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Everyday I dread reading the news as it always contains stories of desperately unhappy students taking their own lives. I am not a student just the mother of one in her 2nd year and the thought of her not wanting to live or someone deciding she doesn't have the right to live is causing me great anxiety.
If you are a student at University or contemplating going to Uni, the road ahead is not any easy one, it is hard, uncomfortable, lonely, full of sadness and lots and lots of fun. Many students have never been away from home, let alone cooked, washed and looked after themselves, budgeting and food buying is a learned skill not one that is automatic and you will make many mistakes before you get it right.
So on day 1 you enter the halls or shared accommodation and are expected to be best buddies, trust me you wont be, nor should you expect to be, you don't know them, they don't know you, but you soon will and you may not like each other, you may become immediate best friends, chances are within the first term you will have fallen out with each, spent the second feeling lonely and depressed and by the third have a whole new set of friends who are like minded. This is the experience my daughter had. Now in her second year she has one or two true friends and lots of acquaintances whom she will meet at lectures or at a bar or sports event.
Not everyone likes to drink, take drugs or go clubbing all night, every night and to be honest those that do either fall by the wayside or learn that if they don't want to waste their life and end up with massive debt and a bum degree they soon learn to calm it. Also a lot do it out of nervousness at not wanting to be seen as boring and because it is expected. It's not.
So you are lonely, you are shy, can't make friends, there are a million of you out there all waiting for someone to say "Hi" how hard can it be say that little word, probably excruciating for some you, but trust me once that word comes out and someone smiles at you the world will be a better place. Don't go up to the most popular full on student and try this as it wont work and why would you want to anyway, make friends with someone like you. Also know that every single university has groups where people who are lonely can meet. Take that first step and life will be a better place, join clubs, sports groups, poetry classes anything.
If on the other hand you are the full on student who everyone wants to get drunk with but it is causing you unhappiness because you aren't really like that, be brave and say you want to slow down, it may be in a lot of cases you are around people who can afford more than you and you are struggling to keep up, then don't, walk away and you will probably find at least one or two of the group follow you, keeping up with the rich and confident kids is not the best way.
I hope reading this has helped someone, believe in yourself, you got the grades to get to Uni, if its what you want stay, if not leave, I am telling you now that your parents would rather you give up, no matter how pushy than be the parent getting that late night call.
And by the way, I am a 60 year old lady, never been to Uni, am just sick of reading about sad, lonely unhappy young adults dying unnecessarily and if this post can help just one person feel better about themselves then my work is done. Take care there is a whole world out there waiting for you.
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