Home→Forums→Relationships→Social anxiety after graduating college
- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 9 months ago by Chelsea.
June 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm #59120ChelseaParticipant
I just graduated college and am having a lot of anxiety (I am typically an anxious person, but it seems intensified now). In college, I had a small group of very close friends. I became really attached to them throughout my four years, and now that college is over, I don’t know how to deal with being away from them (we are all from different parts of the country and communicate mostly through text or Facebook now). If a few days go by and I don’t hear from one or several of them, I get really anxious and my head fills up with all these negative thoughts. For example, I convince myself they don’t care about me anymore or have better people to talk to, etc. (even though I have no evidence to support these conclusions). This anxiety likely stems from an experience I had in high school where my best friend of ten years unexpectedly abandoned me – this left me depressed for several years after and really shattered any self confidence I may have had.
Now, I’m conflicted about how often I should initiate contact with my college friends. It seems like it’s always me initiating conversations, which makes me feel even more lonely and anxious. I wish that one of them would start a conversation every now and then so that I felt like they were making an effort to maintain the friendship too – not just me. Should I let them know? I have a hard time asserting myself when it comes to things like this. I’m worried that if I try to talk to them too often, they will think I’m too needy and annoying. But if days go by and I don’t have any contact with them, the anxiety becomes too overwhelming. How often is too often to talk to them? I’m struggling to find a healthy balance.
It’s only been a few weeks since school ended, and I just can’t imagine living the rest of my life with this anxiety about my friends. I’m constantly worried that they will leave me or just stop talking to me for no apparent reason (which is what my old high school best friend did to me). I’m seeing a therapist and I hope that she will help me work through this. But I only see her once a week and feel like I don’t know how to cope on the days I don’t see her. Maybe I should give this more time and it will work itself out. I’m just feeling really lonely at the moment and thought someone else on this site might have some advice or a similar experience to share.June 19, 2014 at 1:07 am #59140jonParticipant
Im new to the forum, but I found your post interesting. I think right now you are overwhelmed with the feeling of moving past college. I myself just recently graduated and am moving away from home/college/family/friends and its a scary feeling. It sounds like you’re less confident without the support of friends in your life and that is the first step you need to work on.
Be happy with yourself and also for your friends to finally accomplish graduating college. You have to understand that friends/people move on in life and some friends come and go. Just because they haven’t kept up as much as you expected doesn’t mean they dont care still. There’s never anything wrong than being the one to initiate the conversation with them, but realize that it’s just alot of anxiety right now because you became so comfortable with these close friends and now they’re gone.
My best advice would be to work on being confident by yourself and creating new friendships. The reality is – as people become more distant from one another, they tend to communicate less, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t care for one another. People will come and go in life and I agree 100% that it is hard to deal with, but things get better if you try to establish new relationships and worry less about those friends you had in the past. I’m sure its hard for them too, but they are also working on themselves to achieve new goals and encounter new experiences. Stay in touch with your friends, but don’t let it hold you back from meeting new friends as well. Also, forget the past about your HS friend. At that age, we’re still too young to understand the meaning of a true friend or friendship. There are plenty of HS friends I had who I thought would still be in my life for years, but the reality is we all moved in different directions and now I haven’t seen them in years.
I wish you the best and remember to not let these college friends hold you back from being confident in yourself or meeting new people. You have to accept that now you’re all far apart from one another you’ll communicate less, but still care for each other and have memories you’ll all never forget.June 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm #59192ChelseaParticipant
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I agree with all of what you said. It’s just so hard accepting that things are going to change; it’s something ill have to work on! And, as a painfully shy person, the thought of making new friends is terrifying, but hopefully everything will work out in the end.