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Old 16-10-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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SIers at uni - advice?

I'm sure there are loads of threads like this one, but I kind of have to ask this...

I don't want to live in long sleeves and gloves for the rest of my time at uni, but I also don't know whether it would be okay just to walk round with scars on my arms, because at the moment I have quite a lot of the fresher, red ones so it would be obvious that they are recent. I also haven't seen any hint of scars on anybody else at all, even though I feel like I'm constantly looking, so I have no idea how people in general would take it. I want to wear some of my nicer clothes without putting a jacket over them all the time, or wearing lacey black gloves.

I don't know whether I am close enough to my flatmates to want to discuss it if they ask, and I'm kind of self-conscious about what they will think of me.. (which is stupid... I shouldn't care what people think but meh..)

So I was just wondering... people who have been to uni, how did you deal with this issue?


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Old 16-10-2008, 11:06 PM   #2
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Its only very recently that i have stopped wearing long sleeves. im in my third year now nbut you cant really see my scars anymore so i guess thats why im quite comfortable. i think it really depends on how you feel. because you will obviously get asked questions if people do see them. so before u go short sleeved maybe you shud think about what you want to answer. if not why not just start with 3/4 length sleeves and kinda ease yourself into it. i guess it depends where your cuts/scars are and how noticable they are. i found that biooil really helped my scars or cocoa butter cos thats a lot cheaper!!
hope it goes ok for u and PM me if u need anything xxxx

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Old 16-10-2008, 11:15 PM   #3
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I don't know that I'm going to be much help since I haven't hidden my scars for ages now and it didn't really occur to me to start doing so at uni. But anyway. I don't wear short sleeves because well, my scars aren't ever going to go away and I don't see why I should have to hide forever because of what I've done in the past. And I just don't really care what people think.

I think that it isn't as big a deal for people as you think it's going to be. Since I got here, I've only had one person comment - and he wasn't even a uni person, just one of those strange Gouranga people! People notice, I'm sure, but no one has treated me any differently - most people are open minded enough to see *you* rather than just your scars.

But it really depends what you're comfortable with. People might ask, and if you're not comfortable with that, then maybe it's best to just keep them hidden for a while. Or at least have what you want to say ready. Admittedly, all my scars on my arms are obviously really old, so I guess it isn't such a problem for me and I can just brush it off as something that's in the past. Maybe it's harder if that isn't the case.

Probably, it would be fine. But only do what you feel okay with, don't push yourself. It's up to you. & if people ask, it's also completely up to you how much you want to tell them. Good luck! xo

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Old 16-10-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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At home when I go out at night I wear short sleeves like anyone else, unless I've cut recently. I don't think scars are too bad, and I still get approached by guys and things at home, although maybe that's because the can't see them properly... I'm not sure if it makes a good first impression on people? I don't people to look at me and think "girl with the scarred arms" before they've spoken to me, but I don't know if people are genuinely that shallow or not..

I'm having issues with some of the uni rooms being BOILING HOT and I'm just sat there bright red and sweating in my jacket lol and I can't even roll my sleeves up without showing scars so I just have to suffer it. I also have to do the washing up with my sleeves rolled down so my flatmates can't see, which results in wet sleeves and is rather annoying =\


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Old 16-10-2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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Ok. When I started Uni a year ago, I decided I was going to this new person - part of that involved accepting my scars as part of me, and that I'd just have to deal with that.

I also had the same problem with temperature, the halls I was in were ROASTING. Even in the middle of winter I'd be too hot in a t-shirt, so it was preferable to not wear sleeves anyway. I found, generally, that people just ignored it. 4 of the people from my kitchen did sit down with me to have a talk about it, but that was mainly concern and the fact that 2 of them had never come across it before.

In my lessons and around campus I generally wore sleeves, but for the most part I was happy in short sleeves in halls. No one ever commented, really and just let me get on with my life. Same for going out, of an evening, if my top didn't have sleeves I didn't care. I'd wear it anyway!

If you feel comfortable enough to wear sleeveless/short sleeved tops, go for it. As the saying goes 'Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind.'

How people take it will give a good insight as to the ones that'll be good friends and the ones that won't, too.

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Old 17-10-2008, 12:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mockingbird. View Post
If you feel comfortable enough to wear sleeveless/short sleeved tops, go for it. As the saying goes 'Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind.'

How people take it will give a good insight as to the ones that'll be good friends and the ones that won't, too.
this is definently the right way to think! this is how im going to think in future!!!!

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Old 17-10-2008, 01:01 AM   #7
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Yeah, if somebody doesn't want to get to know you cause you have scars, then you're lucky to escape frm having to know them.

I just went out and met a load of mental health nursing students at their uni, most didn't ask about my (really messy) arms, and if they do I just say, 'yeah, I'm f-ed up :p'
Most people aren't too bothered. Mildly curious/concerned is the worst reaction i've ever got since I left the hotbed of interpersonally retarded chavs that was school. x

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Old 17-10-2008, 04:10 AM   #8
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I think that everyone here has probably had bad experiences when it comes to people's reactions to their scars. But other people's reactions and fearing what other people think is no reason to compromise your own comfort and who you really are. Someone above said they didn't want to be immediately thought of as 'the girl with the scarred arms' but its inevitable that people will notice if you wear short sleeves and I think you'll find that people are a lot more understanding and non-judgmental than you might think. The more you do it the less you notice if people look at your arms and the more confidence you gain in addressing it. For example depending on the situation I can give a short little explanation 'i was poorly a couple years ago', a funny response or go into more detail. What I have mostly found is that people are very open to learning about it and accepting it as part of you. The same way that most people carry some sort of emotional baggage. In fact it can often provide some common ground and you get to talk to all sorts of interesting people on a deeper level. Obviously there will be times and places perhaps where you don't feel comfortable wearing something where your scars are on show. You will find your boundaries and your reasons for these. Be it for work or around younger family members.

Just look into your heart and ask whether you want to hide away or take this opportunity at uni and a new fresh start to really be yourself. Scars and all.

Good luck and take care hun

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Old 17-10-2008, 08:04 AM   #9
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I find that most people wouldnt think anything less of you... I stopped hiding my scars last year nd was scared that everybody would notice and ask me all these questions, some people just sorta look at my scars for a few seconds and then just go on with the conversation, most people dont even realize it at first as well. In about a year Ive never had anybody question my scars....

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From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
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The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
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Old 17-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #10
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I was the same as Amy.
I went to uni and didn't hide it at all.
No one asked - I volunteered the information to people I cared about.
My friends are all cool with it, infact... they're so cool with it they don't really give a sh*t whether i'm still doing it or not >_<
If you're comfortable enough to show, then show.

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Old 17-10-2008, 12:17 PM   #11
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I wear tops under my nicer tops, rather than having a cardi/sweater over.

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Old 17-10-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
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Oh also, the crazy thing that I've noticed is it seems SHers seem to want to wear short sleeves more than non-SHers. When I look around my lecture room, I can take a bet that out of 60(ish) people, one or two may have their lower arms showing. Everyone else are in layers and hoodies and the like.

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Old 18-10-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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I've just started uni and I kept my arms hidden for the first few days but now I wear short sleeves like anyone else. My scars have faded but are still obvious but I don't want to have to hide them for the rest of my life. I've figured that I can't continue hiding forever so might as well just not care about it now. No one has mentioned anything to me yet (thank goodness!!). I think you should do whatever you feel comfortable with. I don't know about you but I'm planning on telling anyone that asks that it was a thing of the past and doesn't need explaining. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

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Old 18-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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i'd go with showing them, they're gunna be there for a while. If it causes you tons of anxiety though, i wouldn't bother. I would personally never show my arms at the moment, even in hospital i wear long sleves, i'm just too anxious about people's reactions cos my scars are very big and red and obvious. When I had a better couple of months though i was showing my arms a little, never got any remarks, got a few second glances, but no one stared, a lot of people didnt even seem to notice!! I'd try it out, see how you feel. Good luck at uni too

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Old 18-10-2008, 06:08 PM   #15
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When I started at uni I had a lot of old, mostly white scars on my arms and decided not to cover them. Most people didn't say anything about them at all. One of my housemates sat me down and asked but it was because he had 'experimented' with SI a few times and was concerned. I didn't have any huge problems about it except for with one girl. When I relapsed very badly my housemates were very good about it as well although they never saw the new wounds, I don't know what I would have done without them.

I basically decided that I was an adult and my scars were apart of me and my 'story' as it were and I was not going to be ashamed and hide them and 99% of people accepted that. It was upsetting when one girl in particular was very judgemental about it but the support I got from everyone else (expecially my housemates) when I needed it, far outweighed the negatives. It was a while before anything was said about it at all.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Last edited by Pomegranate : 18-10-2008 at 10:34 PM. Reason: clarify

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Old 18-10-2008, 09:27 PM   #16
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I started uni last year, and I decided not to hide my scars in the flat, because it was my home. My flatmates were great about it, and although they did ask, it wasn't in a negative way, more just checking that I was ok.

I do hide them around uni and on nights out though which can be annoying, but there are people who I don't know, and don't want to have to explain to. I would NEVER show fresh cuts, ever, even at home, because my SI is not for other people to worry about.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Make us all feel wonderful. We'll never forget."

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Old 19-10-2008, 06:21 AM   #17
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i am at college for the first year and was worried about my cutting. I had started doing it pretty bad again but wore a short sleeve shirt and bandaides.... Unfortunantly most of the people of my floor noticed cept for the RA'S...... They asked and I told them nothing happened. but since I am at an all girls school they all knew the truth.....the profossors didn't notice..If you feel comfortable just try it one day

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Old 19-10-2008, 11:22 PM   #18
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It very much depends what you feel comfortable with. For me that varies on a day to day basis. I walk around my house in short sleeves and my housemates know that I SH. I walk around campus in short sleeves. However I currently don't wear short sleeves in lectures as I'm starting a new course and I want to get to know people without my self-harm being an issue. When I'm a bit more comfortable with them (and the weather is a bit warmer!) then I shall probably wear short sleeves, but I don't want people to get to know me with self-harm being a defining factor, I'd rather they got to know me as a person first rather than the girl with the scars

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