of a song c. isaak - wicked game

Your like me. I want to meet you. Your my soulmate

it kinda surprises me how i can relate so much to you. i am just like you too. i am scared of meeting people, having relationships, awkard silences, and sounding stupid because i don't want to get hurt... i don't want my heart to break because i feel like have no ability to hold myself when i am falling apart. i am always scared of something that hasn't even happend yet. i am in my first year of college and all the girls have already formed their own groups and i am kind of floating around with no one. it scares the crap out me to think that maybe i am the one who isn't normal.

First off, even though this experience was posted 3.5 years ago, I am awed by the support and love the EP community has shown here.
Secondly, I'm going to share my experiences as an incredibly shy, antisocial introvert when I was in college. This is meant to help and heal all the others who are experiencing the same difficulties. This will be from the early 90s, but the same feeling of oppressiveness can happen to anybody. This is how I got over it.
Not long after high school, my parents and I moved across the country, separating me from my small group of friends. I spent a few years working to save for college. I hated every minute of it. I hated the city we moved to, I hated my torturous job. I hated myself because I chose to stay with my parents instead of being a grown up. I was severely depressed and felt worthless.
Even after I earned enough money and moved a hundred miles away from my parents to attend college, I was still miserable and antisocial and incredibly lonely.
About halfway through the school year I had had enough of my whining and decided to attack the problem head on, so I developed a plan. Here's what I did:

1. I don't think this would be as successful today, but I joined an online community to build my conversational skills in a completely secure situation. It helped me to share my feelings safely and it tempered me when dealing with disagreements. If you want to try this, I would recommend a large, thriving community where there are posts come in quickly enough that you can be in a conversation at near real time. If that's not an option, perhaps you can buy a PS4 or Xbox One and join a game that requires a microphone so you can practice having casual, surface-level conversations. Of course, going this route has it's own share of difficulties, especially if you have an addictive personality, where there's the possibility that your dependence on a computer actually causes you to withdraw from making a connection with a real person.
2. Next I tackled my fear of initiating conversations and sounding stupid. (This was probably the most difficult step.)
2a. I promised myself that I would initiate a conversation at least once per day. At first that was as simple as nodding and saying hi to someone sitting close to me in class and making inane small talk with anyone behind a counter: cashiers, administrative staff, etc. I took as many opportunities to initiate conversations as I could stand.
3. I enrolled in an improvisational comedy class. I had enjoyed acting in high school, and it's a situation where you're expected to be goofy and make mistakes. Take any opportunity you have to actively embarrass yourself.
3. I found a social group that had several different official ways to be social. For me it was a large college ministry. There a group celebration every Thursday night with about 200 people, there was an informal worship song session every Friday at noon. There were bible studies every week all over campus. And there were at least two weekend retreats. If you're not a person of faith, try to find some other large campus group where you can blend in if you want but can also be more active in.
4. Here's what I found to be the single most important in getting out of your shell: LEARN NAMES! If you learn someone's name, you've already established a connection with the other person, even if it's saying hi to them between classes. It's a lot better than bumping into them and saying, "Hey... you. How's it been... guy." I realized that not knowing someone's name was the most embarrassing thing I dealt with. Once I figured that out, everything else became a lot easier.
I'm in my mid-40s now, and I still deal with crippling shyness and social fears occasionally. But now I'm equipped with specific tools to combat the problem.

I hope this helps any college students (or anyone else) who feels isolated in their life. If you make a plan and intentionally go out of your way to tackle it, hopefully you won't find it as difficult now.

it is very hard this place you are in. but actually all of the things you feel scared about is just what you need to do because this is a way of growing, learning more people then you may believe feel this way you felt are not alone in the place you are.i do not want to keep repeating myself here, so from experience i know how you feel and i truly believe it doesn't make any difference what may have happened to us. life, so many questions, needs, if i tell you this way; for a gardener and the people are either weeds or beautiful useful plants we

we can't care for our garden if we don't manage it.i feel I'm complicating things. so you just have to experience making friends, embrassing them like delicate plants and experience everything you feel. did it you don't how will you know feelings or beable to understand anything or anyone

have to feel because we have nerves and we can't care did or garden

It's is normal, you just have your head screwed on, getting yiur studies over and done with so you have a good career. When you have little breaks, try to have a little fun. You sound a little socially shy, an awkward feeling, or even an anxiety. CBT is a good option ask for a referral

This was me when I was still studying. Let me tell you this, you aren't alone. I can't say for certain if you're exactly like me, but reading your words brought back a lot of bitter memories I stayed outside of campus, I went shopping alone, I studied alone, and I didn't want to join anyone else. It's funny because naturally I'm quite a sociable person, and i had a lot of friends but for some odd reason in college I just wanted to be alone. Eventually being alone a lot caused me to lose a lot of my self esteem and eventually I was so scared to socialize and hangout with people. It's been 2 years since I've graduated and I'm still a liiittllle scared but I'm getting better. You will too :)<br />
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Looking back now, I was miserable and I regret inching myself away from everyone. It's so easy for me to just say that but the person I was back then would defend her actions with a million excuses. I believe I was sort of depressed. I even resorted to seeing a psychiatrist who prescribed me medication but I refused and received a 2nd opinion rejecting the 1st psychs diagnosis.Look, I know you want to be alone, and it feels comfortable, but try not to. I'm not telling you to go crazy in clubs or to join a gang, but find people with interests like yours. Or at least socialize more. Maybe dinner twice a week with friends. It's good for you. I believe me being alone for so long in college caused me more damage than good, the loneliness brought about sadness and depressing thoughts..which lead to bad grades, loss of friends, weight gain and regret. I can proudly say that whole ordeal taught me a lot and I'm so much happier now. I still love being alone as and when I can but I do realize the importance of distancing myself from that dark loneliness I once endured. It's a scary world, but you will find people who think like you and act like you and love the things you do. You just need to try. Trust me, more often than not the confident person you see in front of you is as scared as you inside. Being fearless doesn't mean being void of fears, it means being scared but doing whatever it is anyway because one day you will be strong enough. Don't be scared that you'll never have time alone, you have your whole life ahead of you to have your alone time. Find that balance. May I suggest joining a club or... a community? Like if you like a certain show, find people who do.. or join a study group. Take baby steps if you must. Just don't be scared. Be fearless

I'm sorry for the very long message but I really want you to feel better. I wish someone had reached out to me when I was in college. Sometimes the problem can be fixed by merely changing our perception of the world and people around us. For example, instead of thinking "oh no one wants to talk to me" think "they will like me if they get to know me" and maybe talk. You know those people you meet who get along with everyone because they're so nice and chatty despite being a little annoying? Exactly. Be nice, be friendly, be funny. Always say things you'd like someone to say to you, whether it's a joke or a compliment or just mundane conversations.

I felt that way most of my life, but then I put myself out there and kept struggling and trying to socialize. It wasn't an easy or pleasant thing to do, but eventually I did manage to make some friends. There's nothing wrong with being scared of spending time with other people, but if you want to change it (and it's okay if you don't, but IF you want to) the only way is to keep going out there and risking the hurt and trying to connect with people, even if it's really scary. If you're persistent enough and learn the rules of social interaction. you just might manage to change things!

Lol exactly how I felt today. It's weird isn't it. To be honest I feel that way a lot and am glad I'm not the only one. If you feel like talking, give me a message :).

Wow this is exactly how I feel, if only you had not already graduated

hey , dont feel that way, trust me I felt that way to in college. I moved to an amazing city away from friends and would only see them on weekends..you have to try to find atleast one person in each class to socialize with .. if you can :) I still live in the same city now i am attending grad school and I have to force myself sometimes to do that.. also try meetup or online dating, trust me youll meet people !!! I am a little introverted, but sometimes just try to step outside your comfort zone :)

I am a freshman in college. I only have a few friends, people I knew from high school (I go to college in the same city I went to high school in). I see very little of them. I spend virtually all my school time alone. I sit by myself, and the act of talking aloud is met with a rustyness to my voice. I can offer no advice, all I can say is that I've worked myself into a comfortable state of loneliness, which I do nothing but listen to music, read, watch TV, and daydream. Maybe some people are just broken.

You are not alone this is currently my life just turned 20. A PROUD NERD, that's all I live for (sad I Know) don't party and yeah lonely. I would suggest hobbies it's okay I have accepted that (I) am an outsider since middle school and I attempt to progress on an education that does not guarantee anything. But I love it! School is the only place I feel acknowledged, and show my true potential. You are not the only one, it is fine I realize this was posted a while back and I hope you feel better :) you are responsible with yourself and that's ok. But do something for you, you deserve it.

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hello buddy...
u knw..wts d pblm...its simple ..there is no pblm...u r just preoccupied by ur thoughts...nt only u we all are...we all are trying to fill a space which is already preoccupied.....just think becoz of ur belief...ur nt able to enjy ...go out ...look out...and see hw beAutiful this world is...no doubt..we feel bad when we see others laughng with frnds and we sitting alone missing all adventure ..and we think
...if we had such so calld cool frnds our life wold be more easy..bt the truth is we are missing ourself nthng else..if we can't believe in ourself..if we can't be friendly and accept ourself...hw cold we expct others to believe us..and accpt us...
buddy its nt late ..nw also..we all can make a new start...u knw whnever i strts belivng lonly and can not interact easily with others...i just say to myself..i hv spnd enough time being lonely.and miss all adventures of life...nw its my time to live..its nw or never
and guess wt it wrks...try it...it might wrk for u also...my bst wshes r with. u...

keep smiling ..tc..

sry i forgt to mention try to join any club where u might wrk on ur hobby.it might be difficlt at strtng u wold be planning things..feeling happy...with planning...bt when the actual time come to go there u might be reasoning urself ..nt to go...
bt thts d only thng u hv to overcme ....

at least give it a try...

As you already know from your responses, there are plenty of people out there who feel like you. If you spend your whole year walking to and from class and no place else you won't know anyone tomorrow. So you have to break out of that. Usually if you go to somewhere, where people do things that you enjoy doing, it is easier to meet people. Or you can take up a bobbie that makes use of an object that is easy to talk about. Dogs and cameras are great. If you do something that makes you happy, the people you meet will know you as a happy person. Right now you sound depressed, so go see a good movie, keep yourself well rested and eat smart. People that are depressed, are not going to attract many friends. Really we should be more inclined to help people who might be down, but it doesn't seem to work that way good luck

This is a general comment on this topic. Does anyone else (besides me) think that part of this issue is that so many young people are using social media to interact instead of actually interacting with people- face to face? Spending hours on the computer/game stations/ texting takes away from actually having to interact with people. Maybe less time on those items and trying to get out to be in a social/sport club, do hospital/ museum/ art gallery volunteering, etc.. Just a thought. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this.
The OP is not the only one that feels like this. I wish I had an answer. It is painful to have someone you love going through this. You feel helpless since you want to help but do not know what to do.

i completely understand where your coming from. I want to have people around me so desperately and i want some kind of social connection. Not acquaintances but people that actually like being with me and as u said call me to hang out.

But when i get into social situations i go mute and i never know what to say and i spend so much time thinking of the perfect things to say and constantly filtering myself. Also, im so sensitive that even if i was to say something even a bit weird i would be afraid their reaction and the slightest facial expression makes me loose all hope and self esteem in myself and i just shut down from there

i never used to be like this, i used to have so many friends and i never used to care what people thought of me. But i now realize that its because i had all those friends i felt that i could truly be myself and if others judged then i didn't care cuz i knew...i have people that like me. Now since i have almost no one, im so desperate to have a connection that i loose my personality and i try to be 'perfect' just in hopes of making a friend. its ridiculous and stupid. i should know better cuz i have nothing to loose.

but, its no only that, i ts also judgement, i always feel like in the back of peoples heads they know im a loner and whenever i try talking to someone i always think that they know that i'm desperate for a friend. Again, making me loose self esteem.

so what it really boils down to is lack of confidence and low self esteem.

if i was to one day make a group of friends i would have all the confidence in the world and be able to be myself. But why am i depending on others for my confidence, self esteem and happiness? ...

so to wrap this up, lemme just tell you that you are definitely not the only one in this world going through this.

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I DO understand. I'm in exactly the same spot as you, afraid and extremely antisocial. I have few friends-more like acquaintances- that I hang out with occasionally, but I still try my hardest not to let anyone get close. My loneliness really gets to me sometimes though. I try to make friends, but my low confidence, fear, and awkwardness kill me. It's so contradicting. Part of me likes not having anyone close to protect myself. I feel comfortable. But another part of me longs for human contact and close relationships and good experiences with good friends. It's something I'm working on, but it's taking a long time and A LOT of courage. I'm also in college, but it's community college at nights one class at a time. I've made a few acquaintances, but that's it. I'm struggling to move forward, but I'm trying to make an effort.

Wow. How was this on the FRONT PAGE, and it was posted back in 2009? I guess because someone just replied to it. In any case, your problem is one I DO understand. While I've never been to college (unless you count one, 8-week class simply because I WANTED to) and while I'm pretty good at talking, I do understand the fear of awkward silences, bad conversations and sounding stupid. <br />
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I can also say that if I was your age, I'd probably WANT to talk to you, simply because you're NOT always with a bunch of people and partying. I like chicks who have time to themselves (whether by choice, or not) because I know they won't constantly be too busy to spend time with me, or always asking me to go out. I'm a chill person so bars and **** don't really do it for me.<br />
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In any event, I think I'm going off subject. The point is, I understand. And, as per your desc<x>ription, you're probably not that bad on the eyes either.