You recently began attending a new school and have not made friends in the first week. That is not unusual. No one, autistic or otherwise, can make real connections in a week. Relationships need time to develop. It could take years to sincerely know someone at a deep level. The fact that your peers “leave your mind” as soon as you leave the premises, is fairly normal. You hardly know them.
You mentioned having gone to specialized schools in the past. If your college is also a specialized school, then other people with autism likely attend. As you noted, people with autism have trouble developing relationships. It might not be that you are the problem. It could be that you are reaching out to people, but they are not reciprocating. Relationships are two-sided. If they are not interested in forming relationships, then it is going to be difficult to connect with them. It could be them and not you. A therapist could objectively assess your situation and assist you in developing more positive connections with people.
The other issue of concern is your potential depression and your low self-esteem. It will be difficult to develop healthy relationships when you think so little of yourself. If you don’t value yourself, then others might follow your lead. This should be corrected. Developing a healthy level of self-esteem is another issue a therapist could help to correct.
Researchers have developed new psychosocial treatments for individuals with autism, who are struggling with relationships. One of the most recent, promising developments is cognitive enhancement therapy (CET). You might try researching it on the internet. If you choose to begin counseling, choose a therapist who specializes in working with people with autism. Counseling could help you better navigate social relationships and raise your self-esteem. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle