So here's my story, sorry that it's so long but I felt that some background is necessary. I'm currently a junior at my university, and I really haven't made any friends. I've made a lot of acquaintances from semi-regularly attending some school groups, but no real friendships. Part of the blame I think is on me for just being really introverted and uncomfortable in large groups of people. Another part of it I think is the fact that I never lived in a dorm, for the past two years I've commuted from home.
This never really bothered me until around mid fall term in my sophomore year, when I was considering moving on campus and going to counseling to deal with my lack of comfort around strangers and such, however at this time I met my now ex-girlfriend. We hit it off great, became best friends and spent nearly every day together for rest of the school year, as she hadn't made many other friends either. I didn't really focus on making other friends because I had her, and that was all that mattered to me. We got really serious, to the point where we would talk about moving in together at some point.
Then this current term came about. She made a lot of friends on her floor, and had an 18 credit course load for the first time, so she had a lot less time for me. This sort of upset me as I guess I had become dependent on her. We spent less time together, but our relationship was still ok. However in the middle of November she said she wanted to go on a break. She was going to counseling about a disorder she had, and she wanted to figure out where her stress was coming from, thus causing this disorder. So I went along with it because I had urged her to get help, and I wanted her to get better.
Then the 28th of November rolled around, our 13 month anniversary, and she broke up with me. We've been talking over the past few days, and there were a few reasons. The first of all was that she felt that she couldn't be in a relationship at the time because she couldn't be codependent, as she is still sorting out her issues in counseling.
The second was because she said she didn't feel as strongly for me as she used to. She said she still had romantic feelings for me, that she loved me more than anyone outside of her family, and that I would be the first person she would think of once she felt capable of being in a relationship, but that we couldn't stay in the current one, and that we couldn't start over now. I'm not sure, but this might be due to the fact that she felt I was too dependent on her, as I didn't really have any other friends to spend time with.
So here I am, girlfriendless, and with only one real friend, and I want to improve my social life. I want to do this partly because I realize I'll be happier if I do, partly because I want to be a better person when my ex gets things sorted out. I still hold hope for us because we had an incredibly deep relationship, and I don't want to give up on it if there's hope. I also want to do this because I don't want this dependency to become a problem with any other future girlfriends if things with my ex don't work out.
First, I feel like I need to move out of my house. I have two options, but I'm not sure which is best. I could try to move into a dorm, because I feel that if I did so, I'd have a much better opportunity at making friends just by leaving my door open and seeing the same people often. However I'm afraid I might seem kind of like a loser living in a dorm my senior year (although I'm probably going to end up being a fifth year senior). And there's also the disadvantages of dorm life, like communal bathrooms, sort of cramped living space and having to get a meal plan, and the possibility that I might not be able to do that until my senior year.
The other choice is getting an apartment near campus. The obvious advantages of this are having much nicer accommodations and being able to move much sooner. I don't think I'd have the same number of opportunities to make friends though.
Also, can anyone recommend any self-help books on developing better social skills? Or any techniques anyone used to just be more outgoing? I'm not asking for people to just tell me "Just talk to people", as I can do that, but I never have anything to say and things get awkward.
So basically, the TL;DR version, would it be better for me to move into a dorm or into an apartment in an attempt to make more friends? Can I manage to build a social life before graduating?