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here2learn

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I want to study but find that I have zero friends, which I find severely hampers my studying.

I moved to this campus in Utah from the East Coast. And I know no one in this entire state. I am always alone and very, very. very lonely.

I am quite isolated on my campus on account of my religion (I am a non-practicing Christian, everyone else is Mormon on my campus and in my town).

I am looking for advice on the best way to make friends on my campus. I live off campus, which doesn't help. I am rather shy, which doesn't help either. They also wonder about my race - I am White but I look funny mixed race type because of my dark skin and curly hair. I am White though. I am not very good at making friends, I am awkward, prone to making foolish jokes, maintain silence when I should be talking. Plus I come across as intimidating since I am very tall, so I stick out. No one wants to be friends with someone who is nearly 7 foot tall. (No, I suck at sports).

It is depressing because for the last two years, I may have spoken to at most 4 or 5 people (excluding professors, cashiers at supermarkets, etc). People here are VERY polite, never rude, but they politely blow me away. They seem very intimidated by me. When they find out I am not Mormon, they walk away - very politely.

Please suggest something.

Thank you.
 

whoknows2012

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I want to study but find that I have zero friends, which I find severely hampers my studying.

I moved to this campus in Utah from the East Coast. And I know no one in this entire state. I am always alone and very, very. very lonely.

I am quite isolated on my campus on account of my religion (I am a non-practicing Christian, everyone else is Mormon on my campus and in my town).

I am looking for advice on the best way to make friends on my campus. I live off campus, which doesn't help. I am rather shy, which doesn't help either. They also wonder about my race - I am White but I look funny mixed race type because of my dark skin and curly hair. I am White though. I am not very good at making friends, I am awkward, prone to making foolish jokes, maintain silence when I should be talking. Plus I come across as intimidating since I am very tall, so I stick out. No one wants to be friends with someone who is nearly 7 foot tall. (No, I suck at sports).

It is depressing because for the last two years, I may have spoken to at most 4 or 5 people (excluding professors, cashiers at supermarkets, etc). People here are VERY polite, never rude, but they politely blow me away. They seem very intimidated by me. When they find out I am not Mormon, they walk away - very politely.

Please suggest something.

Thank you.
How the heck did you end up out there (especially if you don't like it) anyway?
 

Janieve

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Join a club. Take a community ed class (I made quite a few friends in a salsa dancing class, but I'm sure a martial art, literacy, or other class would work just fine!). Start going to the gym regularly and try to strike up conversations with people you see there often. Attend student events (rallies, lectures, conferences, whatever! You meet people, learn, and usually get free stuff).

It's hard to approach new people, but it's usually rewarding. Joining a club works especially well. You meet people with similar interests and goals, and you see them regularly. It's hard not to socialize! There's usually a lynch pin member of the group who brings everyone together easily.

You'll make friends. Chin up, kiddo! It'll all be great.
 
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here2learn

here2learn

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How the heck did you end up out there (especially if you don't like it) anyway?
Haha - you know, I often ask myself the same question. Long and complicated event behind that but what's done can't be undone now. I suppose I have to make the best of the situation I am in.

I suppose if I could find a girlfriend my problems would be over. But non-Mormons - no one EVER wants to date us.

I am just trying to make friends for now and it's so hard. It was not as bad on the East Coast but it seems impossible now. (Not that I had excellent luck on the East Coast either but I was never lonely. I never knew how to make friends but others took the initiative on the east coast and I had at least people I could chat with or call whenever I wanted back there. Here I have hardly spoken to anyone for the last two whole years).
 

cfx

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I agree with Janieve. I'm sure there are student groups/clubs on campus related to your interests. Having a collection of students who you know are interested in the same things will probably make something like this a lot easier, giving you some common ground.

Also, do you even want to pursue friends who are so judgmental that they walk away from you for not sharing their religion? Their loss. There is bound to be some students at your school who are more friendly and open minded. You just need to search them out (see above paragraph).
 

golfman

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Unless you are at BYU (a Mormon School), I highly doubt that almost everybody on your campus is Mormon. The University of Utah, and most other schools in the state, are about half mormon, half non-mormon. Maybe less.

If you are at one of these other schools, maybe join a Fraternity. I did that at a Utah school, and it was awesome and helped me make a bunch of friends. I lived off campus too. You just to search out opportunities. It doesn't have to be through a fraternity. Try volunteering or getting involved in Student Government, you can make a bunch of friends that way. Or join some interest groups or clubs.

The opportunities are there, you just need to be a bit more proactive and find them. And get over the fear that because you are not Mormon in Utah everybody hates you. That is just flat out not true.
 
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here2learn

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Unless you are at BYU (a Mormon School), I highly doubt that almost everybody on your campus is Mormon. The University of Utah, and most other schools in the state, are about half mormon, half non-mormon. Maybe less.

If you are at one of these other schools, maybe join a Fraternity. I did that at a Utah school, and it was awesome and helped me make a bunch of friends. I lived off campus too. You just to search out opportunities. It doesn't have to be through a fraternity. Try volunteering or getting involved in Student Government, you can make a bunch of friends that way. Or join some interest groups or clubs.

The opportunities are there, you just need to be a bit more proactive and find them. And get over the fear that because you are not Mormon in Utah everybody hates you. That is just flat out not true.
I am on a campus that is more Mormon than BYU. At least BYU has international students and graduate students who are not Mormon. You also have Mormon students from outside of Utah who go to BYU who are accustomed to non-Mormons and at ease with them. Mine is a BYU-reject school - kids who get rejected by BYU come here. Almost everyone is from Utah. Trust me - this is way more Mormon than BYU.

No one hates me. People are basically very nice and polite. They just politely ignore me once they realize I am not Mormon.
 
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I am on a campus that is more Mormon than BYU. At least BYU has international students and graduate students who are not Mormon. You also have Mormon students from outside of Utah who go to BYU who are accustomed to non-Mormons and at ease with them. Mine is a BYU-reject school - kids who get rejected by BYU come here. Almost everyone is from Utah. Trust me - this is way more Mormon than BYU.

No one hates me. People are basically very nice and polite. They just politely ignore me once they realize I am not Mormon.
Did you not research the school before making the big decision to spend your next 4+ years there? Why did you even choose to apply to the school to begin with? :confused:

If I were to somehow ever find myself in that situation I would just withdraw, move back, go to a community college and try to get myself into another school...
 

golfman

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They just politely ignore me once they realize I am not Mormon.
I doubt that. Having been in Utah for a while, I am in circles of friends when I honestly can't tell, or remember, who is Mormon and who is not Mormon. Unless we are at a bar or something, then I can tell.

In my opinion, people are not ignoring you just because you Mormon. It's probably something else and you are blaming it on religion.

Although I will admit that many Mormon girls hesitate to date Mormon guys, because the Church highly suggests marrying within the same religion, as marriage is one of the most important things in the Church. Which makes sense, if you are going to be involved in somewhat time-demanding religion, it would make sense to marry someone that understands the religion and that can participate in things with you. History says that religion starts wars. If that is true, what will it do to a dual-religion marriage? Not to say dual religion marriages can never work out (my aunt and uncle are of different religions and are okay), but obviously it can be helpful if both people are on the same page.
 

orthomyxo

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I find it extremely odd that you would move all the way to Utah (such a random state lol) from the east coast, especially given that you had no connections there of any kind. Sounds awful to me; I'd transfer ASAP.
 

chrisoc13

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I am on a campus that is more Mormon than BYU. At least BYU has international students and graduate students who are not Mormon. You also have Mormon students from outside of Utah who go to BYU who are accustomed to non-Mormons and at ease with them. Mine is a BYU-reject school - kids who get rejected by BYU come here. Almost everyone is from Utah. Trust me - this is way more Mormon than BYU.

No one hates me. People are basically very nice and polite. They just politely ignore me once they realize I am not Mormon.
What school would that be then (just curious)? UVU? SUU? Dixie State? Snow? I could see Snow or Dixie being a problem because they are in small towns, but UVU has a similar makeup as BYU, and SUU is in a decent location.

I think you will find this "judgment" is mostly your perception. Being Mormon myself I have plenty of non-mormon friends. It means nothing to me if someone is Mormon or not, it only matters if I enjoy spending time with them or not. Unless they are spending all their time attacking my beliefs I really could care less what they believe. I have a feeling a lot of this is your perception, which is completely understandable. You feel different then the people around you. My suggestion is to forget about your difference and just try to have fun. Don't make religion an issue and it probably won't be. Most people are not going to ask if you are Mormon or not so don't worry about it and just try and get to know some people without focusing on your religious differences.

Dating could be a problem for sure, and I understand that is difficult. Just don't worry about it and you may want to think about transferring to a more diverse school (even in Utah there are far more diverse schools around) and see if the change of scene helps your dating life. But you should be able to have friends most places.

As far as the east coast to mountain west difference, I think that is a little overplayed. If anything the west is friendlier than the east in my experience.
 

chrisoc13

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One more thought for you here2learn. If you are in a school as Mormon as you say (granted only svu and byu-i are probably more Mormon than BYU haha) certainly there are fhe groups. While these are organized by the church they have activities every Monday night which almost always have nothing to do with religion. If you are lonely I would try attending these. Generally they are just fun activities with people who live in your neighborhood. You will get to know people and will have fun.

Or look for local ward activities. Again these are rarely religious but can be a lot of fun. Generally in small Mormon locations there tends to be quite a lot of social activity around churches. You can enjoy the activities and people's company without being of the same religion.

I grew up in an area where there are not that many Mormons and I often went to other church's activities with my friends simply to have fun and hang out. Not big deal and an easy way to meet people if nothing else is going on (not that that is all that I did for fun haha).
 

juliedi

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Is this thread for realzies? I just don't know if I believe it...
 

Janieve

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Is this thread for realzies? I just don't know if I believe it...
I thought it was. Now I am unsure.

I follow in case of lulz.
 
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you should probably just say you're mormon so they accept you. beat them at their own game if they are discriminatory. this is probably bad advice, i'm just trying to help in my own way and i feel for the thread starter.
 

Dianyla

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Please suggest something.

Thank you.
There are only two reasons to live in Utah. The first is being Mormon. The second is being really into skiing/mountainbiking/canyoneering/hiking.

If neither of those appeal to you, move.
you should probably just say you're mormon so they accept you. beat them at their own game if they are discriminatory. this is probably bad advice, i'm just trying to help in my own way and i feel for the thread starter.
There's no way to fake being Mormon. They'll know the OP's lying within 2-3 followup questions, which will be "What ward do you attend?" "Where did you serve your mission?" and "Why aren't you married yet?"
Check out the LDS church. Seriously. We're not that bad.
Oh, sure, it's great. If you have a penis. :smuggrin:
 

Morzh

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You don't need real life friends to be happy or accomplish your dreams. Just buy a WoW account and divide your time 3 ways: school, SDN, and WoW. Use WoW to foster a recreational social life outside of your academic circle (and have a lot of fun doing it!), and SDN to cultivate friendships with your "fellow" classmates, and that should leave more than enough time for studying/ECs. Trust me. That plan is golden.
 

Morzh

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Oh yeah this thread reminds of a question... so I know dental schools have a WAY higher percentage of mormon students than chance would predict.. how true is that for med school? Are like ~20+% of the people on this board mormon like it is over in the pre-dent forums?
 

ryandote

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I want to study but find that I have zero friends, which I find severely hampers my studying.

I moved to this campus in Utah from the East Coast. And I know no one in this entire state. I am always alone and very, very. very lonely.

....

Please suggest something.

Thank you.
Disclaimer: Mormon here.

You must be at UVU (called UVSC last time I lived in the state). There is a legitimate chance that UVU is more Mormon than BYU but probably not, to be honest. Nevertheless, I can totally comprehend your predicament living in a heavily LDS environment. I'm not going to say I "feel your pain" since I'm LDS, butI have at least tried to imagine myself in your situation.

Here goes: There are LOTS of non-LDS people in SLC and some in Provo/Orem. It will take a very outgoing personality, but they are there to be found. Try SLC, bars, and clubs. In that order. Your second option is to just put up with the Mormons trying to convert you while maintaining a friendly personality. They WILL try to convert you.... that's just what we do. (Only because we genuinely think it is the best pathway to true happiness, but that's for another thread). Fight through some FHEs, attend sacrament meeting a few times, and maybe even listen to the missionaries once or twice. Keep an open mind, but if it doesn't suit you than you should tell people that with an honest heart.

We're different, but we're not bad (in general). You are different than us, but you are also not bad (I don't think). It will shine through.



Oh yeah this thread reminds of a question... so I know dental schools have a WAY higher percentage of mormon students than chance would predict.. how true is that for med school? Are like ~20+% of the people on this board mormon like it is over in the pre-dent forums?
Rebuttal: There are very likely more Mormons in dental school than you'd predict from samples of the general population.... BUT, the proportion of dental school applicants that are Mormon is VERY high. I'd really like to see those numbers. Our religion stresses family and education - how much more Mormon can you get than a professional degree that leads to a 9 to 5 job with a large enough income to support 9-10 kids? I almost feel guilty for going to med school instead!
 

ryandote

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Haha - you know, I often ask myself the same question. Long and complicated event behind that but what's done can't be undone now. I suppose I have to make the best of the situation I am in.

I suppose if I could find a girlfriend my problems would be over. But non-Mormons - no one EVER wants to date us.

I am just trying to make friends for now and it's so hard. It was not as bad on the East Coast but it seems impossible now. (Not that I had excellent luck on the East Coast either but I was never lonely. I never knew how to make friends but others took the initiative on the east coast and I had at least people I could chat with or call whenever I wanted back there. Here I have hardly spoken to anyone for the last two whole years).

That's likely the crux. Mormon girls are taught to date boys that can marry them in the temple (ie, Mormon boys that closely follow the commandments). I don't know what to tell you to do, except maybe stress that you are dating and not looking to get married... which may help Mormon girls see you as somebody to have fun with, but not consider for marriage - if that's what you want.

Your other option is similar to the last one I posted: SLC.
 

fish89

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I think the most important thing is to just be yourself. I'm awkward all the time. Also silent. But I have friends who care about me and understand me enough to accept that.

Others will treat you according to how you make them feel. So make people feel understood, heard, taken care of - they will do the same for you. It starts by you taking initiative and caring for others - you don't have to do anything sophisticated - you don't have to be charismatic or good-looking. i used to be very awkward too. and shy. afraid of the approach. afraid to look peopl ein the eye. then i realized, why think so much about these things? it's not about whether i'm weird or awkward or strange. friendship is about a give and take - mutual caring - supporting one another unconditionally. if it's a give and take, then you can start with the give. :thumbup:

make conversation with people. ask them about themselves. where are they from? where did they grow up? what clsses are they taking? invite people to hang out. even if you get rejected, its ok, keep looking for good solid ppl. take the meat and throw away the bones. the ones who dont stick around arent worth sticking around for.

joining social groups helps too. my church is a huge source of support. if you aren't religious, there are plenty of ways to meet people- on my campus we hvae cultural clubs, frats, sororities, the physics or debate club, etc.. find people who are similar to you. then show them you care. see it this way: you have a great gift to offer to others - the gift of yourself and your kindness. =]
 

Janieve

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I don't know about Utah, but here in Can'taffordya the women are treated quite nicely. The worst they ever have to deal with are hoards of men, most of them attractive, asking for their hand in marriage all the time. Those poor women, their lives sound horrible!
:barf:

Hoards of marriage-hungry men? Yuck. You went too far, man. Way too far.
 

Dianyla

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I don't know about Utah, but here in Can'taffordya the women are treated quite nicely. The worst they ever have to deal with are hoards of men, most of them attractive, asking for their hand in marriage all the time. Those poor women, their lives sound horrible!
I agree, it is horrible when a person's only value is marriage-fodder. It's especially charming when every man's attempts to chat you up goes something like this:

Creepy Desperate Singles Ward Dude: So, what do you do?
Me, at 18: Oh, I go to school.
CDSWD: For what?
Me, at 18: I'm planning on applying to medical school.
CDSWD: Why?
Me, at 18: Uh, because I want to be a doctor.
CDSWD: *boggles*
Me, at 18: *wrinkles nose*
CDSWD: But don't you know that the prophet says that marriage and children are more important than medical school???
Me, at 18: *rolls eyes and walks away*


Yes, charming indeed. :love:
 

chrisoc13

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I agree, it is horrible when a person's only value is marriage-fodder. It's especially charming when every man's attempts to chat you up goes something like this:

Creepy Desperate Singles Ward Dude: So, what do you do?
Me, at 18: Oh, I go to school.
CDSWD: For what?
Me, at 18: I'm planning on applying to medical school.
CDSWD: Why?
Me, at 18: Uh, because I want to be a doctor.
CDSWD: *boggles*
Me, at 18: *wrinkles nose*
CDSWD: But don't you know that the prophet says that marriage and children are more important than medical school???
Me, at 18: *rolls eyes and walks away*


Yes, charming indeed. :love:
Seems that is a bit of a generalization seeing as both my wife and I are Mormon and she is currently applying for PhD programs while I apply to MD programs. But I guess it is fair to paint with a broad stroke and assume all are the same.
 
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here2learn

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One more thought for you here2learn. If you are in a school as Mormon as you say (granted only svu and byu-i are probably more Mormon than BYU haha) certainly there are fhe groups. While these are organized by the church they have activities every Monday night which almost always have nothing to do with religion. If you are lonely I would try attending these. Generally they are just fun activities with people who live in your neighborhood. You will get to know people and will have fun.

Or look for local ward activities. Again these are rarely religious but can be a lot of fun. Generally in small Mormon locations there tends to be quite a lot of social activity around churches. You can enjoy the activities and people's company without being of the same religion.

I grew up in an area where there are not that many Mormons and I often went to other church's activities with my friends simply to have fun and hang out. Not big deal and an easy way to meet people if nothing else is going on (not that that is all that I did for fun haha).
I did go to FHE's as well as ward activities. I am sorry to say that most people exclude even Mormons who look different at such activities. So if you have an LDS girl who is rather unattractive or if there is an LDS guy who is say Asian, they too are excluded - very politely I might add. A non-Mormon like me is definitely excluded.
 
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here2learn

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you should probably just say you're mormon so they accept you. beat them at their own game if they are discriminatory. this is probably bad advice, i'm just trying to help in my own way and i feel for the thread starter.
That's impossible. Mormons have their own language. If you say you're Mormon and someone comes up and asks you questions like are you in a branch or a ward, who is your stake president, who is your bishop, what did you do for FHEs, etc, then you're in serious trouble. Or if someone says, we're going to the Temple, wanna come? And you being Mormon, you don't have a temple recommend so you can't enter their temple. The person will instantly know you are not Mormon and in one hour ONE HOUR the news will spread to every single person at the university.
 
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here2learn

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You don't need real life friends to be happy or accomplish your dreams. Just buy a WoW account and divide your time 3 ways: school, SDN, and WoW. Use WoW to foster a recreational social life outside of your academic circle (and have a lot of fun doing it!), and SDN to cultivate friendships with your "fellow" classmates, and that should leave more than enough time for studying/ECs. Trust me. That plan is golden.
Waht is a WoW account? What is WoW???
 
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It starts by you taking initiative and caring for others - you don't have to do anything sophisticated - you don't have to be charismatic or good-looking. i used to be very awkward too. and shy. afraid of the approach. afraid to look peopl ein the eye. then i realized, why think so much about these things? it's not about whether i'm weird or awkward or strange. friendship is about a give and take - mutual caring - supporting one another unconditionally. if it's a give and take, then you can start with the give. :thumbup:

make conversation with people. ask them about themselves. where are they from? where did they grow up? what clsses are they taking? invite people to hang out. even if you get rejected, its ok, keep looking for good solid ppl. take the meat and throw away the bones. the ones who dont stick around arent worth sticking around for.

=]
You know, I started doing all those things recently. They don't help. I think I know why. Basically I am a silent, passive type. When I take an active, initiative role, I probably come across as phony. That could be one reason. But the MAIN reason I think is that I am 7 foot tall and have dark complexion with curly hair which makes me look mixed-race even though I am White. Girls get VERY intimidated by me. Guys don't like to be seen next to me because they appear small. After dark, girls are positively scared by me, even in a campus building. Plus everyone is Mormon and everyone knows other mormons and I am a non-Mormon stranger to them. It doesn't help that I am awkward myself. It doesn't help that I am trying to make friends. Maybe I would have better luck if I didn't try to make friends. It doesn't help that I want a girlfriend. Maybe I would have better luck if I never cared about having a girlfriend.
 

chrisoc13

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I did go to FHE's as well as ward activities. I am sorry to say that most people exclude even Mormons who look different at such activities. So if you have an LDS girl who is rather unattractive or if there is an LDS guy who is say Asian, they too are excluded - very politely I might add. A non-Mormon like me is definitely excluded.
Calling BS on that now. I mean are you trying to be serious any more?
 

chrisoc13

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You know, I started doing all those things recently. They don't help. I think I know why. Basically I am a silent, passive type. When I take an active, initiative role, I probably come across as phony. That could be one reason. But the MAIN reason I think is that I am 7 foot tall and have dark complexion with curly hair which makes me look mixed-race even though I am White. Girls get VERY intimidated by me. Guys don't like to be seen next to me because they appear small. After dark, girls are positively scared by me, even in a campus building. Plus everyone is Mormon and everyone knows other mormons and I am a non-Mormon stranger to them. It doesn't help that I am awkward myself. It doesn't help that I am trying to make friends. Maybe I would have better luck if I didn't try to make friends. It doesn't help that I want a girlfriend. Maybe I would have better luck if I never cared about having a girlfriend.
I regularly look at people I meet to make sure they are not bigger than me so I don't appear small.

One of my good friends is half black and looks white with curly hair, funny thing is I don't hear him complaining about every aspect of his life.
 

afugazzi

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Does meetup.com have any clubs in your area? I've found it's a great way to meet people with similar interests.
 

peppy

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I think the shyness is what is holding you back more than anything. You perceive things about yourself as flaws that I promise you other people are not seeing when they look at you.
Anywhere that there are a lot of Mormons, there is bound to be a community of ex-Mormons. You could try seeking out those people and commiserate with them about how hard it is to fit in with Mormons. :) http://exmormon.meetup.com/cities/us/ut/salt_lake_city/
 
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Silence is just awkward. If there is silence for more than five seconds, the other person will most likely try to find excuses to leave. You may need to ask more questions and show interest.
 
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dear thread starter:
I feel you. Try to see the best in these people. Deep down, they are all just human and they all just want to be happy. Forgive them for being excluding. Their actions are not worth your suffering.
 
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Thanks for the religious intolerance.
Most religious groups can point to a time or place, or many of each, when their members have been persecuted. And, hypocritically, members and authorities of many organized religions have prescribed actions or conduct that have had the effect of causing persecution and intolerance against other individuals or groups. The Mormons are no exception to this, and neither is most any other.

Organized religion has arguably not been a positive force, on balance, in human history of the last few thousand years.
 
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Sorry, I would like to withdraw my post. I read what I had posted again and I sound like a jerk. Mormons are good people. The fault is mine.
 
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