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Please share with us your secrets. I'm gonna start my third year in a few weeks. I'm still trying to figure this college thing out. I have few real friends and am struggling in classes.

What did you do make sure you succeeded(academically and/or socially)? How were you able to do well and be happy throughout college? I know this topic is kind of vague. But any advice at all would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I can do well academically because I have nothing to do socially, not that it is good or anything, but it works. Some people say that if you block out life and just focus on work you will drive yourself to failure, but since I am a pretty boring person that doesn't really apply so it works out for me. The right personality(boring,secluded,loner) combined with nothing else to look forward to helps academics alot.

But I am not finished yet so I don't know if I am qualified to answer.
 

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lol... sorry i can't agree...focusing on strictly school ...will drive me nuts especially when there is no social life or happiness to look forward to... i am trying to build one but good friends are hard to find.. ;/ i dont' want to socialize with just anyone...
 

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I think it's all about compartmentalizing - separating classes, work, studying and free time.

If you know you have to study, then prioritize and put that first. Or if you have an early day, don't go to bed past midnight. But, if you have free time that day, then elect to sign up for a rec center activity or go to a student organization meeting. They don't usually care if you haven't come to the first few meetings.

Focusing strictly on school can work for a while, but then you burn out. I've done this, and by the time the second semester comes around, I become apathetic and discouraged. Finding balance is good.
 

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Socially....don't ask.

Academically...it helps if you're studying something you actually like. Then it becomes easy to devote the necessary time to it. My advice would be to find something you enjoy (this is often very difficult). Don't skip class. Before midterms/exams read through all your stuff twice. If possible, try to tutor someone else in it. The best way to know if you've mastered something is to teach it to someone else.
 

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Academically:
I think the most important thing is to know early on where you want to end up, and plan your academic logistics long in advance. Some people might disagree and say that college is a time to explore and find yourself, but I've known too many people who spent their college years "finding themselves" and it never ended pretty.

I agree that you should find a subject that gets you excited, something you crave to learn about. For me that was biochemistry : )

SA or no SA, you must get over your fear and go talk to professors about material. And if you plan on going to graduate or professional school after college, this is absolutely critical. Try to get one-on-one meetings if you must.

Socially:
I think this is a given, but stay away from frats or sororities - that is extrovert territory. Living in dorms can go either way... you might click well with the people and it may help you to open up, or you might end up hiding in your room all day and only going out when it's quiet in the hallway. I was lucky - I landed in the nerd/geek dorm and all went pretty well.

I avoided parties and large gatherings of people in college, and it didn't kill me. But it really, really helps to have one or two close friends that you can fall back on. This is easier said than done, but try to find someone who you can spend time with comfortably. In general, you probably will feel left out when you hear about get-togethers happening without you. If you can say to yourself "it's alright, I'll just go play some chess and have a beer with my best friend," it's not so bad. But if you have nobody in college, you will be absolutely miserable.
 

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Yes, I agree with aforementioned the "having one or two good friends" thing. Time spent alone will make you feel SOO bad about yourself in the long run. However, if you're with a friend, it shouldn't bother you that everyone else is out getting drunk and laid. To each their own.

I would use college time to better yourself as an individual. Get a planner or a checklist of what you have to do each day. E.g. "math homework for tomorrow", "run a 5K on the track", "practice guitar for 1 hour". Having goals listed out like that makes it easier to organize your life and prioritize. If you are doing something productive and bettering yourself you will not be so miserable.
 

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lol... sorry i can't agree...focusing on strictly school ...will drive me nuts especially when there is no social life or happiness to look forward to... i am trying to build one but good friends are hard to find.. ;/ i dont' want to socialize with just anyone...
Well, perhaps it drives you nuts because you haven't found something you seriously love to study. For this reason, perhaps you view school as work, which does not make you happy.

But for some of us, believe it or not, school can actually be relaxing, and hard work can become a form of happiness. Personally, I shine in academics, and feel very comfortable in it. It may be a bias of mine since I have SA, but I value good academics much more than any social life. And yes, although both are important, in the end an education will benefit an individual in just about every aspect of life, including the social one.

So long as you are in school and love what you do, I believe there is nothing wrong with focusing strictly on school.
 
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