Kinda depressed, is this a normal college experience?

<p>I'm almost three months into college now. I've made a few friends, know a lot of people, but I'm still not fitting in completely. Really, there are only 2 or 3 people that I'm really truly friends with here (and I'm rooming with them next year, hopefully beyond). I just feel like I'm having a tough time fitting in, though.</p>

<p>I'm a quiet guy unless I'm around my best friends back home or my family. Otherwise, I'm a pretty shy and quiet guy, though I still talk and people think I'm a nice and somewhat funny guy, even if I'm quiet. I just feel somewhat out of place, though. My friends here often do things without me, and I know that if I join with them, they'd have no problem, but I don't because I just freeze up. I let my shyness overtake me and it's tough for me. When I do hang out with them, things go well, even though I'm not as outgoing as I am around my best friends back home. I know they're a little closer to each other than they are to me, but hopefully that'll change soon, since I want to get in on their plans to get a house junior year. Also some nights I hang out with my group of friends, but other nights I'm just alone in my room doing nothing, which is depressing to me usually. The weekends are normally somewhat fun when I'm here, but weekdays are boring and that's when I can sometimes feel down because I am left out, or at least feel that way, sometimes.</p>

<p>I have a lot of things going for me (good grades, writing for the paper, roommates for next year). But, I still feel out of place. Everybody seems to be friends with everybody in my dorm, while I really only have a few friends and a bunch of acquaintances. It just takes me a while to get to open up to people. I've been friends with my best friends back home for 4 years, but only for the last couple of years have I been really good friends with them. I hope I can meet more friends and become closer to the ones I have. Will that happen? Or is there something wrong with me? Why does it take me forever to open up to people?</p>

<p>Everyone has those weekdays when they're just sitting in their room bored. And feels like they're missing out on something but they really aren't. Don't assume the worst of people. Just embrace those moments and use them to relax.
I think you're having a pretty fantastic college experience so far. It's definitely nothing to get depressed about.
And you're just more shy or introverted than some people. That's nothing to worry about either.</p>

<p>Boxman - It's not unusual to feel this way at this point in your freshman year. That being said, it would be good to take steps to make things better for yourself - you're worth it! My suggestions:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Go to the counseling office and have a chat. They will have seen this before, and will have suggestions for you. Plus, it's always good to know you have some support.</p></li>
<li><p>Try and find your "tribe." This is a group that engages in an activity you enjoy doing, and it is a great way to meet people with whom you fit in and enjoy being with. The bonus is that when you're with those people, doing an activity you find engaging, you won't be worrying much about "making friends" - you'll be enjoying yourself around other people, and the rest will follow.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Don't know which activity is for you? If there was something you really enjoyed in high school (newspaper, band, dodge-ball, carpentry, carpentry, intramural basketball, film society?), you could go for it again. I know everyone says that you should use your time in college to try new things, but that's a whole lot easier once you've established a base. Plus, even the same activity will be different now that you're almost a grown-up, and there will be new people to do it with.</p>

<p>Not sure what floats your boat? Then you'll need to look around. Most activities (though not all) are happy to have new recruits at any time. If you go to a meeting or stick your head in an office and don't feel a good vibe, move on. You shouldn't necessarily expect the group to drop everything and be thrilled that you're there, but if they seem open and the type of folks you might like, give it a try for a while - show up, pitch in, and see what happens. Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work out.</p>

<p>Finally, don't overlook the opportunity to volunteer to help others. I'm sure there are groups on your campus devoted to helping the less fortunate, with food drives, fundraising, tutoring, etc. They just about always need help, and are usually open, generous people. And you'll feel good for participating.</p>

<p>Good luck, and hang in there.</p>