Ways To Cope With Social Anxiety At University - Freshered
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Ways To Cope With Social Anxiety At University

Zoe Kramer March 25, 2023

Social anxiety can be a difficult thing to deal with at university, especially in your first year when you’re first getting to know people. While for some, attending different events and meeting people can be energising, for others it doesn’t come so naturally. There can be a lot of pressure to make these years the best of your life and meet your lifelong friends right away, and it can be difficult when the reality doesn’t live up to these lofty expectations. So, here are some ways to cope with social anxiety at university.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

See also: Tips To Help You Become A Morning Person

Start Small

Being social doesn’t have to mean going to a huge event. It can be helpful to practice with shorter interactions to work on building your confidence first. This could be as simple as saying hi to your flatmates, or dropping in for a quick chat in the kitchen. The more you do this, the more you’ll get to know the people around you, and you’ll become more comfortable talking to them.


When you’re anxious it can be easy to forget to smile. After all, when you’re in panic mode, it might not feel very natural to do so. However, smiling at someone can help you look more approachable and friendly. Plus, it tricks your brain into feeling more confident, and pretty soon you might be smiling for real.

Find Common Interests

Small talk can sometimes feel pointless and dull. When a conversation isn’t very interesting, it can be difficult to stay motivated to keep it going. So when you’re talking with someone, see if you can find any common interests with the other person. Once you do, you can start to develop a better rapport.

Give Yourself An Out

Another one of the best ways to cope with social anxiety is to allow yourself to leave whenever you need to. It can be much easier to attend an event if you have an exit strategy lined up just in case. That way, you know that if you get overwhelmed, you can leave without any trouble. Ironically, the knowledge that it’s okay to dip out when you need to can help you feel much more comfortable, which often leads to staying the whole time anyway.

Be Kind To Yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself if the social aspect of university is overwhelming. It’s okay if you haven’t met your lifelong friends yet or found your tribe. They will find you eventually. In the meantime, put yourself out there a little bit at a time and practice self care.

See also: What Is Body Neutrality?

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.