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Scared (social anxiety)

AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
I have to go to these taster things at universities, and I just feel like it’s way too much for me. I couldn’t even cope with school!! Now I have to go to unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people, and do things in front of them. It’s gonna be so hard because I’m going with my dad, who likes to tell me whenever I look anxious, and that makes me feel even worse. Even though these things aren’t compulsory or anything, it feels like such a big deal. If I lose control then I won’t be able to go to the uni lol, plus my dad will report it back to my mum and I might be in trouble. I’m just really scared. I know other people might be anxious about it too, but probably not to the point that their brains can’t do anything other than panic. You know when you can’t think properly or pay attention to anything because you’re panicking so much? It’s so hard to hide that.

I wish it was just a casual thing with no expectations on us, but we have to go to talks and try things out, and EAT with the staff. 😭

Plus the first one starts really early, and because of travelling times I’ll have to wake up at like 6 to go to it. And I currently go to bed at like 3. And it’s really soon!! I know that’s all my own fault but now I’m panicking too much to do anything about it. I don’t feel at all prepared to go, like do I need to recap my A levels so I can actually remember stuff? But there’s not even time!! And what am I gonna wear or anything?! I’m trying to keep it together but I’m really scared, and while I’m there I’ll just have to do my best to hide it. I wish it actually worked. Why do people have to see the anxiety in our eyes? 😭

Sorry for going on about what’s essentially nothing. I’m terrified lol.

Comments

  • nat_nat_ Moderator Posts: 53 Boards Initiate
    @AnonymousToe its so understandable to be anxious <3 to many people, it can feel very overwhelming to be around so many people and around somewhere unknown to you. Is there any techniques you know that help with your anxiety? i hope it all goes okay, please let us know <3
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    @nat_ i suppose there’s the 5 senses thing but that doesn’t work very well, nothing really does lol
  • lunarcat522lunarcat522 Posts: 397 Listening Ear
    That sounds really difficult @AnonymousToe do you have an idea of what university you might want to go to? There's often quite a lot of useful information on the university website and there's usually contact details so you could ask any questions and then get a written response so you could look back on it to hopefully counter the fear of forgetting from stress of what people have said?

    I'm in a similar position to you, so you're not alone <3

    I'm lucky in the sense that I know where I'm going and my college are helping me get a longer-term/extended transition in place so it's less of a drastic change

    I'm happy to try and answer questions as best as I can if you have any :)

    I find that knowing as much information as possible helps me feel less anxious as I feel more prepared so I'm trying to collate as much information as possible to put in a notebook, even simple things like places to eat on campus, library opening and closing times, contacts for the school I've applied for/student support etc

    Is there anything you're looking forward to? I'm quite excited at the amount of societies there is to join!
  • MaisyMaisy Moderator Posts: 627 Incredible Poster
    Hey there,

    I never went to university taster days so am not sure how helpful my response is going to be but I just wanted to say that it's okay to be nervous, even if you feel really nervous. Sometimes I think we beat ourselves up when we feel certain emotions, such as anxiety, that we end up thinking we shouldn't feel this way. But there isn't a right or wrong way to feel. This is all new to you so naturally you are going to feel anxious.

    I'm wondering what makes you think that if you lose control you won't be able to go to the uni? Lecturers see hundreds of students every day, and some of the people you join you on the taste day might not end up at that particularly university anyway. Even if, worst case scenario, you lose control, it's unlikely that anyone is going to remember that later on if you do end up going to that university.

    As for your mum and dad, it sounds like they might not understand anxiety much. It's understandable that if your dad points out when you look anxious, that this makes you feel more self-conscious and anxious. Is there any chance of being able to talk to him before you go and let him know that you feel anxious but don't want to be told when you look it? Try not to worry about your mum and dad's reactions to you being anxious. I know that's hard but try not to take it personally if your parents don't understand anxiety much.

    When I get anxious, especially before events, I try to mentally walk myself through the day and figure out exactly what is making me anxious. Often I realise I'm anxious because I don't know what to expect. So I then try to think or research more about what might happen on the day so I can feel a bit more prepared and hopefully less anxious. Is there anyway you can find out more about the taste day such as what practical things you might have to do?

    University taster days are normally casual (I imagine). They are a chance to see more about the university, the course, the staff etc., and see if it's a good fit for you. It's more about you getting to know a bit more about what you might learn and how you might experience university, rather than the university seeing if you have what it takes (they will already know that after reviewing your application and when you get your results).

    The talks, I imagine, are more like lectures, where a group of students will sit and listen to the lecturer talk about a particular topic. You might have Q&A sessions, but I imagine that you won't necessarily have to ask questions if you don't want to (or can't think of anything to ask). You probably won't need to recap your a-level stuff...if they give talks and offer a practical, it may or may not be on something you've done in school. It might be something you haven't covered in school just to give you a taster of what you can learn in university.

    Seeing as you'll have to get up early, is there any chance you can slowly move your bedtime backwards? For example, if you go to bed at 3am, start going to bed at 2am for a few nights, then move it back again to 1am etc. so that you'll be able to get a good night's sleep before you go? As for what to wear, that's entirely up to you. There are no dress codes at university and seeing as you (and other students I imagine) may spend a lot of the day travelling, I imagine it's okay to wear something casual/comfy. If it's a taster day, then I imagine it's not like an interview where you have to wear something more smart. You could always ask for further details regarding dress code etc.,

    Anything that makes you anxious is not 'nothing'. It's good to talk about these things <3
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  • jess63jess63 Posts: 287 The Mix Regular
    Hi @AnonymousToe

    That sounds really difficult. Going to new places and experiencing new things can be really difficult. If it helps at all I felt exactly the same way before I went to uni taster days, after doing them I do feel they are a lot more casual than they make them sound. I know it may be different from uni to uni but when I did mine at Lincoln uni, we went for a quick talk, then we went for a little taster session. Which the thought of was awful, but everyone was in the same situation and no one knew anyone else so it actually wasn’t too bad. And then the eating with staff at mine at least was just some refreshments and you could go up to staff if you wanted.

    Obviously it might be different for different unis but just wanted to share my experience with it to hopefully show you that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Keep us updated with how you’re feeling about it and how they go 😊
    The steps you take don't have to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    Hi @lunarcat522 thank you <3
    There's often quite a lot of useful information on the university website and there's usually contact details so you could ask any questions and then get a written response so you could look back on it to hopefully counter the fear of forgetting from stress of what people have said?
    This is a good idea actually, I’ll definitely think about that if this first session doesn’t go very well. There’s not enough time now to do it beforehand.
    I'm lucky in the sense that I know where I'm going and my college are helping me get a longer-term/extended transition in place so it's less of a drastic change
    I’m glad they’re doing that for you! I haven’t completely decided on where I’m going yet, but I did make my choices based partly on the support available. I know at least one of the unis I applied to has an extra transition thing I’ll probably be able to access in advance of actually starting there.
    I find that knowing as much information as possible helps me feel less anxious as I feel more prepared so I'm trying to collate as much information as possible to put in a notebook, even simple things like places to eat on campus, library opening and closing times, contacts for the school I've applied for/student support
    You sound so organised 😂 I worry a lot about not knowing what to expect, but I rarely bother to find all the information myself lol. I’ve got like programmes for the day’s events so that will help, and I’ll definitely look into things in more detail when I’m preparing to actually go to uni.

    Thank you for replying, and I hope everything goes well for you starting at university <3
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Community Champion Posts: 5,146 Part of The Furniture
    Hey :)

    I would definitely reach out to the university, often they have taster days to get used to general university life separate for those who have got any sort of additional need - I’ve both added as a prospective and then as a current student to help answer any questions. Often they can help settle any additional nerves ❤️
    Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you , for you to begin to believe in yourself.
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    Thanks for your response @Maisy <3
    Maisy wrote: »
    I'm wondering what makes you think that if you lose control you won't be able to go to the uni?
    I suppose I’m just worried that’s how everyone will see me, you know? If it’s the only thing they’ll know about me lol. But I guess you’re right that those people won’t definitely be going to the uni anyway.
    Maisy wrote: »
    As for your mum and dad, it sounds like they might not understand anxiety much. It's understandable that if your dad points out when you look anxious, that this makes you feel more self-conscious and anxious. Is there any chance of being able to talk to him before you go and let him know that you feel anxious but don't want to be told when you look it? Try not to worry about your mum and dad's reactions to you being anxious. I know that's hard but try not to take it personally if your parents don't understand anxiety much.
    The thing is, talking about my anxiety makes it so much worse so I’ll probably feel better not talking to my dad about it. Both my parents have anxiety too so I don’t get why they don’t understand.
    Maisy wrote: »
    The talks, I imagine, are more like lectures, where a group of students will sit and listen to the lecturer talk about a particular topic. You might have Q&A sessions, but I imagine that you won't necessarily have to ask questions if you don't want to (or can't think of anything to ask). You probably won't need to recap your a-level stuff...if they give talks and offer a practical, it may or may not be on something you've done in school. It might be something you haven't covered in school just to give you a taster of what you can learn in
    Those are some good points, thank you <3
    Maisy wrote: »
    Seeing as you'll have to get up early, is there any chance you can slowly move your bedtime backwards? For example, if you go to bed at 3am, start going to bed at 2am for a few nights, then move it back again to 1am etc. so that you'll be able to get a good night's sleep before you go?
    Nope, there’s not time for that. I’ve been trying to sort my sleeping out but the first of these sessions is this weekend 😰
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    Hi @jess63 thank you for replying and sharing your experiences. <3
    It really does help to know I’m probably just worrying about nothing lol. Thank you!
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    Thanks @Millie2787
    Yeah once it gets closer to the time and I’ve chosen a university, I’ll definitely be looking at any additional taster sessions and transition support available.
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    I dont know if I’ll get to sleep tonight. I’m trying not to panic but it keeps taking over
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    Sad now, and anxiety is always worse when I feel like crap. 😭
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    I’ve ruined it already, it’s so late
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    I’m scared because I’m not in the same position as everyone else. Most people will be year 13
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 975 You're a wizard, Harry
    I slept for 4 hours last night, and it’ll be a max of 6 hours tonight. 10 hours sleep over 2 nights sounds slightly horrific when I often sleep longer than that in one go lol.
  • ebyrne556ebyrne556 Moderator Posts: 797 Part of The Mix Family
    Hi @AnonymousToe
    How are you doing today? It’s always so hard when we dont get enough sleep especially to help us keep motivated during the day. Really random but ive found meditations and audiobooks help me before sleep just to completely unwind but i know sometimes people dont like the background noise and find it off putting.Also writing down anything that’s overwhelming eg uni or even the anxiety before u go to sleep can be a good way to let everything out without having it come up during the night Have you ever tried something like that? Thinking of you Sending hugs <3
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  • jess63jess63 Posts: 287 The Mix Regular
    Well done @AnonymousToe thats such great news. I’m so proud of you!
    The steps you take don't have to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.
  • Amy22Amy22 Posts: 3,950 Community Veteran
    Also congrats @AnonymousToe for doing it too. Super proud of you x. Sometimes our brains tend to trick us into thinking certain things will be worse than they are which can trigger our flight or fight response <3. Hope your doing well after it though.
    Just a person who likes pop culture and films
  • MaisyMaisy Moderator Posts: 627 Incredible Poster
    Glad to hear it went well (even if it was a bit overwhelming for you)! Proud of you :)
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