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Why does my social life suck so much?

  1. Jan 26, 2008 #1
    i am a junior and just transferred to my new school. i dont want to end up really awkward and lonely and have horrendous hygiene like a couple of my professors. I'm not THAT introverted, I've met plenty of people and made a few aquaintances but no real "friends", and small talk all right (i think). i've only been involved in a few conversations beyond small talk so far, and most of the time i had nothing to say due to my lack of knowledge. probably because i dont see movies, watch tv, listen to music, play video games all that much. the only i thing i really follow that people talk about is sports. but if i start focusing on those things, then my academics will slip, but i want to go to a good grad school in math or physics. i cant seem to turn my acquaintances into friends since they all have different class schedules and live in the dorms, and i dont. i spend most of the day alone, studying in the library or on the computer. but i guess this is all my fault since i never really tried to be social until recently :cry:

    if thats not bad enough, i've NEVER been on a date! what i really fear is that even if a girl started seeing interest in me, she'll be freaked out by the fact that i have absolutely no social life whatsoever.

    on the plus side, i think i'm improving on my shyness and confidence each day. but i'm still very insecure

    how can a math/physics nerd like me get a better social life? should i even try or instead just focus purely on academics and grad school only? but i know this is college and i've got to make the best of what is remaining, right? its gonna be all work afterwards
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2008 #2
    If you do not have a good self esteem, act like you have one. There really isn't that much difference from the outside. However, be prepared that this makes you even colder than before.
     
  4. Jan 26, 2008 #3
    maybe i should just admit to everyone i talk to that i have no life and study all the time. it'll get rid of my insecurities as i'll no longer worry what they think of me, and i'll be more comfortable with myself. but this will guarantee me no friends and isolation
     
  5. Jan 26, 2008 #4
    Now you are confusing the issues here. By acting like you have good self esteem and flaunt your skills in your area of knowledge, you will establish dominance with other people as your fictitious subordinates, and that is what really matters.

    When push comes to shove, simply argue that you have better things to do with your life than to arbitrarily waste it away in fleeting social relationships.

    All social relationships are based on real or imagined mental or physical dominance. Go for it.
     
  6. Jan 26, 2008 #5
    Just exploit your stronger side. With your superior knowledge you could actively seek to help your classmates with homework and study. The result may surprise you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  7. Jan 26, 2008 #6
    I would encourage you to attempt to find like-minded people that you can relate to versus feigning interest with a group of idiotic peers. Try joining and outing club or something.
     
  8. Jan 26, 2008 #7

    chroot

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    Go live in the dorms. Try playing video games or watching movies with the other people, regardless of whether you know anything about the games or movies yet. Allow other people to show you what they're interested in, and allow yourself to get interested in the same things. You do not need to study 24/7 to do well in college, and social skills are an important part of your education.

    - Warren
     
  9. Jan 26, 2008 #8

    Astronuc

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    That's good advice! I concur.

    One could join a club, e.g. physics or astronomy, or become a student member of any number of scientific or technical societies.

    First day of class, I usually would strike up a conversation with whomever was in the classroom.

    Perhaps I was fortunate in my nuclear engineering program. I transferred from a physics program, and by junior year there was maybe 20 students left in the nuc program. Most of us socialized, but there was a core of us that used to get together for dinner or drinks on the Friday or weekend.

    In grad school, I new most of my colleagues, and we'd get together on the weekend to play soccer, football or baseball, depending on the season. Several professors would have social events, e.g. barbecues or in one case, a pool cleaning party, which meant the grad students would clean the pool one weekend in the spring - and we'd do an all day barbecue.

    Don't worry about it! Concentrate on the academics and gradually find opportunities to socialize.
     
  10. Jan 26, 2008 #9
    Is there an undergrad physics student club? They may have intramural sports teams just for fun. Maybe the club has a room where people just hang out? I bet your school has lots of clubs - pick one that sounds cool and see what it's like.

    Does the physics department ever have activities for which they need undergrad volunteers?

    Where do students eat their lunches? If your class finishes at noon you could see if any of your seat-neighbours wants to go somewhere delicious. If you're at the library or the computer lab in the evening you could see if anybody wants to go out for dinner or order a pizza.

    It sucks to be new. I've moved four times to places where I didn't know ANYBODY. It just takes awhile to make friends.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2008 #10
    i already do most of the helping out with the study group i'm with. its frustrating that the other physics transfers arent as acadmically motivated as me. or it could just be that they have a life, unlike me

    i applied for the dorms, but the school assigned me the apartments instead. i know that social skills are importnat

    i'm already in the physics club. hopefully, this quarter it'll be more social than last quarter. gradually find opportunities to socialize? then i have to tolerate being a lonely loser for how much longer?

    i've tried joining lots of clubs, and in most of them i didnt feel they were a fit for me. one of my classes ends at 11am, but i like to eat lunch at noon and afterwards. i always go to the library alone, so cant eat with anyone for dinner
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  12. Jan 26, 2008 #11
    I don't think you should only focus on acedemics, go out and meet a few other guys that you can just hang around with, and just socialise, you can't really make it happen. if I were you I'd just go to a few bars or clubs and just meet a few people, just enjoy yourself. Girls are everywhere, and if you have a social life, they will come.

    Though your studying is very important, and the reason you are there soem social life will prepare you for life after education.

    Good luck :smile:
     
  13. Jan 26, 2008 #12

    Astronuc

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    What about other clubs, e.g. photography, astronomy, math, outdoors, . . .

    The universities I attended had an assortment of clubs, like the ones I mentioned, but then there was various martial arts clubs, cycling, sailing, fencing, . . . .

    What about sports intramurals. Different dorms at the universities would put together intramural teams, and some academic departments would also do certain sports.

    Gradually, as in don't drop academics to focus on socializing. Drop the thought of being a loser!

    Besides - one can practice socializing at PF. :biggrin:
     
  14. Jan 26, 2008 #13
    also, how is someone as nerdy as me supposed to find hot girls? i have to improve on my social life and become cooler before i have any chance of meeting cool girls, right?
     
  15. Jan 26, 2008 #14
    Mate, you are totally not a loser. Good work ethics is the complete opposite, if you're achieving in your work, that's great. I have a close relative who has similar problems. It's a case of finding a balance between the two (Work & Play) go out now and again to a pub or something just enjoy getting to know people. I'll say it again, you aren't a loser, the people who are obsessed with getting drunk, and not applying themselves are the losers really.
     
  16. Jan 26, 2008 #15
    Dude, you don't worry about getting a hot girl, get one you like. Just be yourself, yes improve on your social life, but don't turn into something you aren't.
     
  17. Jan 26, 2008 #16
    Here is my advice:

    Talking to people is about finding common grounds. Pure and simple.

    Pros:

    1: You transfered. I transfered to my school as well. When you meet people and tell them you transfered, you will be amazed how many people transfer as well. Thats one very easy way to find common grounds with someone and talk to them. You also run into people that you took classes with outside your major before you transfered who are happy to see a familiar face.

    2: Join a social organization. I met a lot of people in the mechanical engineering lounge when I first transfered. Im sure there is one for math and physics.

    3: Dont go on any dates until you have some friends and become comfortable around people. Its going to be a disaster.

    4: Gaining confidence takes time. You cant just 'act' it, becaue people will see right through it. I can tell if someone is faking confidence by saying something outrageous infront of a large group of people and watch their reaction. They become quiet and cant believe what I just said. Here is a secret. You can say anything no matter how outrageous if you have confidence and people wont think twice about it. I say very explicitly sexual stuff infront of people no matter where Im at or who is around to complete strangers when I first meet them. Usually they cant believe someone just said that infront of them, but then shrug if off when I say it like is no big deal. Thats having confidence.

    If someone said that to me, Id say wow thats too bad I hope it works out, and walk away slowly. Ive been around people with no social skills, and they just keep hanging around talking when I dont want to talk to them. They dont get a clue. Just keep that in the back of your mind when your talking to people so you dont come across as being 'that guy'. Guys will put up with it a few times. Girls will tell you to get lost the first time.

    5: Sports is a GREAT way to talk to people. Most guys and even girls love sports (football). Thats a great way to get people talking.

    6: I never lived on campus. That excuse wont fly.

    Take things one step at a time.

    -Find people you knew from the school you transfered with and make friends with them.

    -Join a club and make friends

    -Talk to people in class (Dont talk to them about school related stuff, thats boring)

    -Smile, relax, remember, your a cool guy.

    -DRESS WELL (it shows social awareness)

    -Find some girls you know that you are NOT attracted to, and talk to them as much as you can to become comfortable talking to girls.

    -Its going to take you at least 6 months to a year before you really see yourself gaining confidence.

    (Notice I didnt write down any cons?) Conversating is all about using what you got to make commonality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  18. Jan 26, 2008 #17
    what kind of guys would want to hang out with me, besides fellow nerds and geeks? go to bars and clubs by myself? there hardly any girls in physics and math classes. its quite the opposite in the volunteer organizations i've joined however. but i feel very awkward being there as i'm the only nerd there. thats why i was thinking of improving my knowledge of pop culture, music, etc so i could fit in with them

    astronomy club - they were all older students taking the same classes, so i felt out of place.
    math club - they havent even met once this quarter.

    sports.. in the only one i'm involved with, the acquaintances who have the same skill level as me can only meet once a week.
     
  19. Jan 26, 2008 #18

    Astronuc

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    :rofl: No.

    What about you makes you nerdy?


    One could start a weight training course and start doing some intermediate distance running. Cycling is also a good excercise.


    When I was a freshman at university, my dorm had a dance. I saw a very attractive woman, who turned out to be one of the 'hotest' girls at school. I found out who she was and left a note in her mailbox. She agreed to go out with me (a blind date). My friends couldn't believe it! They all wanted to know how I got a date with her. I told them - "I simply asked her out" - which is what happened.

    We went to a movie on campus. She wasn't that impressed. I think she was looking for a more popular guy, perhaps an athelete, but she did go out with one that one time. She declined my followup for another date. I was disapppointed but got over it. Later on, we occasionally encountered each other, and we developed a cordial relationship.

    For the rest of my university program, I met lots of other nice and attractive women, until I met one whom I married at the end my undergrad program.
     
  20. Jan 26, 2008 #19
    Proton, seriously if you walk around thinking you're a nerd then that's how you will come across. I can tell you from experience when people go down the pub, or in clubs they don't talk about who had a hit single in November 1987, they just go down for a chat about nothing. Seriously it takes time. Don't be ashamed of who you are.
     
  21. Jan 26, 2008 #20
    Hey, look, it's hard to arrive in the middle of your program when everybody else already has a social life settled. But it will get easier everytime you start a new class and there's people you recognize. It will be even easier when you start grad school - when you show up in September with all the other newbies you will have lots of opportunities to meet people who also want to make friends.

    Does your school have a lounge for the physics club? Can't you stop by the physics building on your way back from the library? Can you study in the physics building instead of the library?

    Hey wait, you live in an APARTMENT? Invite your seatmates over and rent a movie! And I bet the folks who live in the dorms are absolutely sick of the cafeteria food - invite then to cook dinner with you. Invite two people on either side of you in one of your lectures and that's enough to eat two pizzas.

    You could also see about getting a summer lab job or volunteering in a lab. That will help perk up your social life too!
     
  22. Jan 26, 2008 #21

    Moonbear

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    What do your roommates do then? Even if you only live with 2 or 3 other people in a campus apartment, that's still 2 or 3 people to socialize with. Suggest to them throwing a party in your apartment and have them invite their friends, and you can invite some of your classmates or fellow club members, and by the end of the night, you should have a few new friends, or at least acquaintances who can turn into friends.


    Well, if the students in one club aren't social or a fit, join a different club; eventually you'll find one with people and things you enjoy. You have to MAKE opportunities to socialize.

    When you go to the dining hall for meals, go at busy times, and use that as an excuse to join a table already full of people, or to sit down with someone else dining alone. When you sit down, introduce yourself to the others at the table. You don't have to have people already with you to sit with people for meals. Heck, I've met really interesting people in cities I've visited the same way...walk into a crowded cafe, see someone sitting alone who doesn't look like they're really enjoying being alone (if someone seems immersed in a book, I leave them alone...they might want to just read and be left alone...but if they seem to be looking around at the crowd, then I figure it's worth a try), and walk up, ask if they mind me joining them since they're alone and I'm alone, and then we end up striking up a conversation...I just start off asking basic questions...do they live in the area or there visiting or for work, what do they do, etc.

    Or, since you say you rarely get out to see movies and such, and that's what people are talking about, when they talk about the movies, just say something like, "Ugh, I've been studying so much that I haven't gotten to see a movie in forever! I need a break; why don't a bunch of us head to see something this weekend?"

    Aside from studying, what do you enjoy doing? You said you like watching sports, so you should invite some people over to watch a game on TV and have a small party, or get a couple tickets for a game you enjoy watching, and then tell people who you might enjoy hanging out with that you wound up with an extra ticket and were wondering if they or anyone they knew might want to go to the game with you.

    So, along with the entire theme above, the best way to meet people is to introduce yourself to them, or invite them to join you for things. If you sit around waiting for others to do the inviting, you may never meet new people, but if you take the initiative, I'll bet there are plenty of other people who would be glad to take a break from studying to do something fun too.
     
  23. Jan 26, 2008 #22

    EnumaElish

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    My advice is to take up some "strenuous" physical activity, even it's one hour/week.

    By studying you are investing in yourself, and that inevitably has some costs. No one is imposing these costs onto you -- it's up to you to say "I am done studying this week" and seek an alternative activity. This, too, will have consequences. As long as you are comfortable with these consequences you should be fine.

    Very few costs are permanent. Most (perhaps all) costs are time costs. You can either study now and have fun during the summer, or have more fun and less studying now if you can catch up later. If there is absolutely no way to delay studying (there may not be), then you may have to postpone all alternative activities until the summer (or graduation).

    However, it is possible that you can study more efficiently if you are having some alternative activities. Try working out one hour/week for a month and see if that has any positive impact overall. Ideally, you should have 3 workouts 20 mins. each, but two 30-min workouts or even one 1-hr workout would be better than none.

    Finally, my impression is women love to talk almost about anything. If talking with people is (or can be) your thing, then you have an advantage over competition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  24. Jan 26, 2008 #23

    Moonbear

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    What makes you think you want a "hot cool" girl? (oxymorons anyone?) If you're not into the things they're into, maybe you're aiming in the wrong direction. Maybe you'd be more comfortable with the quiet, studious girls, y'know, the ones who are also spending all day in the library who you might just keep bumping into? (I bumped into a guy twice in about 10 minutes yesterday...literally...nearly ran each over both heading for the stairwell together, and then a few minutes later, nearly collided again going for sodas in the cafeteria...as I was shaking my head over this, I decided if I bumped into him a third time, I was going to introduce myself.) While the "cool" girls are busy preening and grooming and worrying about the "hot cool" boys they're going to meet at all the frat parties, you could be out having a wonderful time with a wonderfully interesting, pretty, sweet girl who is just a bit geeky too.
     
  25. Jan 26, 2008 #24

    chroot

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    Skip the astronomy/physics/math/academic clubs. Join something with a more social purpose, like Habitat for Humanity. You'll meet some very cool people there.

    - Warren
     
  26. Jan 26, 2008 #25
    I'll say this. Ive been to a few parties with frat type boys. There not 'hot cool' boys. There mostly drunks who dont know how to dress themselves. They wear polo shirts with their collars popped...lame.

    Also, dont judge a book by its cover. Just because a girl/guy takes care of themselves does NOT mean they are shallow. There are lots of smart girls out there who take care of themselves. I see no excuse as to why a girl/guy should walk around looking 'geeky' when they pass the age of 21. If I were in your situation, I would just practice talking to 'geeky' girls that you are not attracted to just for practice and then talk to other girls that are slightly more in line with what you are attracted to (That way your not worried about the outcome of the conversation).

    Be careful though, most of the time 'geeky' girls dont have the conversational wit of more social women. Girls love to test your wit in conversation. You will notice this as you talk to them, and its why you need to PRACTICE talking to people to develop this wit before you go out to a bar. DO NOT go to a bar alone. You're not going to 'make friends' in a bar at this stage.
     
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