Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Facing freshers week can be an anxious time for those with social anxiety

It's that time of year when all the hard work of exams pays off and young people pack up their things and head off to university full of excitement about the future.

Freshers week, the first week back when 'freshers' or new students are traditionally welcomed to the university, is usually full of social events.

It is common for new students to feel excited at the thought of starting something new and meeting new friends. It is also usual to have general worries about fitting in, getting on with new people, whether you are good enough for your course, etc. Whenever we experience change in our lives, it is often a time when we also experience stress and anxiety. This is a normal part of life.

However, some people also suffer from social anxiety issues and those people may experience dread at the mere thought of Freshers Week.

Tips for dealing with social situations

If you are feeling highly anxious about Freshers Week, here are some tips for dealing with social situations.

1. Try to time your arrival so you are not entering a room full of people you don't know or waiting in an empty room for people to arrive, both of which can be stressful.

2. Before you enter the room, focus on your breathing, Try to think about the cool air slowly entering your body through your nose and the warm air slowly leaving your body through your mouth.

3. Walk slowly but confidently and look for a signing in table, drinks table or bar as people are often waiting to register / be served and are often alone and more easy to engage in small talk.

4. When talking to people, try to make eye contact and be curious about them and smile.

5. Try to find common ground - it is much easier to talk to people you have something in common with. And don't forget that everyone starting university will be keen to make friends too!

Learn to manage your anxiety using CBT techniques

If you feel anxiety is something you would like to learn to manage, First Psychology is holding workshops this autumn in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Click here for further details of our 'Taking Charge of Anxiety: Using CBT Skills' workshops >

More about social anxiety

Read our web page about social anxiety >

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