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Hard time after finishing Year 12

I graduated year 12 in December. I've been finding it really hard to move on. I'm at university now. I feel my school friends have moved on and even my closest friend is becoming more distant.


I'm finding it hard to make friends at uni. I'm not confident in myself and I'm shy to start with.


Basically I'm just really lonely. I've really isolated myself because of it and I don't feel like going out much.


I just want a real friend again who actually wants to do things with me Smiley Sad especially someone who shares my interests

Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

Hey @sm98, and welcome to Reachout!! I'm sorry to hear you are feeling lonely and isolated at the moment Smiley Sad 


I remember the transistion from high school was pretty huge, and lots of school based friendship groups drifted apart once we weren't seeing each other every day.. Have you considered joining any clubs or getting involved in campus activities / o-week? At my uni there is a club for practically everything!!! This can be a really great way to meet people who have similar interests to you, which are the foundations to great friendships Smiley Happy In my experience, the leaders/organisers/presidents/seniour members of the clubs are super nice and friendly, and make a bit effort to make the newbies feel included in the group! Talking about the activitiy/club is also an awesome conversation starter, if you're feeling nervous about that Smiley Happy



 Also, have you checked out the hanging out and games threads yet? It's a great place to meet awesome people in our community Smiley Very Happy



Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

@sm98 @Stagnator just thought I'd connect you two here as it looks like you're both going through a similar experience with uni at the moment Smiley Happy


Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

Hi @sm98, it sounds like you're having a really tough time. I am also in uni so in a way I can relate on how hard it is to make friends there, especially when you are used to have school friends that you see regularly. The hardest thing about uni is that you really have to make an effort to connect with other people because you don't really share many classes or assembles or other things.


When I first started uni I basically had no friends and I felt terrible, I would stay in my room all day and keep to myself and it was very hard. I also found that the lonelier I felt the more I wanted to isolate myself because I felt so bad. 


I don't know if you were looking for some help but if you are I can tell you a bit about how I made some friends at uni. This sounds very clichéd but joining a club and consistently attending meetings is probably the best way to make friends. The key is to keep attending activities because even if you feel uncomfortable at first, after a while you will become familiar with other regular members and maybe even grow fond of them. It's also kind of a two birds one stone because if you join a club that suits your interests, you will definitely find someone there who likes the same thing. 

Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

I didn't go to O-week, and I haven't checked out any clubs. I don't really know what is there tbh

I think I'm just holding myself back and not wanting to meet new people because I just want all my old friends Smiley Sad

Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

and yeah I agree @DirtWitch it's hard to make friends because you just barely see the people who have a unit with. I was always told by teachers and my mum that it's easier to make friends at uni that at school but I disagree.

Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

Hi @sm98, thanks for sharing your experiences with the transition from high school to uni! Going to university is a huge life change and it can take some time to settle in. Making friends doesn't come easy to everyone either, I know I struggled when I first started uni too. Everyone has made some great suggestions here! You can also check out our fact sheets on starting university and tips on making friends here, there might be something you find helpful in there. 


Don't put too much pressure on yourself to make friends straight away, it's something that's going to take a bit of time and will get easier as you feel more comfortable with uni life Smiley Happy Have you been keeping in touch with your school friends?


- Hayley R/O


Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

Hello @sm98,


It can often feel that way when everyone moves on with their lives, each with their own path to follow. Everyone is just absorbed in their life and trying to sort things out that they can appear distant. But i assure you it is not because they like you any less or do not think you are worth it anymore. It does not mean your friendship will end or that all the memories you have cultivated together is for naught. You can still call, text or email each other to simply show that you still care. It is these small actions that put a smile on someone's face and gives them the strength to carry on.



Uni is difficult since their are too many people to remember the names and faces of, and it is often too large to make close connections. But that does not mean it is impossible. You want someone who shares your interest? Well how about you join a school club on something you are passionate about? If you do there will be plenty of opportunities for you to open up and make friends. If you want something, you have to make an effort to step out of your comfort zone and chase after it. I am not asking you to become the most outgoing and confident person out there, because if you want an honest relationship you should not neglect to be who you are, but to try it and see. Think of being social as a skill, something that gets easier with practice. It never becomes fully comfortable or second nature, but it certainly does improve.


Best of luck,


Winter Rain.

Re: Hard time after finishing Year 12

@sm98 Even if you did not go to O-Week clubs will be advertising their events all year round so you can join even after uni starts. There will generally be some sort of student union at your uni that has a Clubs department--you can definitely check that out and they will give you a comprehensive list of all that can be done. There are also student departments that hold events--for example, the Women's Department at my uni holds trivia nights and movie screenings and I know a lot of people have made friends that way.


As for your other issue about not wanting to reach out because you want your old friends back: your old friends might be busy with uni but that doesn't meant they don't want to see you too! I think they would be really happy if you asked to hang out and to catch up. At the same time, remember that it is necessary to take risks and reach out in order to grow and change for the better. Janette Rainwater's book Self-Therapy: A guide to becoming your own therapist has a lot of good insight on that if you would like to know more!