15 Sep How to Cope with ‘University Loneliness’ – A Student’s Advice
Here’s the scene – It’s week 3 of university, Fresher’s has just ended a week ago, it’s time for lectures, you don’t meet up or your flatmates don’t meet up anymore as they need to ‘focus’ on their studies,
You’re sitting on the edge of your bed thinking who you could invite one friend to go eat out at the cheap and good value cafe near the university but he/she doesn’t feel like going and wants to have a nap after the lecture.
You’re thinking of giving up on inviting the second person because you’ll seem too needy so you just sit in your room doing nothing.
You remember the time you’ve been alone but not lonely. Now you’re lonely. How can you cope with it?
University loneliness you could say is an epidemic for students. Sure the parties and nights out are fun but you can only do that so much until you need to calm down. Everyone is busy and from my experience living in a massive hall with 5-10 flatmates per room, I’ve seen people drop out from university because the loneliness was too much to handle. It’s very hard to notice someone who’s lonely because they’d just stay in the room all day and social media can make it even harder to notice someone with university loneliness with the image we try to portray to others that everything is alright.
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety arise really quickly in the middle of the first university term or the second university term. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed especially with students who may have came straight out of A-levels where they had to return home to their family to find comfort to living on their own for months and possibly without anyone to actually talk to.
Here are my tips on how to cope with university loneliness or better – Not be a lonely
1. Join a society
It can be hard to have a meaningful conversation and to open up to your coursemates when all they want to do is talk about the lecture and let’s face it – The only time you actually talk to them during a lecture day is when you’re walking to a lecture, the short break, and after the lecture (Most want to go home immediately after).
Be together with a group of people who share the same interests with you – Societies have meetings usually outside lecture times like on evenings where you can actually sit down and talk to people, share what you want to talk about (even if it’s about being lonely!), make really close friends, and just have a fun time!
Choose a society you genuinely enjoy – Don’t join one just because there are cute girls or guys there or you won’t connect. You won’t connect if you join the gaming society and you don’t play games. In my experience, I’ve seen people join the Christian union to find ‘faithful’ girls only to find out that the connection gets lost immediately because they get bored being invited to Church and run out of common interests to talk about.
2. Open up to people about your loneliness
Students are not immature. When it comes to a sensitive topic, they will listen. It doesn’t matter if you’re 17 or 60, anyone can be lonely and you can’t easily notice someone who’s struggling with loneliness unless they tell you directly.
You’ve got nothing to lose telling someone about being lonely and there’s a pretty high chance that the person you’re speaking too may be struggling with loneliness too.
It’s all about being the first to speak up about being lonely.
3. Call a mental health helpline or visit your doctor
Loneliness is one thing but depression and anxiety are a mental health conditions that require medical assistance. Call a helpline from the link below or visit your doctor to talk about how to deal with depression or anxiety and how to take steps to be free from them if not cope with them
If there’s one thing to take away from this is always have someone to speak to. The goal is to build a connection with a friend, speak up, and make sure you’re both there for each other when loneliness strikes.
I want to improve peoples’ relationship with food; To fall in love with meal times rather than them focusing on numbers - For people to be healthy, be comfortable in their own skin, and to love themselves. 🙂
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