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To Sam

I don't fit in

I've just started college and I thought it was gonna be alright, but when I actually got there I just felt like I didn't belong there. We had to walk around in groups and everyone was talking with each other but me being me, I was too shy to actually talk to anyone, so no one made the effort to talk to me. I felt horrible the entire day, when I came home I cried and cried and now I really don't want to go to college. I just feel like the people from my new class aren't anything like me? In the class that I was in before I fit in pretty good and they understood me, but I don't think that's going to happen now. I don't want to be alone for the rest of the school year.
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter and explaining what it’s been like for you since starting your new college. It seems that at the moment because everything feels so new and unfamiliar, it’s made you feel very unsure about how things will be at college.

New situations can be scary and lots of young people who start a new school or college can feel unsettled for a while until things start to feel less new. I know you are feeling that people in your class might be different but it could also be that some of them feel unsure about things like fitting in and making new friends. It can be quite common at a new college for some people to try to find friends as quickly as possible, but sometimes it takes time to find a real friend because really getting to know someone can take a while.

From what I hear, you are capable of making friends and have done this well in the past. It’s important for you to hold onto that, because it will help you remember that you are someone who others enjoy being around. It’s hard when we feel shy and sometimes don’t know what to say. People really like it when you show an interest in them and so asking a few questions about what someone likes can be a good way to start chatting to them.

I’m also wondering whether you might like to talk to the college pastoral team or student services that might be able to offer you information and support. Many schools and colleges have a service to support and help students who are having difficulties of any kind. They often speak to young people who find college life overwhelming and can provide information on support and groups where young people who share similar interests can get together.

Talking to a ChildLine counsellor might be a good way to get some support with how you’re feeling and you can do that by ringing 0800 1111 (calls are free), or logging in for a 1-2-1 chat online. The ChildLine message boards are another source of support from young people who are experiencing something similar.

There’s some great information on ChildLine’s Explore Section under Schools and College too.

You might also find it useful to take a look at The Site which provides some valuable information on student life and the kind of concerns young people have about college.

Thanks again for sharing and I’m sure other young people might find your letter helpful too.

Take care,

Sam

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