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How to Deal with Social Anxiety and Make New Friends at University

International students often move halfway across the globe to attend university in a foreign country where they don’t know anyone. Most of them have to fend for themselves for the first time and needless to say the experience is never pleasant. Social anxiety is very common and some students fear they might never make friends at their new university. Being a fresher should be exciting but being lonely and worried all the time will keep you from having fun. If you suffer social anxiety, there are a couple of things you can do to ease it up and make friends easily.

One of the best techniques you can use to make friends easier is to start volunteering abroad prior to joining the university. Doing this will boost your confidence and you will be comfortable living as well as spending time with new groups of people.

Students who volunteer abroad before they begin university are more comfortable stepping outside their comfort zone. They are able to meet large groups of people and engage them in conversation. The best thing about volunteering is that you will meet other volunteers that are as anxious as you. In most cases, volunteers find themselves in the same boat in that nobody knows anybody beforehand.

As you get to know more about your fellow volunteers, you will be amazed by their stories. Don’t be surprised to meet volunteers who are volunteering for the same reason as you – to boost self-confidence or manage mental health. Coordinators will even let you know that about a quarter of their volunteers are on a form of treatment or medication for some type of mental health condition. You will also notice that volunteering abroad is normally done collectively. Chatting with other volunteers helps to learn more and form natural friendships.

The first time volunteering is hard. Thereafter you will find yourself wanting to join more projects with various organizations. Doing so will expose you to volunteers from all walks of life. This is more so with the affordable volunteer programs.

Volunteering will help with social anxiety thanks to:

  • Meeting new people
  • Going out on evening and weekend tours
  • Living and working with new people
  • Sharing experiences and interests

Volunteering is the best cure for social anxiety because it covers many bases. It is better than sitting behind your computer searching the Internet for new friends or ways to deal with social anxiety.

When you start university, you will be more confident socializing with new people. You will also not be afraid of living with strangers in apartments near York University. Since knocking on people’s doors might be somewhat creepy, you should consider joining clubs that you have interest in. If you played football in school, join the football club. You can also go for clubs that are new to almost everyone such as water polo and ice-skating.

Volunteering abroad and joining clubs at the university will help deal with social anxiety and make friends easily. Don’t be afraid of the less common and weirder clubs as this is the best place to find fellow newbies with whom you can bond with over inexperience.

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