[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes

So unhappy.

Hey,
I've always had issues making friends, I just didn't know how to socialize when I was young. This played a huge part in my decision to stay at home during university, and to commute to school. I am now in my third year of school, just started, and I am incredibly unhappy. I see the few friends I have having what seems to be the times of their lives living at school, having these incredibly experiences, while I'm doing nothing. I've considered transferring to a school where I'd live on/near campus, though I don't know if that would make sense, as I'd likely lose this semester of school when transferring credits, and I am almost done. I'm also considering doing a semester or year abroad, which also may give me that experience while also giving me the experience of living abroad. For context, I live in Toronto, and go to school in downtown Toronto. There are student residences available near my school, however they are very expensive, and I don't know if I could get the experience I want, in a big city. I was leaning pretty heavily towards transferring, however now I'm realizing that I'd be in 3rd year, and will likely have a very hard time making friends - which I'd need to have those experiences I want - as everyone has already solidified into groups.
I am definitely fixating on this issue, and cannot relax or get it off of my mind, until I feel like it's "resolved". Please help, I'm desperate, and so depressed.
25 replies
Member
Sep 29, 2014
217 posts
183 upvotes
Toronto, ON
CommutingKills wrote: Hey,
I've always had issues making friends, I just didn't know how to socialize when I was young. This played a huge part in my decision to stay at home during university, and to commute to school. I am now in my third year of school, just started, and I am incredibly unhappy. I see the few friends I have having what seems to be the times of their lives living at school, having these incredibly experiences, while I'm doing nothing. I've considered transferring to a school where I'd live on/near campus, though I don't know if that would make sense, as I'd likely lose this semester of school when transferring credits, and I am almost done. I'm also considering doing a semester or year abroad, which also may give me that experience while also giving me the experience of living abroad. For context, I live in Toronto, and go to school in downtown Toronto. There are student residences available near my school, however they are very expensive, and I don't know if I could get the experience I want, in a big city. I was leaning pretty heavily towards transferring, however now I'm realizing that I'd be in 3rd year, and will likely have a very hard time making friends - which I'd need to have those experiences I want - as everyone has already solidified into groups.
I am definitely fixating on this issue, and cannot relax or get it off of my mind, until I feel like it's "resolved". Please help, I'm desperate, and so depressed.
There isn't any point in transferring schools for the same program in our 3rd/4th year of university. I would look into exchange options and complete your education. Have you considered pursuing graduate or professional school after your undergrad? Residence and on-campus life is mainly reserved for first year students. Most upper year students at even the non-commuter schools commute or live in off-campus housing. If you want to live in residence, then you'll primarily be surrounded by first year undergraduate students.

To be honest with you, I have many friends that went to Ryerson and UTSG and had the time of their lives. You're in the downtown Toronto core attending a school of tens of thousands of students. If you can't make the environment work in your favour, then the problem may just lie in your mentality. At this point in time, you can always move out of Toronto for work or graduate/professional school. You can travel as well.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
807 posts
486 upvotes
GTA
I would highly recommend visiting a 'What's Up' clinic. There are two downtown and fairly close to the university: http://www.skylarkyouth.org/what-we-do/ ... n-clinics/ - they serve youth up to the age of 25 and offer an hour long counselling session on a walk-in basis with additional help/services offered as needed. They can help with your depression and may be able to help regarding some of the socializing and fixating issues. Once you deal with those things, you can consider doing an exchange or joining clubs, etc. It's never too late to make friends and friend groups are not as solidified as you might think.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
I have considered an exchange, I'm considering that too. I think it's a pretty good option, cause I don't need to worry about transfer credits or anything. And I'm not looking to live in res, I know that's for first years, I understand that I'd be living off-campus. I've heard a lot of people say that, that if I can't have fun in downtown Toronto then the issue is with me, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried to make friends, tried to do things and have fun, and it's just not working. I feel like I'm wasting this time of my life. and as I'm doing political science (no jobs, I know), I'm planning on going to grad school. And definitely planning on leaving the city for that. I'm very unhappy with my current situation, and just trying to figure out the best way to do that while I still can.
Member
Mar 5, 2012
251 posts
73 upvotes
Midland
CommutingKills wrote: I have considered an exchange, I'm considering that too. I think it's a pretty good option, cause I don't need to worry about transfer credits or anything. And I'm not looking to live in res, I know that's for first years, I understand that I'd be living off-campus. I've heard a lot of people say that, that if I can't have fun in downtown Toronto then the issue is with me, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried to make friends, tried to do things and have fun, and it's just not working. I feel like I'm wasting this time of my life. and as I'm doing political science (no jobs, I know), I'm planning on going to grad school. And definitely planning on leaving the city for that. I'm very unhappy with my current situation, and just trying to figure out the best way to do that while I still can.
Do you have any interests? Hobbies?

Try to join some clubs, maybe some co-ed casual sport. These are great ways to meet people and learn some socializing habits. Keep things simple and don't worry about other people's "incredible experiences."
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
807 posts
486 upvotes
GTA
CommutingKills wrote: I have considered an exchange, I'm considering that too. I think it's a pretty good option, cause I don't need to worry about transfer credits or anything. And I'm not looking to live in res, I know that's for first years, I understand that I'd be living off-campus. I've heard a lot of people say that, that if I can't have fun in downtown Toronto then the issue is with me, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried to make friends, tried to do things and have fun, and it's just not working. I feel like I'm wasting this time of my life. and as I'm doing political science (no jobs, I know), I'm planning on going to grad school. And definitely planning on leaving the city for that. I'm very unhappy with my current situation, and just trying to figure out the best way to do that while I still can.
How do you think an exchange is going to solve the problem without dealing with the underlying issues? Are you looking for a new start? Do you feel like you have the skills/abilities to walk into a new situation and make friends? You mentioned having trouble socializing. That's not suddenly going to resolve itself. I really do think you should seek out some counselling so you can move forward and have more positive experiences. The nice thing about that 'What's Up' clinic that I mentioned is that it's both walk-in and doesn't require an ongoing commitment. You have your one hour counselling session during which you tell them about your issues and they offer you some tools and suggestions for resolving them. Unless part of those tools/suggestions is ongoing counselling or medication (in which case you need to see your own doctor), you don't need to go back or at least not go back for a month or two. I know people who have seen them for depression and for anxiety (separate cases) and for both they were able to make a huge difference.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
I really will look into that, I'm in a pretty low place right now. It's like, I keep looking forward for things to get better, I don't expect life to be perfect right off the bat. I know it takes time. And I've become way better at socializing, but I don't know. I have no friends. Like I don't have one true friend that I know I can rely on, that I know likes me, and wants me around, that I know will look out for me. It's lonely, and difficult. I'm usually fine with it, I'm used to being alone, but sometimes it just gets to me.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3869 posts
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Edmonton
CommutingKills wrote: I really will look into that, I'm in a pretty low place right now. It's like, I keep looking forward for things to get better, I don't expect life to be perfect right off the bat. I know it takes time. And I've become way better at socializing, but I don't know. I have no friends. Like I don't have one true friend that I know I can rely on, that I know likes me, and wants me around, that I know will look out for me. It's lonely, and difficult. I'm usually fine with it, I'm used to being alone, but sometimes it just gets to me.
Time to grab life by the horns. Looking forward for things to get better is the same as you sitting in the back of the bus just letting someone else do all the driving.
Either give up now and forever be alone or do something about it.

You didn't answer the other post. Do you have skills, hobbies??

Maybe university isn't for you? It sure wasn't for me that's for sure.

There's always clubs on campus. You can meet people there, meet people at the gym. Go out there and talk to people.

You sound like you have low self esteem. Hit the weights, do exercise, feel good about yourself.

Also you don't need good friends. As long as you have some acquaintances you can slowly move up. There will be some parties, you will meet.more people and it will grow and grow. It's hard to go to a club or bar all alone, but with 1 more person it changed everything. Also alcohol is liquid courage. Remember that.

I may have people disagree with me here, but friends and the people you meet are more important than the grades you get at school. So rember, C's get degrees, alcohol helps you get friends
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
I definitely do have skills and hobbies, and have joined some groups and clubs on campus that have to do with those things but I still didn't find what I was looking for. I feel as though I really put myself out there and tried to make friends and good experiences, and that didn't happen. I'm insecure in the sense of my social skills, but not really my appearance, I already to hit the gym and stuff. I'm interested in going out and drinking, and I've done that like twice in my whole school career. So I know that alcohol is liquid courage, but I can't find anyone that wants to partake in that stuff with me.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
12931 posts
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Edmonton
No offence, but I think your issues/problems/unhappiness are just going to follow you wherever you go, until you deal with the root causes. Changing geography is rarely a solution.

C
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Nov 4, 2008
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Go try out Toastmasters
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
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Jan 2, 2015
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NOT centre of Univer…
CommutingKills wrote: I definitely do have skills and hobbies, and have joined some groups and clubs on campus that have to do with those things but I still didn't find what I was looking for. I feel as though I really put myself out there and tried to make friends and good experiences, and that didn't happen. I'm insecure in the sense of my social skills, but not really my appearance, I already to hit the gym and stuff. I'm interested in going out and drinking, and I've done that like twice in my whole school career. So I know that alcohol is liquid courage, but I can't find anyone that wants to partake in that stuff with me.
So what is it that you are looking for? When you say that you put yourself out there, can you be more specific with some examples.

Its actually the social skills part that is more important than the physical appearance when making connections and forming friendships. If you are looking for friends and experiences. Alcohol can lessen your guard and loosen you up, but seldomly does it end up in long lasting friendships. It takes time and effort to initially build friendships. Going out once or twice isn't enough, its about finding connections, common interests. It starts with just doing some fun activities.

I don't think moving schools is the answer, most likely joining more activities, meeting new classmates. I found it didn't matter the year I was in (many years ago), I had found new people to do things with every year. In fact, my closest friends where in my final year as the first two years people were dropping out, moving on. Don't despair, but you just need figure what is working or no.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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Mar 21, 2010
6351 posts
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Toronto
I don't think changing schools will help necessarily, but not living at home might. It's one thing to have events in your calendar, but for me at least a lot of the university experience was just being around campus and around people. Living in residence or nearby off campus with other students, just being there when someone asks who wants to grab a drink or go for a drive or go play football outside at 11pm when it's snowing. If you're only there for class and planned events, and your default is to "go home" once it's over, you do miss out on the spontaneity. In my opinion that's when you get to know people, not at official networking sessions.

It really depends on the person, but I'm naturally introverted and I know if I'd had the option of living with my parents during university, the temptation for me would be to just go home and stay at home once my last class was over. Simple things like just running errands, using the shared laundry facilities in the building made me feel like part of the student community, doing things that everyone else was doing rather than just letting my parents take care of things like I was still in high school (which is probably what would have happened if I didn't "move away" for university).
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
Manatus wrote: I don't think changing schools will help necessarily, but not living at home might. It's one thing to have events in your calendar, but for me at least a lot of the university experience was just being around campus and around people. Living in residence or nearby off campus with other students, just being there when someone asks who wants to grab a drink or go for a drive or go play football outside at 11pm when it's snowing. If you're only there for class and planned events, and your default is to "go home" once it's over, you do miss out on the spontaneity. In my opinion that's when you get to know people, not at official networking sessions.

It really depends on the person, but I'm naturally introverted and I know if I'd had the option of living with my parents during university, the temptation for me would be to just go home and stay at home once my last class was over. Simple things like just running errands, using the shared laundry facilities in the building made me feel like part of the student community, doing things that everyone else was doing rather than just letting my parents take care of things like I was still in high school (which is probably what would have happened if I didn't "move away" for university).
I go to school in Toronto, so even the "student" housing around campus is crazy expensive. Moving school would mean that I could afford to live around campus, with other students, I can't really do that in the city. I want that experience, I'm just worried that if I transfer now I won't make friends because everyone has already made their friends, and I'm just gonna be alone somewhere else.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
Macx2mommy wrote: So what is it that you are looking for? When you say that you put yourself out there, can you be more specific with some examples.

Its actually the social skills part that is more important than the physical appearance when making connections and forming friendships. If you are looking for friends and experiences. Alcohol can lessen your guard and loosen you up, but seldomly does it end up in long lasting friendships. It takes time and effort to initially build friendships. Going out once or twice isn't enough, its about finding connections, common interests. It starts with just doing some fun activities.

I don't think moving schools is the answer, most likely joining more activities, meeting new classmates. I found it didn't matter the year I was in (many years ago), I had found new people to do things with every year. In fact, my closest friends where in my final year as the first two years people were dropping out, moving on. Don't despair, but you just need figure what is working or no.
I've joined clubs that I'm interested in, and have some friends on campus, and I've gone out with them a couple of times, a lot during frosh in first year. I know that the issue is with me, and not "the world", that other people commute to school and have super awesome experiences, but I'm trying to acknowledge that I'm not the type of person that can have a super great social life while not being immersed in the environment, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to remedy that. Either an exchange abroad for a semester next year, or completely switching schools for my last 2 years. I don't want to let my sadness get me down, I really just want to find a way to make it better. I know that going out once or twice isn't enough, I'm saying that that's all that I've been able to manage, in my 2 years at school. Something's gotta give, I just don't know what.
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Dec 27, 2007
3869 posts
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Maybe you would have a better time in a different environment?? I didn't have that good of a time at school. I bonded way better with people when I went into the trades.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
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Mar 21, 2010
6351 posts
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CommutingKills wrote: I go to school in Toronto, so even the "student" housing around campus is crazy expensive. Moving school would mean that I could afford to live around campus, with other students, I can't really do that in the city. I want that experience, I'm just worried that if I transfer now I won't make friends because everyone has already made their friends, and I'm just gonna be alone somewhere else.
I don't think that's necessarily true, at least it wasn't for me. Depending on your program, you're not always in the same classes with the same people. At least for me, I met new people all the time, worked in groups with different people, and so on. It definitely wasn't just the people I met during first year orientation who were among my friends when I graduated. One of the people I remember most was an exchange student who came from Germany in 3rd year, so don't think it's too late. From one perspective you could say the opportunities are better in the later years as people start to take things more seriously and it becomes less like high school.

And I'm not pretending to know your situation, but for me at least, even the times I was alone as an adult were much better than the times I was alone and living at home. I could define my relationship with the world - if I chose to stay at home and study or do my own stuff or just sleep in, it wasn't because I had to hurry to the TTC because it takes an hour to get home and mom's cooking dinner. I feel like I couldn't really take ownership of my life, and make good decisions and bad ones, until I moved out. It would have been more difficult to relate to my peers and share common experiences without that.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
Manatus wrote: I don't think that's necessarily true, at least it wasn't for me. Depending on your program, you're not always in the same classes with the same people. At least for me, I met new people all the time, worked in groups with different people, and so on. It definitely wasn't just the people I met during first year orientation who were among my friends when I graduated. One of the people I remember most was an exchange student who came from Germany in 3rd year, so don't think it's too late. From one perspective you could say the opportunities are better in the later years as people start to take things more seriously and it becomes less like high school.

And I'm not pretending to know your situation, but for me at least, even the times I was alone as an adult were much better than the times I was alone and living at home. I could define my relationship with the world - if I chose to stay at home and study or do my own stuff or just sleep in, it wasn't because I had to hurry to the TTC because it takes an hour to get home and mom's cooking dinner. I feel like I couldn't really take ownership of my life, and make good decisions and bad ones, until I moved out. It would have been more difficult to relate to my peers and share common experiences without that.
You mean like living alone, but not living at home, while being out of school? Yeah, that makes sense. And that makes me feel a lot better, I just don't want to feel like I did all the work of transferring just to be unhappy somewhere else. But I also realize that is kind of irrational, because I can clearly see how I could make friends, or join a group, you just have to click with people, I don't think it matters when. And yeah, I'm turning 20 in a little less than a month, and I'm just feeling so done with living at home. Me and my parents don't have an especially bad relationship, but I just feel like I'm outgrowing having someone looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do.
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Mar 21, 2010
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Toronto
CommutingKills wrote: You mean like living alone, but not living at home, while being out of school? Yeah, that makes sense. And that makes me feel a lot better, I just don't want to feel like I did all the work of transferring just to be unhappy somewhere else. But I also realize that is kind of irrational, because I can clearly see how I could make friends, or join a group, you just have to click with people, I don't think it matters when. And yeah, I'm turning 20 in a little less than a month, and I'm just feeling so done with living at home. Me and my parents don't have an especially bad relationship, but I just feel like I'm outgrowing having someone looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do.
I felt the same way. And to counterbalance the point of 'what if it ends up being a waste of time to transfer' - is that really worse than getting your piece of paper in 2 years but not really feeling like you went to university at all, or that you might as well have just got an online degree?

I'm not saying you should abandon your place in a good program just to go to a party school and spend more money doing so. But there is sense to what you're saying in that leaving 'home' makes you a different person, and if it's not financially possible to leave home in Toronto, well, it's worth thinking about your options. Another option would be to finish it, and either study or work somewhere else afterwards. 20 is nothing, you won't stop making friends with each new job you do, each new town you live in, as long as you're open to it. I know university gets hyped up as this mega-important thing that will determine your future, but unless you're a real superstar, if you're just one of us average joes, it's really just the beginning.

I've worked in 3 different countries since I graduated, each time moving there knowing no one. Each time having the opportunity to start over, to be a different person, to do things differently if I wanted to. Many people do similar things, and as the world moves in that direction, many more will. It's great if you make friends during university and keep them for a lifetime, but even if you don't, you'll have countless opportunities to do so later. So play it safe, finish your degree at home, save your money and spend it wisely later. Or take a chance and experience something different. Neither one is a mistake, honestly. Unless you're set on becoming an astronaut or something, you're not doing anything now that can't be changed later.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
10 posts
4 upvotes
Manatus wrote: I felt the same way. And to counterbalance the point of 'what if it ends up being a waste of time to transfer' - is that really worse than getting your piece of paper in 2 years but not really feeling like you went to university at all, or that you might as well have just got an online degree?

I'm not saying you should abandon your place in a good program just to go to a party school and spend more money doing so. But there is sense to what you're saying in that leaving 'home' makes you a different person, and if it's not financially possible to leave home in Toronto, well, it's worth thinking about your options. Another option would be to finish it, and either study or work somewhere else afterwards. 20 is nothing, you won't stop making friends with each new job you do, each new town you live in, as long as you're open to it. I know university gets hyped up as this mega-important thing that will determine your future, but unless you're a real superstar, if you're just one of us average joes, it's really just the beginning.

I've worked in 3 different countries since I graduated, each time moving there knowing no one. Each time having the opportunity to start over, to be a different person, to do things differently if I wanted to. Many people do similar things, and as the world moves in that direction, many more will. It's great if you make friends during university and keep them for a lifetime, but even if you don't, you'll have countless opportunities to do so later. So play it safe, finish your degree at home, save your money and spend it wisely later. Or take a chance and experience something different. Neither one is a mistake, honestly. Unless you're set on becoming an astronaut or something, you're not doing anything now that can't be changed later.
Thank you a lot, your perspective has really helped. I think I'm going to apply to transfer, and just see where that goes, I don't have to make the decision right now, and I may not even get in. And my program isn't that "good", I don't really feel like I'm leaving a bunch of opportunity at the school I'm in. I actually feel like any other school I go to would be an upgrade from the one I'm at right now. Transferring will give me the opportunity to have that option, but I'll also have at least this semester to really think about what I want to do. You've really helped a lot, thank you so much.

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