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internally panicking


blueveronica
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I am currently a college student trying to find housing for next year. the people i initially was going to live in an apartment with turned toxic and cliquey, so I decided yesterday to find other people to live with. This has been really anxiety inducing and a tough decision (though I know it's for the better). It would have been more convenient to live with those people because I already know all of them, but I know it wouldn't be good for my mental health. I put out a message on my school's social platform that I was looking for roommates, and I'm feeling restless because no one has messaged me yet even though it has only been two days. I have until May 18th or so to get a group, but the thought of possibly not getting housing is eating at my soul. I have also decided I don't want to be friends with two of the people in that group. I've had a feeling for months now that these are not my kind of people and they are too abrasive and negative for me. I want to distance myself from them, but I have most of my classes in common with one of them, we live on the same floor, and we have spent a lot of time together this academic year. How do I slowly reduce my time with them without making things awkward?

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Hey there,

I'm glad you've decided to move out and find other people to live with. I completely get why this would give you anxiety though because it's a lot of change isn't it, and I can imagine that you might be worrying that you end up with tricky housemates again. What do you think? With finding new housemates, I'm wondering, if it comes to it, would you be able to live alone for a bit or maybe even move into accommodation with an existing group who have a spare room? 

Also, I'm sorry to hear about the two friends who are abrasive and negative. I think that to distance yourself, it would be good to maybe message them less over time and hang out with others more. Would that work?

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It's not possible to live alone in an apartment, so I am currently trying to find a group with spare room, though I haven't been able to find one yet. If I don't get a group, I would just apply individually and be put with people I don't know. Sometimes I wish I could live alone because I would probably get lonely at some point but it would be better than having to put up with housemates, especially if I don't know them. 

Yes I am trying to lessen contact with them. Though, it's hard sometimes because we live in such close proximity of each other, and I share two classes with one of them. Luckily she doesn't always show up to class so I get a break from her, but if there is a test there is a 95% chance that we will end up sitting together and eating together afterwards. She also doesn't think there's anything wrong with our friendship so whenever she sees me she comes over and talks to me. 

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Hey,

So with the search then, are there any websites you could sign up to and put an advert on saying that you're looking for housemates?

Also, I completely get that it can be hard lessening your contact with people, especially when you are so close in proximity. I'm wondering, when it does come to lunch afterwards, could you say you have other plans and maybe meet up with other people? 

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I could fill my schedule with other things so I have less time for them. I put out a message on Patio saying I'm looking for a housemate. I found a potential one yesterday on Discord and we have planned to meet in person next week. I am very scared though I am trying to remind myself that I didn't know my roommates this year before moving in, so this is actually better because I know what I'm getting into. With the stress of exams and housing, I am thinking of just leaving us at a group of two because I don't have the energy to look for more people. Hopefully I will be able to get housing. My college has a notorious housing crisis. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

That's great you've found a potential housemate. Where are you going to meet them? It might be a good idea to do meet during the daytime in a public place where people are around; let others know where you're going as well, just incase. 

Also, yeah, filling up your schedule is a good idea. It might take a while for them to get the message, but you just have to keep on doing what is right for you. Just keep in mind that they might ask you directly if everything is okay at some point, so it's good to be prepared for that. Speak soon. 

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We are going to meet at the dining hall for dinner. I ended up eating with them because we were in the same place at the same time but told them I had meetings to go to (which was true). I like the distance that I created. Things feel better now that I'm trying not to be so close with them. I still feel icky when I have to have conversation with them or when I have to sit next to my friend in class. Hopefully these will only be things that I have to put up with occasionally. I took advice from a girl who was in a similar housing situation as me and she said she also started out with a small group and it's good to just advertise that I'm looking for housemates. She even offered to help me look for people; I might take her up on that offer.  

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6 hours ago, blueveronica said:

We are going to meet at the dining hall for dinner. I ended up eating with them because we were in the same place at the same time but told them I had meetings to go to (which was true). I like the distance that I created. Things feel better now that I'm trying not to be so close with them. I still feel icky when I have to have conversation with them or when I have to sit next to my friend in class. Hopefully these will only be things that I have to put up with occasionally. I took advice from a girl who was in a similar housing situation as me and she said she also started out with a small group and it's good to just advertise that I'm looking for housemates. She even offered to help me look for people; I might take her up on that offer.  

Hey there,

I'm glad to hear you're pleased with the distance you created and also that the girl offered to help you. To take it a step further, could you sit next to different people in class? 

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  • Solution

Hey there,

It might be that you have to do it a few times in order for her to get the message. It would be good to carry on making plans to hang with others. I'm wondering, could it be helpful to have a conversation with her at some point? 

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11 hours ago, blueveronica said:

I don't think she is very capable of a mature conversation about our friendship. 

Hey there,

Okay,  I see. Even if she cannot have that mature conversation, could it still be helpful for you to tell her how you feel? What do you think? 

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If she asks I could say something like "I feel like our friendship is only for convenience. I want to try to find people I have things in common with." Both of those things are true but I don't know if I would just confront her and tell her that unless she asked first. Also, I met with the potential housemate today. She seems decent enough to live with. She's nice, I was awkward but it's fine lol. I don't have any strong feelings about her, I don't know if I should. I asked if she wants to try to find others to join our group. She said she knows two people who might be open to the idea and she'll talk to them. I'm kind of hoping at least one of them is a person of color because I would feel more comfortable if I wasn't living in an apartment with only white people (saying this as a person of color). My friend said they are currently applying to schools (including mine) so there is also a possibility they might end up living with me. All of this is proving to be overwhelming and tiring. 

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Hey there,

Yeah, maybe have a think about if you want to say it to her or just tell her when she asks. I think it will be good to be prepared to say how you feel because she might sense that something is off and ask you. What do you think? Also, I'm sorry to hear you're finding this overwhelming and tiring; can you tell me more about those feelings?

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I asked my therapist about this and she says that a direct confrontation isn't necessary and it's okay to just let the friendship fade over time. If she asks I'd just say I want to spend more time by myself trying to find people I have things in common with. This is overwhelming because I'm having to think about so many things at once, like housing and exams and friendships. I cried to my therapist because everything is so confusing, and she told me there are no easy answers. So, I'm learning a lot of hard truths about adulthood right now. Also I told my therapist about how lonely I am. I said that I didn't want to be in a toxic friendship so I'm detaching from that friend, but at the same time I'm lonely. And she basically said there will be a lot of times when you're lonely as a young adult so you just kind of have to get used to being alone and living with those feelings of loneliness until you can do something about it. I'm trying to reconcile with the solitary journey ahead. It feels unfair but at the same time I do realize I can't be with someone all the time, and like she said other people are temporary and I'm the only one who will be with me my entire life. 

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14 hours ago, blueveronica said:

I asked my therapist about this and she says that a direct confrontation isn't necessary and it's okay to just let the friendship fade over time. If she asks I'd just say I want to spend more time by myself trying to find people I have things in common with. This is overwhelming because I'm having to think about so many things at once, like housing and exams and friendships. I cried to my therapist because everything is so confusing, and she told me there are no easy answers. So, I'm learning a lot of hard truths about adulthood right now. Also I told my therapist about how lonely I am. I said that I didn't want to be in a toxic friendship so I'm detaching from that friend, but at the same time I'm lonely. And she basically said there will be a lot of times when you're lonely as a young adult so you just kind of have to get used to being alone and living with those feelings of loneliness until you can do something about it. I'm trying to reconcile with the solitary journey ahead. It feels unfair but at the same time I do realize I can't be with someone all the time, and like she said other people are temporary and I'm the only one who will be with me my entire life. 

Hey there,

Yeah, your therapist absolutely has a great point there; I guess i'm just thinking that your friend might ask you at some point, so that's why it can be good to know what you might say in the moment. What do you think? 

Also, that's really interesting what she said about how other people are temporary and you're the only one who will be with you for your entire life; what do you think and feel about that?

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I think I'd be able to handle it if she did ask me. I think it was really hard to hear that I'm the only one who will be with me my entire life. I get jealous of people who say they've known someone their entire life or they're still close with childhood friends. I think I romanticize the idea of having some sort of constant person in my life to grow with and have a tight bond with. It's a really tough lesson to learn. In an ideal world, I don't think anyone should have to be alone if they don't want to. Many young adults struggle with having to live alone and a lot of elderly people also struggle with being lonely and isolated. I understand that getting used to solitude is a valuable skill and one I hope to learn but I'm thinking maybe people wouldn't need to do that if we took the time and effort to include others and build community. It seems overly individualistic but I'm doing my best to adapt to the world and emotionally prepare for actual adulthood. 

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Hey there,

Yeah, it's definitely a tough adaption and it's a constant learning process really. As you said, you can include others and build community, but your therapist does definitely have a good point in that you're the one constant and it's good to learn to be content with your own company. What do you think? I'm wondering, when you find yourself in your own company now, what is that like for you?

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So far I have been good with being alone. I met with a friend on Friday and we talked about each of our feelings about what my therapist said and what adulthood entails emotionally. It has been only three days so things may change, but right now I am content. I have work to do and hobbies to fill my time so I hope I can handle it. Maybe loneliness will set in later. We'll just have to see. It has been very peaceful and freeing to disconnect from my toxic friend and be with myself doing the things I like doing. Today I had to sit next to my toxic friend again but she only comes to class once a week so I should be able to avoid her for the rest of the week. 

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14 hours ago, blueveronica said:

So far I have been good with being alone. I met with a friend on Friday and we talked about each of our feelings about what my therapist said and what adulthood entails emotionally. It has been only three days so things may change, but right now I am content. I have work to do and hobbies to fill my time so I hope I can handle it. Maybe loneliness will set in later. We'll just have to see. It has been very peaceful and freeing to disconnect from my toxic friend and be with myself doing the things I like doing. Today I had to sit next to my toxic friend again but she only comes to class once a week so I should be able to avoid her for the rest of the week. 

Hey there,

I'm glad you've been good with being alone. It's completely normal to have challenging thoughts around being alone, but there is also a need to learn to be content in our own presence because it will really help you through life. I'm wondering, would you like support with anything else at the moment, or are you good for now? 

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