Invisibility and University Halls

Have a quick google; the types of people you’ll meet in university halls. Every single one of these lists will include a reference to the mysterious housemate that is spotted in person as infrequently as a major astrological event. They could be called The Ghost, The Loner, literally anything under the sun. What’s more, this language is replicated and encouraged within the halls of residence itself. People love to gossip and wander about the girl or boy who never leaves their room, label them weird.

It is only natural to stop trying to include someone you barely know if they keep turning you down, but consider this;

They really want to join you for that drink or a movie, they imagined the same picture perfect university experience as you. It is likely that they are afflicted with social anxiety.

I was ‘The Invisible One’ in my second halls of residence. To begin with, when I met the other flats in the hallway I would receive casual invites to join them whenever I wanted. No matter how much I wanted to meet them and develop relationships that would make my university experience more enjoyable, I didn’t feel able to do so. I would become increasingly anxious even just thinking about knocking on their door. As the semester and year moved on, they understandably stopped asking. Why should they bother if I clearly didn’t want to join them? My anxiety got worse, and eventually I had to build myself up to even step out of my door, just incase I bumped into somebody.

I was in the unusual situation of moving into my studio flat late, so not only did I live entirely on my own, but by the time I moved in everyone else had already met and established friendships. If I wasn’t a person who suffered from varying degrees of social anxiety then it would have been okay. I would have put in the little extra effort required due to my unusual circumstances. However, I couldn’t. There were many times I wished that someone in my block would have an experience of anxiety, personally or through  friends and family. I wished that they would have kept inviting me for just one week longer.

My message to anyone at university and living in halls is if you hear about the notorious flat 12B resident who never leaves, take a moment when nobody else is in the hall to knock on the door and talk to them one-to-one. Worst result for you, turns out they are happy in their own company and want to focus on studying. Best result, you have helped a interesting and valuable person integrate into university and massively increased the chance that when you knock on their door again to invite them out, they will be able to say yes. So please, ask one more time than feels comfortable to you, I guarantee they will appreciate it.

Thank you for reading

Borderline Bella xx

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One thought on “Invisibility and University Halls

  1. I can relate to this a lot, and it’s something I found I struggled with as much in the workplace as at University. It would be so much easier if there was some way to outwardly show the difference between actually wanting to be left alone and not wanting to but feeling unable to accept/extend invitations right away. It’s important to remember that others can’t read our minds though, and may be going through seemingly invisible struggles of their own. The way I see it, the more we can all to learn to communicate openly and be aware of the people around us the better.

    Liked by 1 person

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