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I associate with all the wrong people. Help:( - March 13th 2012, 03:57 AM

So I have been feeling very alone lately. For as long as I have been a teenager,(I'm 19) I have felt alone actually. I feel that no one understands me. My only friends right now are my high school friends but they are away at college most of the time and I am in our home town by myself. (I went away to college last semester but didn't like my school so I'm at the community college in my town for the semester). They are my only friends right now because my friends from my first college stopped talking to me, and I don't really have a way to make friends at community college. i just go to class and then leave and arent any clubs or anything I want to join. I haven't tried really hard because I'm planning on going somewhere else to college next year but it seems like its a choice between following my high school friends to their college and atleast having friends even though I don't feel like they understand me or going somewhere new and where I think I would be happier (a school in a big city that I have applied to) and risk being the transfer and not having friends there. I just dont know what to do. My friends are all pretty typical follow the crowd kind of people and I've always just felt different. I listen to different music than they do, read more, spend more time alone, and dress differently. The problem is that I tone these things down when I'm hanging out with them so they don't decide they dont like me because theyre all I have at the moment. Acting that way is killing me though and I really need to find better friends that are more likeminded to me, but I am pretty shy and have problems stepping outside my comfort zone at times. I'm just lost, alone, and am not living up to my full potential. I need major help. I feel like sometimes people just don't like me. I'm a good friend though. I'm caring, compassionate, and a good listener. I like to have fun and try to stay away from drama. I think my friends like me for that but I just wish I had different friends that I could relate to more. Whenever I see someone that I think would be cool to be friends with its just like I don't know how to go about being their friend. I'm awkward and not good at establishing or maintaing relationships and prefer being alone a lot because its just easier. Sorry this was so long but any advice at all is appreciated.
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Re: I associate with all the wrong people. Help:( - March 13th 2012, 05:19 AM

Moving somewhere new and "starting over" can be tough. I had to do that a few months ago, and I didn't really socialize outside of school for the first two months. Eventually, I had to overcome my nervousness and just put myself out there. Unfortunately, we can't always move to a city where friends already live. I certainly didn't have anyone out here when I moved, but I didn't let that stop me from socializing (well, okay, it did for two months... but now I'm doing quite well!).

If you're looking for tips on how to approach classmates/potential friends, I'm sure you can find lists upon lists on Google... but my #1 tip is to show an interest in the other person, without seeming too obsessive. For example, ask the person what classes they're taking, how they like them, and what plans they have for the weekend. Keep it casual, and don't act like you're an investigator who has to find out every little detail of that person's life! Start off small, and over time, if you keep talking to that person every time you see them, you'll start to develop a connection. Begin to ask about that person's hobbies, and share a few of your own if you have any common interests. Talk about your pets, goals/dreams, a good movie you recently saw, etc. It takes time - we don't miraculously become best friends overnight - but if you keep working on that connection, the odds of eventually feeling more connected/comfortable with that person will increase.

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