After having lots of problems and being on the receiving end of some rather nasty jokes in the second year of my time at university, I completely lost my confidence and stopped going out and often turned down invitations because I found it too intimidating. I felt like I couldn’t talk to people and socialise with them at my uni because I thought that everything I said would be turned into a joke behind my back.
This fear has pretty much ruled my entire university experience and I experienced crippling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so I have decided recently, with just 3 months to go till I finish university, that I am going to make the most of this time and I am going to say yes to every invite I receive. I’m going to fight that little voice in my head that always tells me i’m not wanted and I’m not welcome.
I also decided to start doing something outside of my comfort zone every day, whether that be going to the gym alone, trying a new technique with my art (I ventured into the screen printing workshop for the first time recently) or reaching out to people more. I mean whats the worst that can happen? they say no? I’ve even been on a night out alone.
Reaching out to people and asking them to hang out terrifies me because in my mind, even if I haven’t spoken to them for a couple of weeks, I think I’m being too clingy. I know this isn’t the case however and this idea is holding me back. I always think when I ask someone to hang out that they’re going to think “who is this girl? we’ve only hung out on a night out once, we’ve only spoken a handful of times”- This is a pretty toxic way of thinking. If you don’t ask people you’ve only met a handful of times but think you’d get on well with to hang out, how do you ever make new friends?
Several of the people I’ve reached out to, I later told that asking them to hang out had been terrifying for me and its not something I usually do and they told me that they don’t ever reach out to new people for the same reason.
since I’ve been doing this I’ve made new connections, found myself being invited to parties and growing my social circle and my confidence has increased tremendously.
Through my increased confidence, I’ve also found myself going on nights out alone. I never set out to go out on my own, I start pre-drinking with my friends and then they decide to go home before we make it to a club and I’m not ready to go home so I stay in town and head to the clubs on my own. I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re absolutely certain that the town you’re in is safe. I wouldn’t do this in my hometown, however currently I am living in a small cornish town where there isn’t much happening and I know I’m perfectly safe. I also live right in the town centre so I can get home quickly and easily if there is a problem, unlike at home where I live several miles out from town, in a Village.
I’ve thought about going out alone on several occasions but never did because I thought people would think I’m weird, that I’m sad. Instead when people find out that I’ve gone out on my own, I’m met with kudos, smiles, high fives. Nobody has laughed at me for it, they all tell me how impressed they are. I also feel a sensation of empowerment in doing this, as strange as it sounds. I’ve never felt more independent, I even proclaimed after a few too many drinks one night that I’m a strong independent woman, and I’m so much more confident.
Some of the best nights out that I have been on in Cornwall have been ones I’ve done alone.
Through all of these things, I’ve found myself growing in confidence, my social calendar has never been more full and I’m learning that I do not need other people to have a great time. It’s been a huge step forward in learning to love myself.
This post has been lots of talking about myself, but if you take anything from it, you don’t need other people to have fun, you are your own best friend, and you should give pushing yourself and doing one thing outside of your comfort zone every day a go