College is literally the place where a lot of people open up and find their true identities but as an introvert with depression and anxiety I have found that this is not the case with me. I have become an even bigger introvert in some ways and in others I have opened up too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love college. It definitely has a lot of awesome things and amazing people but for me it’s really causing a lot of stress and anxiety.
I want to say that it’s the most amazing time of my life, and I can but It’s also the loneliest. I have one friend at Louisville with me and trying to make friends is not my strong suit. Everytime I leave to go somewhere where I could possibly make friends, I end up having a lot of anxiety and just not going or showing up and leaving two minutes later. This is not a good strategy if you actually want to make friends.
I do have people that I talk to while I’m here. My calc classmates are really chill and the people from my Hon 101 class were literally the most awesome people I’ve met. I just wouldn’t call any of them my friends. Now while I’ve been here, the one friend that I do have on campus, Jonathan, has quickly become my saving grace. He’s always there for me if I need him and he REALLY pushes me out of my comfort zone. I tend to lean on him and my friends back home a lot right now.
Making friends shouldn’t be that hard. Jonathan literally messaged people from our Hon 101 class and was like “you wanna hang?” and apparently that’s all it takes. I on the other hand have no clue how that worked because I would get so anxious messaging someone I don’t know. I can never continue a conversation through texts with people I don’t know if they don’t give me something to build off of. I can’t even really start a conversation through texts which is a bad thing if you don’t have friends in real life…
The shocking thing out of all of this though is I have found a way to have a social life without being able to do normal human things. I participate in the model UN and i applied for an SOSer position and I still hang our with Jonathan every chance I get. It’s just the normal college things that I feel like I’m missing out on. Like I don’t go to parties because I have no one to go with or I don’t go to events put on by the university because I don’t know anyone going and being alone frightens me.
I miss out on a lot and I’m trying to fix that. I’m really putting in the effort to be more outgoing even though it’s my chemical makeup that’s holding me back. I HAVE signed up for more leadership positions, I HAVE started getting involved with things that make me excited, and I HAVE been leaving my dorm more often. I just want to work towards a day where I don’t leave something that I think would be fun just because I have no friends there. I want to work towards a day where I’m a name and a face that people know in a good way. I want to work towards a day where I can message people and say “you wanna hang?” without having a mini panic attack and then just not sending it. I want to work and I am working towards a day where I just live my life without fear and I hope that you reading this already is capable of that and if not, you’re working towards that day too.
I’m wokring on myself, one day at a time. ~Nicole W.