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Angry Can't make friends - July 13th 2011, 11:27 AM

I've tried making friends and when I was little I had loads of friends and I could easily make friends on holiday but now I have anxiety and depression and I'll be starting college, I'm really scared because I usually get left out and feel like a right loser on my own and I try smiling and making myself look approachable but it usually doesn't work..I'm also overweight and i've been made fun of before because of my weight but even then i've seen bigger girls have loads of friends Help!? I don't want college to be like High School.
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Re: Can't make friends - July 13th 2011, 04:37 PM

Hey there! Starting over with friends can be pretty stressful. I had to do it four years ago (for undergraduate studies), and I'll have to do it again in a few weeks (for graduate studies). The best advice I can offer you ISN'T to plaster a smile on your face and look approachable. It ISN'T to make small talk and try to win people over within 15 minutes of meeting them. Chances are, that's not how you made friends when you were younger... you made friends when you found someone to play with, when you found people who had similar interests to yours.

So the best advice I can offer is to get out there during the first week of college, when all the clubs and organizations are passing out fliers. Pick up whichever ones interest you - assume that you'll check out 10 clubs/organizations, but only one or two will hold your interest at the end of the month. Check them out, and don't focus on making friends at first! See if these are clubs/organizations you want to join... not because the people seem nice, but because you really like what the club/organization is offering to you.

With time, as you become more involved with the club/organization, the existing members will realize you're not just a flaky "week one" member. They'll see that you take the club/organization seriously, and they'll respect you for that. They'll want to get to know you better, and invite you to other events. Making friends doesn't happen overnight (okay, SOMETIMES it does, but not often), so focus on your own happiness and let the friends come to you.

Of course, this doesn't mean you have to stop trying... it's still good to be approachable and friendly! Just keep in mind that people need time to get to know you, so if they don't seem too receptive at first, just enjoy what you're doing with the club/organization and wait for them to realize how awesome you'd be as a friend. =D

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