Tips for sanity after moving, sans support group?
January 25, 2015 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I've been feeling like no one would notice if I dropped off the face of the planet. My parents live a town away and they weren't part of my life when I was living with them. Can you give me suggestions for making it through this year?

I've a part time job making enough to put me out of the bracket for medicaid/food stamps (I'm in college; I've a few years left.) My coworkers are great but they're not friends and I'm pretty miserable. My landlord's SO and I don't get along so I spend a lot of time trying to avoid the two of them.
posted by city_park to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
One day at a time. Life happens, then you die. Make it special, every moment is worth living and is a moment in time you will never get back. Do the best you can, laugh often, and enjoy yourself. Why wait in line, if you're not getting on the ride? You haven't given too much info as to what's got you down, but the universe doesn't give you more than you can handle and know that someone somewhere is worse off than you so appreciate what you have and be grateful. Plus, the usual mefi recs of therapy, exercise, eat right, volunteer, cultivate skills and hobbies, make memories and friends and have fun! create the life you want to live
posted by lunastellasol at 8:24 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

In college? Join some groups that are for things you care about. Don't let your life be all work, all isolated; that makes every problem harder to deal with.

It sounds like you have some money issues, though, which I know can make that complicated. If you can find a group that's not a huge money sink but gives you connections, it will make things better.
posted by emjaybee at 8:30 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Create a bearable schedule for yourself - use this time for cheap/free 'me'-time. Go to the library to take out books you like or movies for free. Find out about free events, meet-ups or even just running in a local park (anything to get out). Since you are on a tight budget, maybe try to make a game of that? Couponing it, cheaping out, freecycling as much as possible.

Also, no friends locally? Find groups online you can connect with.
posted by Toddles at 8:33 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

(Also find out about free lectures/events on campus that might have food/drinks - this is a common racket for both body and intellectual sustenance).
posted by Toddles at 8:35 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Be a joiner. Really, that's the best way to build a community for yourself. You're going to have to put yourself out there a little - be willing to ask people out on friend dates, volunteer to lead things as long as you have the time/resources to follow through. But it works, and it keeps you busy and engaged.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

If you're in college, there has to be some group you can get into. Come on. Don't be so down on yourself. Everyone feels alone at college at some point, you're not alone. I was in the theater group and I had some down points. It can be sad and lonely, I agree.

One thing I did was get into playing backgammon and cribbage, with guys in my dorm. It was so much fun! And innocent, no sex involved. They were totally my buds.

If there is something like that in your area, get involved. You are so totally worth it. Please write me if you need to.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:37 PM on January 25, 2015

Just ... go out. Find things you want to go do and go do them. Don't feel pressured to make friends or even talk to people. Just leave your house. Make it it a goal to do so at least once week.

Find groups or clubs you're interested in. Don't worry about anyone being your new best friend. Just talk to people and be social. (As an introvert, it took me a really long time to realize that not everyone I met needed to be a deep connection and it was OK to have casual friends.)

Me, I've found my social group from taking chances -- like "I will volunteer at this event that seems cool" or whatever. What do you like to do? How can you be involved with that? I get it can be scary but just do it anyway.
posted by darksong at 8:56 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Go to a metafilter meetup! Seriously, I can't emphasize this enough. We started doing them in Houston a few years ago and these guys (you guys) have become my best friends.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:26 PM on January 25, 2015

Best answer: I dealt with similiar feelings by getting a 5-year journal (five lines a day for every day for five years). Everyday felt like I did the same things over and over and blended together and it freaked me out. As long as I could remember a few things everyday that distinguished them it reminded me that life happens over years, not seconds. Eventually this pushed me to do more things that I could write down and look back on with pleasure. Nothing big, but I saw more friends, cooked more meals, finished more books. I wrote down when I connected with a stranger or an acquaintance.

You don't have to be social to matter. I don't need a whole lot of interaction with other people to be happy. For me, part of managing my occasional depression was being able to recognize that there was nothing wrong with letting myself be happy with my own company. The foundation of all good relationships is strengthened when you don't need the other people to fulfill you. I'm definitely not saying you don't need friends, lovers, and (your own version) of family. But you really are young and it's okay if you don't run out and make all those connections in college or young adulthood by joining groups or going to parties.

I didn't do much of that crap in college. In fact, I spent about a year sobbing on the floor of my studio apartment, convinced I was a freak for not being able to be the wildly social, charming creature everyone expects you to be at that age. There's so much pressure on having a bustling social college experience and I would have been so much happier if I could have shrugged off that pressure because when I wasn't sobbing, I was doing all sorts of creative, awesome stuff that made me connect with people as I grew older. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Don't let how many friends you have define how amazing your life is, because doing your own thing and being open to human connection will attract the friends.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:36 PM on January 25, 2015 [12 favorites]

I have moved around a lot and I've watched other people move to new places. Moving to a new place is hard, especially for the first year.

The best way to find people is, as people have been saying, to put yourself out there. Join a group, start volunteering somewhere. It doesn't matter where, just pick somewhere that you have a shred of interest in. Show up regularly. You'll get to know people, you'll have something in common, and people will get to know you.
posted by aniola at 12:30 AM on January 26, 2015

If you're unhappy with your living situation, perhaps you can move into a dorm or a shared house. This puts you in the middle of lots of young people.

You'll have roommates, who will bring their friends around, and you'll have a social life in spite of yourself.

Organize a study group, I met some friends that way and we're still in touch 20 years later! Plus studying with a group was really helpful. Ask friendly classmates if they want to grab a coffee after class.

Join clubs, go to mixers, go to sporting events. Get out and about.

People don't generally go around knocking on doors looking for friends, so meet folks halfway and get out.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:34 AM on January 26, 2015

Best answer: I loved what The Thorn Bushes Have Roses had to say.

In my twenties I succumbed to the pressure to have lots of friends and being constantly social. It was such an uncomfortable experience the only way I could deal with it was by drinking and smoking enough to both reward my effort and numb the awkwardness. In my forties I decided I did not want the drinking or the smoking habits I had developed. Kicking those habits also meant accepting that I was going to be a lot less social. I find I really do enjoy being on my own most of the time. The things I've found I DO need as far as social connection are concerned are as follows...

... a friend or two (they don't need to live nearby), with whom I can share things by text. This lets me know there are human beings out there I can connect with if I want to, and life IS more fun if you can share the beautiful, the weird, and the randomly funny things that happen to you. Texting is great for that stuff.

I need at least one friend who lives fairly close by. I try to always be available for this friend if she ever needs anything, i.e. rides to the airport, house sitting, shoulder to cry on etc. I welcome the chance to do these things if she asks, knowing that she will return the favor.

I also need a few people in the neighborhood who I see fairly regularly and am on speaking terms with enough to say 'Hello." These are people like neighbors I've met while walking the dogs, servers at the places I regularly eat out, my massage therapist etc.

Beyond that I'm pretty solitary, (except for my dogs, who are like Velcro most of the time). Any relationship requires work and you have to make sure you are making time to grow and maintain them. But I think you'll find that having fewer of them means you really appreciate the ones you have and when you appreciate them you don't mind working on them and they become very rewarding.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:12 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm in a similar-ish situation to you. Making friends and carving out a social life as a grown up is damn hard. I've been in my current location for 18 months and only now feel like I have people I can call up to hang out with. I know it's not ground breaking but be open to different experiences and just continue to build on any fledgling connections you have. Unless it's a total pain in the butt, say yes to things. Be engaging, be interested in other people. Share your experiences with other people, maybe you'll discover mutual interests. Is there a reason you aren't into being friends with your co workers? I know not all workplaces are conducive to this sorta stuff.

I've just started going to trivia nights, they're a good way to waste an evening with other students. If you have any long term goals (travel etc.) are there small things you can do in your spare time to work towards that? Become a regular at a (cheap) cafe? I manage a lunch spot and I have some great chats with frequent customers in my downtime. I fulfill 95% of my daily desired social interaction levels by just showing up to work.
posted by BeeJiddy at 12:39 AM on January 27, 2015

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