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Got dropped off to college today. Can't stop crying.

  • 05-09-2021 7:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8

    I feel like a big baby.

    I just turned 22 and you'd swear I was 16 or something. I'm heading into my fourth and final year of college. I've been living at home for the last year and a half. I did my 3rd year online so naturally I stayed home. I hated it but I guess I got used to being home again? Even though I loved college and was initally gutted?

    Anyone I was friendly with in first/second year (when I was on campus) has since finished as they were doing 3 year courses. Mine is a 4 year one. The accommodation I ended up in is with two foreign students with little English doing their masters. They seem lovely but I doubt we can have much craic.They are much more serious and late 20s. I'd only be annoying them if I tried to go for a drink or something. The kettle isn't working and I can't work out how to get the shower to work. I keep crying.

    To make matters worse, everything here reminds me of my ex. We met a few weeks into our first year in 2018/2019. I had totally gotten over it and barely thought of him. We split back in spring. He was a horrible fella (the definition of a wolf in sheep's clothing) and I'm delighted we split. But God, everything here reminds me of him. It's been 6 months since but it's like reopening the wound seeing where he used to live, where we had a first date, where we first kissed, where we'd go for coffee etc. I haven't been back here since the split. It's a cruel reminder of how happy I used to be here.

    I'm so terrified I will spend the next year studying and nothing else. I just want to stop crying. I just feel so lonely and homesick already. I'd give my left arm to see someone, just a drink or a coffee. I'm so desperate, I'm tempted to text some lads I barely talk to anymore just cuz they are in this estate and I'm desperate. I'm too late in the game to make friends in final year. People with their crap together do that in first/second. I don't want to be here.

    Post edited by butter_up on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,280 ✭✭✭celt262

    Keep the head up it will be worth it in the end and make sure to keep regular contact with people at home especially when you are feeling down.

    I'm sure you will make new friends before long !

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    I'm glad to see you're not so upset today. In some ways, what you wrote in your original post is exactly how I felt when I was dropped off at my college accommodation by my parents. I went to college in the 1990s (I'm old 😂) but quite a lot of that day and how I felt are still seared into my brain. In some ways, you've reset yourself back to first year again but with the added knowledge that people can get a bit cliquish after 1st year. I'd say you won't be the only non-Fresher who's going to feel down about leaving home again. Still, if you put in the effort to get to know more people in your year and in the college in general, you will be pleasantly surprised. When I was your age, I had the silly mindset that anybody more than a couple of years older than me wasn't worth getting to know because I'd have nothing in common with them. They might as well have been from the moon as far as I was concerned. Then I started working with people of all ages and realised how foolish I had been. People switch colleges and courses all the time and make friends. Also, do any of your old friends still live locally? Just because they're now working doesn't mean you can't hang out with them. I'd also advise against you throwing yourself too heavily into your work. Even though there will be quite a workload, you owe it to yourself to have some down-time and different outlets. What I didn't realise when I was at college was just how many opportunities there were out there to try different things. Unless things have changed, there are clubs and societies for just about everything under the sun. I'm a little sorry I didn't participate more in them because I might've learned a new hobby or two and maybe met more people through those.

    Post edited by Tork on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I remember feeling really down when I came back to college after mid term break one time - homesick and teary, similar to how I had felt when I started two months beforehand. But each time it passed super quickly. Be nice to yourself. I remember getting a fine big takeaway and having a relaxing bath. The fact it's getting dark earlier now and the sense of summer ending doesn't help. Although it's still warm, and there's sun forecast too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 butter_up

    There's a girl I lived with 2 years ago who has since finished but is coming back next week for work. She said she was up for meeting for lunch so fingers crossed.

    I'll be honest, I'm scared of coming off too keen and repelling people. I want to be friendly but I'm scared people will sense how desperate I am in my eyes or something. And I can't just outright say to my former housemate/ guys I knew from school "hey, so I don't really have any friends here at the minute with the whole breakup and my friends finishing college last year, mind if we go for a pint?".

    At the same time though, I've always lacked initiative. I always wait to be asked for coffee/ a night out or what have you. Like I was a total loner in school and had awful social anxiety. Got lucky in college as I met 2 very confident girls who were also desperate for mates. And then I met my ex soon after, so I litreally ALWAYS had someone. I got along really well his friends too and would've considered them friends, but obviously can't hang with them anymore. Ironically I had no social life at home when I started college but now I actually do have one at home as I got along so well with my coworkers at a job I started last year. I litreally broke into that clique within like a month of working there.

    Sorry I'm rambling. I keep flip flopping from "yeah I'm gonna be super friendly and start asking for coffee/ a pint after 2/3 weeks. Of course you can make friends and you won't look desperate ".

    Or "what's the point, you're 22 and it's pathetic you have no mates here anymore and why did you rely so much on that friend group and your ex. Just give up. Accept that you screwed up and that the next 8 months will suck".

    I feel teary again. But I'm gonna grab myself some chips and call a friend from home. I need to pull it together.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,489 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how

    Go easy on yourself, no need to try to understand and solve all issues in the first week. Sometimes we never truly get to a place of complete comfort in how we engage with people or them with us. Try to identify the positives and don't go looking for negatives. Even the simple act of saying 'So and so might meet next week, I can call that mate from home for a chat, I'm going home in a couple of days' should give you a little positive bump.

    Be confident in your own worth and ability and trust that things will be fine. Even saying something like, 'It'll be grand' can help us view things more optimistically.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 11,805 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    You are panicking but you are only there one day. 1! You are putting too much pressure on yourself to have it all worked out. Message or call those former housemates/guys you hung around with and just say something like "hey I'm back and haven't seen you guys in ages, fancy meeting up for a pint/coffee/lunch?"

    Be nice to yourself for the next few days, having chips and calling a good friend sounds like a good start 😊

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    When do your classes start? You're going to drive yourself demented if you continue to live in your head, whirling all these negative thoughts around in your head. You can't see it now but you are living through a time of your life when making friends is at its easiest. Believe me, when you get older and start working you'll find it harder to make new friends. You're currently attending a college which has loads of young people your age milling around. They're not settled down with partners and kids or sitting in on a Friday night. And despite your insistance that at 22 years of age you've blown it, you haven't. Far from it. Nobody in your year gives a toss who you were hanging around with last year or the year before. So you really need to knock the self-pity on the head and make an effort to get out there and start talking to people.

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭SunnySundays

    Op, have you ever hear the expression "Get out of your own way". Someone said it to me when I was going thru something similar when I relocated.

    I didn't know many people and the assumptions I was making about others, I.e. they probably have their own lives, plans, friends, wouldn't have time/interest, would consider me odd etc., prevented me from suggesting met ups.

    There's zero harm in asking housemates if they would like to do something whether it is going for a drink, a game of football etc. If they are new to the area, they might appreciate someone showing them around.

    The people you knew previously might be glad of a catch up, their circumstances may have changed too.

    Covid19 will have changed people's lifes, locations and friendship groups so much that there will be many more like you.

    Even if you get rejected on the options above, so what, you are no worse off than currently. Keep going and making suggestions to different people and something will stick.

    The older I get the more I realise most people don't have their crap together as much as you might think. They just don't share their own challenges publically so go easy on the comparisons or being hard on yourself. You never know who else would be glad of company too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 butter_up

    Thank you so much guys.

    I've decided I'm going to drop the "woe is me" and just keep putting myself out there. If I chat to as many people as I can, someone is bound to eventually wanna be my friend. I'll probably get a lot of no's but what have I got to lose?

    It's probably a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I keep telling myself "I'm too old to make friends/ everyone already has friends" I'll probably talk myself out of even trying and then be shocked when it's January and I'm still friendless. That's basically what I did at school, kept telling myself no one would wanna be my friend and I didn't exactly have a thriving social life by the time I left.

    And I've no lectures on a Friday so I can go home Thursdays the first few weeks until I settle. It's comforting for now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    OP, I now think I can see why you ended up in a toxic relationship. You seem to have the mindset that you're not good enough or that most people won't like you. Even that line in your latest post "If I chat to as many people as I can, someone is bound to eventually wanna be my friend. I'll probably get a lot of no's but what have I got to lose?" sounds more like something you'd hear in primary school. Why not just say Hi to people and make some small talk, without coming on too strong or expecting anything from them. You'll find some people aren't that fussed about making more friends or you simply don't connect with them. Others won't ever be anything other than acquantainces (but how bad is that?) And I'm sure if you don't overthink things you'll make some new friends. You're in the lucky position of being in a small class. Simply by going to class and meeting the same small number of faces day after day, you're bound to find a friendly face or two. Let's not forget either that you've already made friends in the past so there are people out there who like you. Your life is not determined by who you have or haven't met at the tender age of 22.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 butter_up

    Thank you so much.

    It will be ok. I do definitely need to work on my self esteem. If I being honest, it's the main reason I stayed with someone for nearly 2 and a half years (who I knew was bad news by towards the end of the first). I was so scared of having no one to rely on. Like I swung from depending on my parents to depending on some lad. I'm hopeful this experience will toughen me up.

    And I know I'm tooting my own horn, but I'm honestly so proud of myself for finding the courage to leave him, even if it makes life harder now (technically). I did it knowing that going back to college would be much harder. I'm also going to avoid getting into any sort of romance for a while. It would be very easy for me to get into another bad relationship given my lonely state. I'm 22, it isn't hard to get male attention. I'm gonna be strong, lest I end up in another horrific relationship.

    And you're so right about the 22 thing. It sounds so daft, but I really do have it in my head that you can't make friends after you're like 20 or something. That clearly isn't true. Heck, neither of my parents are in touch with people they went to school or college with and they have lots of friends from work etc. Can be done.

    I'm gonna leave it now because I'm sure the updates are getting annoying. But ye have no idea how therapeutic this thread has been.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,709 ✭✭✭cloudatlas

    Join societies and meet people. I didn't do this enough myself when I was a college. There are loads, sporting, board games, beer societies, Go for it!!!

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The people who are your neighbours though - makes total sense to connect with them, for the very fact that you are neighbours.

    And oh the pressure we put on ourselves when we are young - all the second guessing and overthinking. You are absolutely not too old to make new friends - miles off it! 😊

    Tell that self doubting voice to shut the hell up and be kind to yourself. 😘

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭NSAman

    4th year college was a nightmare for me also. I hated it. Most friends were 3 year degree.. my post grad year was something I just could wait to get over.

    similiar to you I dreaded going back. It took a few weeks to find my footing but eventually I “sort of” got into it. I must say I never studied so hard. Made a few friends along the way which helped tremendously.

    give yourself some time. Don’t over think things and it will get easier.

    feeling your pain, I have to admit.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 butter_up

    Thanks again.

    And I suppose worst case scenario, it's only 8 months of my life. Even if they suck, I can always go home at weekends. I'll still be able to see my mates from home. 8 crappy months is just 8 crappy months. Not the end of the world.

    I'm still hopeful I make friends though, otherwise my postgrad year is going to be exactly like this one haha

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Hey, go easy on yourself. You're considering scenarios that might not - probably won't - occur! 😊

    And I'm not trying to be dismissive of you by the way - your feelings are totally understandable - but remember, a day at a time. Of course you can make friends this year and next - you're in college, there's no reason why you can't. Just don't let the self doubt stop you. Easier said than done I know, but it's not logical, if you think about it - you're causing yourself anxiety for no real reason. I remember reading a quote - might have been Mark Twain - about anxiety, which was along the lines of "oh I've been through several traumas - most of which haven't happened" 🙂 the point being that negative thoughts in and of themselves can cause as much anxiety as things that actually happen. But they're only thoughts.

    Best wishes for the course!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 NewRunnerSD

    OP I feel for you I really do. I could have written some of this post myself and I'm 20 years older than you.

    Like you I moved back to my home town during lockdown as I can work from home. I got used of being at home and the pace of life in a small town. Also felt good to be near family.

    Now back in the city in my apartment again as work is opening up and I actually feel homesick hit me like a ton of bricks to be honest as really wasn't expecting it.

    I've been through similar before when I was home for a long time after being made redundant. My advice is be kind to yourself and take things day by day. Over time you will start to feel better. Reach out to friends who understand and can support you. If you need to go home every weekend for the next few weeks then do that. I promise this feeling you have now will fade.

    The last 18 months has been so tough. People have literally had their lives turned up side down so it's not unexpected to have these feelings as we are getting back to more normal times.

    Post edited by NewRunnerSD on

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,686 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Colleges are full of people who are in the same situation. Pick something you like such as a club or society and try it out. Even if you weren't forced to be "on your own" a reset can actually be nice. You can almost think of it as emigrating to a new place and starting afresh.

    Foreign students would probably be delighted to make a native buddy. You're worried about making connections in your own country at 22 - they are even older, have probably little connections here, and don't speak too much English.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 butter_up

    A big thanks to both of you.

    It's comforting to remember that other people are probably finding the transition hard too. I can't be the only one.

    There have been a few ups and downs (looking at you guy who cancelled a date on me just hours before said date 🙃), but all in all things are looking up. Sunday night, I went for drinks with some of my exe's (or my 'former') buddies as he wasn't around. I had a really good time. I hadn't seen some of them in over a year!

    I bumped into a fella I was close with in first year who had dropped out. He has started a new course after 2 years out. We chatted for ages and we're going for lunch tomorrow. He's in a similar boat as his college friends and friends from home have all finished, so he doesn't have a flourishing social life either at the minute.

    It's not going to get better overnight and I'm still a bit lonely, but I genuinely feel 5 times better than I did when I posted this thread. I was overwrought between leaving home for the first time in 1.5 yrs and being confronted with stuff that reminded me of my ex for the first time since the breakup. I'm gonna keep being proactive. I've never been the type to take initiative in social situations but I'm going to keep trying. I need to learn. Sure, it's much harder when you're out of first year but at the end of the day, college is college, a sizable portion of people are still open to making new friends.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    I'm glad to see you're feeling a bit better now. From what you've written, your biggest enemy here is you. You are self-aware enough to know what you need to do and that's a big help. Your confidence is a bit low but I don't see why you can't go on to make friends in this year. Already you've spent time with your ex's friends, who like you enough to spend time with you. You've got this other friend who's in the same boat as you. If the two of you are open to making new friends, having this sidekick in tow is a good start.