Having Social Anxiety, How It Started (Part 1)

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Let me tell you a bit about my social life. I had a tight group of friends back in secondary school and as most of you know usually by the end of year 11 many of you end up going to different colleges or 6th forms and make different friends. In my last year of school I distanced myself a lot from my friends by not attending and not wanting to speak to anyone because of what I was going through at the time. While I stayed in contact with some of them once school ended, It was always that same “We should get together soon” text and you know how that goes.

Anyways I attended my first year in college and it was hell. Since I stopped attending school I was uncertain about going to college after being so used to my own company and not socializing much with anyone. I was the only black girl in my class which didn’t bother me much until I saw cliques forming and hearing people whisper things here and there. Automatically I gravitated to this one mixed raced girl “Let’s just say we were the only colored ones”. I had never experienced racism up until I attended that college.

Nothing in relation to my race was ever said to me “at least not to my face” but you could tell by the way most of the girls acted that I was just “too different to sit with them”. I studied beauty therapy so our class was all females. Again I handled the situation like I did in school by not attending classes which meant leaving the girl I had made friends with. Unfortunately she left and I was there to face the mean girls on my own.

Thankfully I completed my course but it put me off wanting to attend another year so I didn’t and started working. Even though it was nice earning money, me and my best friend always spoke about how bad we missed having a small group of close friends to just chill and have laughs with because things weren’t as fun with just the two of us.

So I went back to college but this time it was different. This college was predominately black. I studied Makeup so again the class was all female. I got along with pretty much everyone in this class and still talk to a few of them till this day. Again cliques started to form. All I wanted to do was make friends and start no problems so I would act one way for one group and another for a different group. But this got tiring after a while, being stuck in the middle isn’t easy. Neither is acting a certain way to fit in one group and I think at the time there were about 3.

I left quite early because I wasn’t really enjoying the course and my skin had broken out from all the makeup products we used. I wore certain clothes to try and fit in, Tried forcing myself to listen to different types of music, would buy things I didn’t even need and changed the way I spoke to try and fit in. It got so bad that at one point, everyone in the group had a boyfriend, I didn’t want to be the only single one so I would speak to multiple guys to get attention. Just so I could tell my friends I had someone too.

I would go to parties feeling so uncomfortable because all these girls would be out in short dresses, heels and their long weave while all I knew was jeans, a tank top and plimsolls. I would feel so insecure and left out because I never had the confidence to dress up. Guys would approach them while I’m standing there playing matchmaker wishing the tables were turned.

This cycle pretty much continued up until I was about 19, 20. I no longer had the energy to force friendships and I got used to being on my own and having the one friend I could talk to.

Stay Tuned For Part 2……

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