College Loneliness?

Discussion in 'Loneliness' started by Such Small Hands, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Such Small Hands

    Such Small Hands Fapstronaut

    This can be anyone in their early twenties, I guess, or anyone who has just finished college or is in the process of finishing some kind of higher education.

    PMO addiction caused me to...detach, in many ways, on top of my natural shyness and self-image problems regarding my obesity. I isolated myself from friends and activities and just...festered in a pit of bad thoughts and bad deeds. It was incredibly shameful. In no way have I escaped the pit, but I'm in the process of finding a grip.

    Anyone feel like...the world and everyone else is just moving without them? I know social media exacerbates on feelings of loneliness and separation but I guess because of my PMO-addiction, everyone from high school and college just seems to be getting more mature, developed, outgoing and successful and I'm....dealing with this. Old friends are spinning off into their own lives and I constantly get the feeling that I'm the One Guy who has looked and acted the same since high school and just won't change, like an annoying memory made manifest. I get the feeling that I'm just an uncomfortable reminder of the past and not anyone who's changed and grown himself. A lot of this true, by the way. But the realization itself is enough for me to either wallow in despair or deflect and distract myself with silly and unproductive methods.

    I don't want to be the Static Common Denominator in everyone else's more successful lives. But I feel like I'm drifting away like a freaking glacier until I just...collapse. I don't like that feeling so I generally - again - deflect and pretend nothing's wrong. I know I have the power to change, but...I don't know. I have to change.

    Anyone else feel similarly? College in particular, because everyone's figuring it out and seems to be doing a pretty good job, especially on Facebook and shit. Oh, well. That stuff's superficial, but still...hard to look at without guilt...
  2. Sananafraz

    Sananafraz Fapstronaut

    Do you feel guilty about feeling guilt?
  3. Such Small Hands

    Such Small Hands Fapstronaut

    I feel a little relieved that I'm guilty and yes, I do feel a little guilt about the guilt.
  4. tiredofbeingtired

    tiredofbeingtired Fapstronaut

    You're not alone. I feel much the same way. Growing up I always felt so much more mature than my peers. But as I continued to engage with this addiction its like I stayed where I was and everyone caught up to and then passed me. A family member who is a psychologist told me one time that addiction prevents growth and that addicts often remain, developmentally, around where they were when they started their addiction. Obviously we have developed more than where we were in our childhoods/teens in some ways but largely I feel like that's exactly it. Addiction keeps you in arrested development. But that means that there's no reason to despair because as soon as we give up this addiction we grow. :emoji_slight_smile: It's an inevitability. It's out of your hands, it'll force itself even if you don't intend to make any other change.

    All that being said, I'm going to tell you what you already know but still need to hear: don't compare yourself to others. We fool ourselves in thinking we're good judges of objective reality. You don't really know where those others are in their lives, what they're struggling with, or what they actually think of you. Just concern yourself with where you feel you should be in your life right now. I wish you all the growth that you desire and are capable of.
  5. Sananafraz

    Sananafraz Fapstronaut

    Do you feel relieved that you feel guilty about feeling guilty or for the guilt you feel guilty about? Oroboros.
    Such Small Hands likes this.
  6. Campos

    Campos Fapstronaut

    Yes, it was me 1/1.5 years go to be exact, 18/19 in college, no job (but everyone around me was getting employed), no drivers license (but everyone around me had one), my family never had the money to buy a car (but everyone had one, and they kept asking if i was going to get one for my 19y birthday, got socks that year :D) and i dont even want to begin on how everybody decides to travel when in college, and there was me, the same depressed, long haired, overweight gamer from 5 years ago, who spent the whole day watching youtube, pmo and memes, dont get me wrong i still do some of it but not at the same level :D

    The only thing that helped me was turning everything upside down and i suggest you do that too, literally, no joke, until i could feel good about myself, my decisions and my actions i cutted everything, i went from spending the whole day in my chair doing nothing productive and found myself at the gym, running with my dad and finally had a god damn job to help my family financially in need :D

    You have to realize that time passes anyway, example:
    You're overweight, if you went to the gym with a real diet for the last 3 years you would lose weight in this 3 years, now how are you going to spend the next 3? are you going to look back and feel proud about what you started and acomplished or will you still be the same guy you had been for the last 6?

    The things that you do while it passes can change everything, its not too late dude, doesnt look like it i know, but we are lucky to still be in our 20s, we have a lot of time to change bad habits into good habits, bad decisions into something productive and change our future :)
    Like 20 years of living, at least 10/14 of those years we were kids, playing sports, videogames, watching tv and learning the alphabet or something, parent dependent, we didnt had the experience and the knowledge to have a meaningfull job and build our legacy, now its the time that we have to do that, dont lose grip man, you can still win and be the best version of yourself in the end, like tiredofbeingtired said dont focus on others, focus on YOU and what YOU can do to change YOUR. LIFE.

    *Sheesh* sorry for the long post, but i had myself and a friend in the same situation, we are doing it and i believe you can too man, get up and DO IT

  7. moonesque

    moonesque Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

    College lonliness killed my progression as a person honestly, I made one bad decision after another in college which really solidified my PMO addiction. It is currently taking me years to undo the damage, not on the addicition per se but my lack of social skills, identity, confidence, emotional regulation. The eariler you try and change your life on these topics the better. You are not alone on this.
  8. Sananafraz

    Sananafraz Fapstronaut

    No it hasn’t. Your still progressing. Stunted maybe but not killed. Death is the only thing that will kill your progress. You have more work to do. You aren’t alone either.
  9. Clauss24

    Clauss24 Fapstronaut

    I relate to what you say way too much. It describes my state in the past 6 years (Bachelor + Master degree)
    The thing is: you grow slowly. What you see on social media is pure bullshit. Outloudly: this is not a change. People's lives are full of worries, constant despair etc. What they broadcast is a superficial image to make themselves feel good, momentarily. And it's addictive. And they compare themselves to each other. You don't want this shit. That's why I quit social media except whatsapp. I find whatsapp important, but other than that. Dude we will feel good only for a short time, but after that: addicted and unhappy. Impulsive. Always comparing ourselves to others. Peace.
  10. Such Small Hands

    Such Small Hands Fapstronaut

    Thanks for all the advice. Makes sense that this is a common problem for young males. Yeah, social media sucks, but sometimes you wanna catch up on a rare friend's life and you just get...sucked into the feed. Like, I plan on stopping by Facebook for a minute and suddenly I'm scrolling down pages and pages of other people's superficial happiness. Just bizarre. I need to quit and change a lot of things in my life. I'm determined. I kinda have to, or else I'll just...break. I don't know.

    Again, thanks. Stay strong!
    Campos likes this.
  11. Mankrik

    Mankrik Fapstronaut

    This is my first year in college and I'm getting a weird vibe. I think it's just that there are so many people and everyone is a stranger. Not just to be me, but also to each other. I'll go into a large class with hundreds of students and everyone seems completely disengaged from one another. Even walking around campus there's tons of people everywhere but they all seem to be alone and in a hurry. It's a weird culture and I feel out of place.

    I'm not as lonely as I used to be. I don't live at school and it's hard to meet consistent friends. There's a girl I like but she goes to a different school. We are not even together but I really like her. It just feels good to know that there's a woman that I can really relate with and that makes me happy. Its reassuring when I have struggled to meet girls I like. It started to feel hopeless. It feels good to know that finding love with a girl that makes me happy can happen and is not just a fantasy if that makes sense. I will continue to work hard in school and in a couple weeks I'm going to go visit this girl at her school.
    velkcom and Such Small Hands like this.
  12. Such Small Hands

    Such Small Hands Fapstronaut

    Good to set a goal for yourself! Make sure there's an appropriate focus on your school, though. But I'm sure you know that already.

    As for your initial thoughts, I guess it depends on which school you go to. Many schools seem to be like that, just one big passing period where students don't care to engage or create communities. Many schools have a thriving culture and a deep tradition of community, as well. Maybe think of transferring if this is a serious issue for you. If not, I suppose it's normal in a lot of places, but unfortunately so.
  13. CBook

    CBook Fapstronaut

    Hey, you're definitely not the only one. I share some of your feelings. I'm not exactly lonely because I have found some good friends at university, but your phrase "like a memory made manifest" is accurate. I went straight from upper secondary school to university and have continued living with my parents, and when your friends from your previous school are travelling around the world for months, going into serious relationships or moving to other cities in order to study, it definitely feels like I'm the only one who is the same old, boring me.

    These thoughts tormented me a lot more earlier than they do today. I'll share some advice I've identified that have helped me to handle this, perhaps it can be the same for you:

    - First, realise that you too do change! Honestly, it might be for better or worse, but the fact remains: you change. Personally I suddenly understood this during the past Christmas when I read my diary, which I've kept fairly regularly for three years now. I sometimes even laughed at my old self. So one idea might be to start keeping a diary/journal (with a holistic perspective of your life, instead of only a PMO-focused Nofap-journal) where you write about your day, thoughts you've had, persons you've met and so on and so forth.

    - This might be obvious, but it's still worth saying out loud: don't be afraid of changing yourself intentionally! I don't mean a full makeover, but rather this: pursue your interests and passions unashamedly (as long as they're not vices or maleficient to your development). Then when you meet an old friend or acquaintance, both of you will realise that you've changed too. It might be, as aforementioned, going to a gym, trying that sport you're curious of, learning an instrument etc. The point is that you do what you want and become what you want, not bound by what others think you are now. From this perspective, living detached and being alone can be helpful - you don't have to be plagued by the thought of what others will think of you when you, say, learn to play the organ (...) This is what I mean by doing it "unashamedly". In my case, it has been like this: in my previous school I became increasingly interested in culture and the arts but was almost anxious of telling others and taking action, so I held myself back. I felt that it "wasn't me" to do that and that people in my school would find it pretentious. But since I began at the university and started meeting people who had no previous impression of me, I don't feel these restraints. I did what I wanted to and today I can feel genuinely happy, because I'm pursuing my interests. When you take action in this way you're changing, and that old memory are no longer manifest.

    - I also want to comment that I don't think that others change as much as we think. As you wrote, social media just amplifies these kinds of impressions.

    There are some external resources that might be helpful, I'll mention them:
    - The book The Defining Decade by Meg Jay ( seems to address this topic. I haven't read it myself but have heard good reviews from sources I trust.
    - The psychology professor Jordan Peterson on Youtube. Right now he's involved in ideology a lot, but there is a lot of material online regarding individual advice. I suggest you give him a try, perhaps by these videos:

    I hope something might be helpful.
  14. livingconqueror

    livingconqueror Fapstronaut

    I can't help but tear up reading everyone's posts in this thread. I relate so much. I attended school for 2 years (a very small school where you pass by everyone at least once a day) and lost funding because of my grades. So I took 2 years off to re-evaluate and make money to go back and now I am back and all the people I was a freshman with are seniors graduating. Some are engaged, some married, some applying for grad schools and jobs and doing what seniors do--moving on. Here I am, returning to my sophomore year, struggling to keep up in 4 academic classes and I still know almost no one. It's so easy to slip into the negative thoughts of what could've been, how I could've been the president of a sorority or have a job working in a lab or I could be married and graduating in a few months. It's even easier to look at freshmen and think, "I am literally 3 years older than you, how are you so much more successful at making friends, being involved in things, thriving in school and being HAPPY".

    I have always loved the first two lines of the Great Gatsby: In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

    It's hard to think that about other people, but I think it's even harder for some people to think that about themselves. The truth about people is that we're all different and we're all on different paths. We have all had different parents/guardians, family structures, childhoods, experiences, relationships, knowledge. You are unique and you have something to offer the world and it will not be the same as anyone else. When I am here and I begin to think that way I think instead of all the ways in which I have made strides in my own life. I overcame a cocaine addiction all on my own. I lost 40 pounds in the past few years. I earned and saved $14,000 in a matter of months. I did that. Think that all your experiences, past and current, are leading you to something more beautiful than you can imagine, even PMO. And be proud of every step that takes you there <3
    Such Small Hands and CBook like this.
  15. Such Small Hands

    Such Small Hands Fapstronaut

    Gatsby. What a remarkable book, and what remarkable advice. I just relapsed AGAIN and reading this relieved some of the numbness.

    These journeys can be hard but we walk together, I guess.
    livingconqueror likes this.

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