It’s a funny thing, being a young adult. We’ve just emerged from all the insecurities and cliquey-ness of high school, thinking we’d survived it all (we could argue that some people may have mentally never actually left high school anyways, to be fair). Then you arrive at university, and face a whole tonne of new pressures to deal with (especially in the halls).
Most of us might look back at the things we worried about as teenagers and laugh. We bloody weren’t overweight like we imagined, being popular really wasn’t as important as we thought it was, and no one honestly cared or remembered whether we wore cool brands on Mufti Day - everyone was too busy worrying about themselves. That’s the key thing to remember; whether you’re stressing out about people judging you in the gym, at a party, dancing in Outback, whatever. Usually, everybody’s honestly too preoccupied with themselves to give two fucks about whatever you’re doing. It may not be reassuring for your ego, but it’s a great reminder for your social anxiety.
It’s transparent as fuck when people around you are clearly doing whatever they’re doing just to try and impress others. Don’t do it. If you really want to connect with others, just be authentic. Some people genuinely have the kind of personality where having crazy tats, wearing dad sneakers, and smoking darts in one hand with a Billy Mav in the other is 100% “them”. Then there are the other cases where your mate, once a puritan, all of a sudden won’t stop going off their nut about dropping caps, Travis Scott, and getting on the rark every day of the week. We all love a good piss-up but it gets kind of irritating seeing a mate act so radically different to try and impress others, right?
The point is, you don’t have to go on about the approximately three or four topics all students have in common to try and feel well-liked. It’s actually kind of cool if you like music other than the same shit everybody else listens to. If everyone else at the party is smoking like a 60 year-old former rockstar but you’re not keen, just firmly say no thanks (they won’t care - people try and rax them so often, after all). You might be at a festie where 9/10 people are abso-fuckin-lutely munched, but if you don’t want to do the hard stuff, it’s totally cool; you won’t be judged for saying no. If you are, what a crock of shit; find some better mates.
Remember that you won’t actually stay friends with most of the people you’re mates with at university, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Don’t let your desire for social acceptance overtake everything else going on in your life. Do a little soul-searching, man; an accidental ecstasy addiction won’t help you find a life after uni, after all.