Social help, not fitting in

  1. Hello, I feel a little silly writing this but I guess I really need some feedback from people that have been there and done that. I have just finished my second week of nursing school. I know it is still early but I am feeling a little out of place. It seems that most of my classmates have paired or grouped up and "cliques" are forming. There are a few people that I am friendly with but it seems like I am always getting left out. For instance, my first group project, the other ladies will schedule meeting times to organize our presentation and I will always be the last to know. Either, one lady will let me know after the fact, or I will have to ask.
    Also, I have found that I am also usually sort of left alone. I have tried to go up to groups and be friendly and conversate. They will talk to me then but no one really approaches me or tried to be my "friend". One example of that would be yesterday I approached a group to talk about our check offs and they were friendly and talkative with me; but I went to the restroom for just a couple of minutes and when I came back and they were all gone lol. Now, I know I am not there to make friends nor is that my main goal. In fact I really don't have time to have serious friendships outside of school because I am so busy with my family. But, it is making me feel very low about myself and that something is potentially wrong with me.
    I am of average height and weight and do not think there is anything physically off putting about my looks either good or bad. I have good hygiene. I am 29 and am married with a family but most of the students are my age or a little older. I try to smile and be friendly. I have even gone out of my way to be friendly to some of the girls but I don't get much back in return. The last few days I have given up and decided to eat lunch alone and study. This ended up paying off for me because I made an A on my first test but I am still feeling like a social pariah and this is honestly making me feel very anxious (which could be contributing to the problem). I have heard that you need friends to make it through nursing school. Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated
    Last edit by nursepeaches on Sep 7, '13
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    About nursepeaches, ADN, RN

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 29; Likes: 17
    from US


  3. by   Peppermint_RN
    I was the same way during my first semester. I'm not the one to go out of my way to be social (super shy!) so it's never been the easiest thing for me.

    I would say I didn't really make a nursing friend til about the end of that first semester. I became close to a couple girls in my clinical group, since we had to go to pre-clinical prep the night before, spend the whole day together at clinical the next day, and everyone traded numbers/emails to help each other on their care plans. They clicked first and became carpool buddies. I became friends with one, which got my acquainted with the other. Next thing I know, we are doing study groups and carpooling together, and calling each other having meltdowns over check-offs and exam grades!

    These 2 girls were my best friends over the next couple of years, and we still keep in touch now that we've graduated and got jobs.

    It just takes time for some people. Just keep doing what you're doing (focusing on studying & being friendly to everyone) and you'll make some buddies soon!

    Good luck in school!
  4. by   ames86
    I am in my 3rd semester and I don't have any close friendships with any of my school mates. Like you I have lots of people who I can talk to but I don't get invited to join study sessions or anything else. I did have one girl I had become friends with but she had some personal problems and dropped last semester. The problem is that while its not really an issue most of the time, it is when we have to do something in a group or have a peer look over something. I find that once everyone kinda finds their clicks its hard to get in.
  5. by   NevadaFighter
    I never really had any close friends during the nursing program. There were many people that I talked to and many people that I became closer with as the school year went on, but not enough to really consider to be anything more than acquaintances. I ate lunch by myself almost everyday...and I preferred it! I actually found many of the people in my class to be annoying and I needed the time to decompress and finish the day off without going completely insane. We had to spend so much time together as a class that I really came to appreciate the time that I got to myself. I'm sure you will develop more relationships, as the year progresses. If you don't, there is a good chance it could be for the better. I also found that I studied best by myself, so not being included in a study group didn't bother me in the least. I would have said no, anyway.

    As a PP stated, I am usually a very sociable person but nursing students are too much for me. They are over anxious and I don't want my vibe killed, ever. I have a few good acquaintances that I would love to work with but I like to keep my circle small. Less drama and stress. I need my alone time.

    You are perfectly normal and if it doesn't bother you, then keep it moving girlie!
  7. by   ArrowRN
    sometimes people in nursing school transferred from the same school or were in the same cohort in community college or highschool and hence they keep their same "cliques". People with families like myself I find also are left out. But honestly, I don't mind. I'm always busy with family and other issues besides school. I find "cliques" to be a bit immature. If people want to talk to me fine, if they don't that's fine also. However, getting along with classmates is important and helps with learning teamwork skills. People also tend to turn nursing school into a competition(and instructors actually promote this "eating their young" attitude), acting as if we not all in the same boat. you'll find students in their 2nd week acting like if they are nurses already and they tend to take charge of group projects and ignore everyone elses opinions. Other who go along with whatever the "boss" student nurse says, while others suck up to the instructors so they will get recommendations once school is done. I probably talk to 2 or 3 people on a regular basis who I would call friends and I'm in my third semester. when you start clinicals, it's then you will really start to bond and find establish good relationships and possible true friends.
  8. by   kp1987
    Nursing school unfortunately is kind of cliquey
  9. by   mytwoboysmom
    I am also a little bit shy, until I get to know people. I try to find someone sitting alone, that I know is in most of my classes then I strike up a conversation about what is due, how they did on the test, ask them for study tips (people love to share), and before you know it, I have added them to my little group of friends. Most of the people are really nice, there is one group that is cliquey, but I have become good friends with one of the girls in it, so I don't feel weird anymore when I speak to any of them. I hope you make friends soon, we are in our second semester, but I have gotten to know a lot more people since fall started. I just do it one person at a time.
  10. by   sbaker935
    Honestly I think you'll be just fine!! Soon enough you will make's hard to make friends when you get older, it's hard for me too. Just get involved and conversate with people. Find the same interests and go from there. I wouldn't worry too much
  11. by   erint91DC
    I was kinda this way during my last pre-nursing classes! I sat with a bunch of girls but they never included me in things, so eventually I started to hang out with another group. The majority of them will be starting nursing in January 2014 like me. This post gives me hope
  12. by   minniebrown
    I don't have any super close friends in nursing school. I think some people just work well together and they form a group. I wouldn't take it personally. They are just doing what works for them. It doesn't have anything to do with your like ability. Do what helps you to be successful and hopefully some friendships will develop for you over time.
  13. by   LoriRNCM
    I wouldn't sweat that AT ALL. When it gets down to it, you will likely not see half of those people at graduation. They will be long gone. The loudest, the one organizing the most outside of class group class activities.......they will fall the hardest, because it's too much about being social for them and not enough about learning.
  14. by   ScientistSalarian
    I was having the same sort of anxiety at the beginning of the semester since I'm generally pretty quiet and reserved and it takes me a long time to warm up to new people. My class is very small (around 40) and I *might* have been a little panicked at first about being "left out," especially since everyone else seemed to know each other already via our class Facebook page. (Not a member.) I actually went so far as to talk it out with the nursing counselor and they helped me realize that first and foremost it's nursing school, not Best Friend Club, and second, I was not the only person in my class who was feeling like they didn't belong in some way or another. (About half of the class had called/emailed/talked to the RN counselor in person about the same issues - we just weren't talking to each other.) Once we started clinicals in small groups of 8 or 9 it was a lot easier to connect to and get to know the people in my group, and I think I might have made a friend or two (awww). Try to be as friendly and open as you're comfortable being, but most of all just focus on your studies and give it some time.