“I sit in my room almost every night.”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

I thought university would be fun and exciting and I’d make so many new friends, but apparently I am worse at making new friends than what I thought. No one hear seems to want to talk to me, whenever I talk to someone I talk to them once and then it’s like they forget I exist the next time I see the somewhere. This makes me feel horrible about myself. I sit in my room almost every night, and the two friends that I do have go out on the weekends and I’m always sitting in my room because I’m so upset and just feel alone, even thought I’m not alone. My mom tells me that I’m not alone and that I have the two girls next doors but I hate when she says that because no maybe I am not actually alone, but I FEEL alone. It’s so frustrating and just posting this and getting it off my chest feels a lot better. I suffer with severe depression and being in my room just doesn’t help and I know that, but this is all I want to do! I don’t want to go out of my room and I don’t want to meet new people. But I don’t know what else to do because I know I need to.:(

Answer

Thanks for writing in to usJ. Just to let you know I have edited your username, just in case it contains your real name. Hope you’re ok with that! I am sorry to hear you are feeling so alone. Sounds like your first impressions of university have been somewhat of a let-down. I am really hearing that you are having trouble connecting with others. It can be really difficult to be away from home for the first time and feel like you don’t have anyone. You mentioned that you have tried talking to others (good for youJ), but it seems like nothing really comes of it- that must be so frustrating! But remember, you are only one month into a four year experience. What you are going through is totally normal. Even though it seems like everyone else has a great group of friends right off the bat, the truth is, many new university students feel alone for the first few weeks of school- we know because we hear from a lot of them! Has there even been a time before when you have felt like this? Perhaps a time when you felt alone and wanted to make connections with others. If so, were there any steps you took that were helpful? I really like how you mentioned that it is frustrating when your mom tells you you’re not alone, because it doesn’t matter if people are around; you still feel alone. In fact, you could be in a huge crowd of people and still feel completely alone! You made a really good point there. The first step to breaking this feeling of isolation is to do exactly what you have done- reach out! You mentioned that you suffer with depression, so it sounds like reaching out and connecting with others is a really great first step. The truth is, sometimes you may need to push yourself to get out of your room, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. Could you perhaps plan an outing with the girls next door for an upcoming weekend? I hear you when you say you don’t want to meet new people or leave your room, but you also said that you know this is what you need to do. What other kinds of things might help you to meet new people? Would you be willing to join a club or sports team on campus? You can usually find more information on what your school has to offer on their website. I also wanted to include some resources for you that I hope will be helpful: http://kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/InfoBooth/School/College-Life.aspx#friends http://au.reachout.com/moving-away-from-friends-and-family http://au.reachout.com/How-to-make-friends I am also wondering if you have seen a doctor regarding your depression? It might be helpful to check in with a medical professional to help you manage it. Counselling is another option. Finally, you are always welcome to call us here and connect with a counsellor: 1-800-668-6868. We are free, confidential and anonymous, and are here 24/7. Well, I hope this helps. Remember, things will get better, it just takes some time. Thanks again for reaching out, and take good care.

If you would like to know more about this topic, you can connect with a counsellor by phone or Live Chat.