Two things that help smash through social anxiety at uni

Friday 16 August 2019, First year

by Campus Society

Two things that help smash through social anxiety at uni

Campus Society
Not everyone is born confident. Moving away from home is a part of life that most people will encounter. Some university students may find the move an exciting and fresh start, whereasothers may see the experience as a terrifying proposition. If you find yourself in the latter camp, I'm here to tell you that this overwhelming feeling is perfectly normal.

It's difficult moving to a new environment, with new faces and a new daily routine, especially if you’re the only one out of your friends attending the university. I'm currently in this situation, and it does not help knowing I will have to adjust myself to whatever situation I will find myself in when I move to Lincoln.

Living with social anxiety can exacerbate the nerves already surrounding starting uni. In my case, I find it difficult being left in a shopping aisle alone when my mother ‘ditches’ me to get some veg from an aisle on the other side of the store. Other days, I find it difficult to make phone calls to people I am unfamiliar with, or to answer the door to receive a parcel from the postman.

Slowly, however, I've been teaching myself to take control of my anxiety in everyday situations by introducing two techniques that have helped massively with my social anxiety.

My fellow social anxiety sufferers, music is a powerful gift to all of us. Especially if you are able to find an artist who is able to relate to how you are feeling.

I have found that even going shopping alone or with someone who decides to leave you, putting your headphones on diverts the attention to the lyrics of the song. It's a simple technique, but in many cases very effective.

It doesn't have to be running. Going to the gym or working out with friends can help you get outside your comfort zone too. Balancing the body will help to balance the mind. The more you place yourself in these situations, the more you will begin to get used to social situations.

I personally do not go to the gym. Instead, I go running around my block, or in the park. This helps me get confident in the environment I live in, as well as pushing myself to go past people, instead of avoiding them. Working out with music can help increase the confidence you have in yourself, as well as contributing to not thinking twice about approaching people in your classes.

I can't say these techniques will work for every social anxiety sufferer, but it has been said that music and fitness help to increase one’s mood and confidence. I, for one, can support this notion, as it has made me feel more in control in situations that involve other people.

University is a whole new chapter that should be seen with bright eyes. You can't think negatively about the what ifs. This is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and start afresh. You are who you want to be. Our social anxieties will always be in the back of our minds, but remember that you are in control of your body and mind. Make that a motto and accomplish what you set out to do!

For more advice from students, join the student community at Campus Society.