Loneliness at university? Beat the solitude...
We approach the end of our first month of a new term. Many of us might be feeling pangs of homesickness and loneliness. For many of us it may be our first time away from home, our family, support networks and friendships that we have built over the years. A report by Sodexo in 2017 found that ‘nearly half of UK students admit to loneliness during their studies – with anxious UK students most likely to consider dropping out of university’. This is even more prevalent now, thanks to the disruptions over the last 2 years caused by the pandemic.
Feelings of loneliness at university are completely normal. Many people are going through the same things/feeling as you. But loneliness can evolve into anxiety and/or depression which could affect your sleep cycle which could in turn, affect your ability to study or listen in lectures. It is important to try and tackle loneliness, so, what can we do to combat these feelings? Here are our top tips on combatting loneliness:
1. Join online groups
There will be groups on WhatsApp or Facebook for people in the same position as you i.e. freshers groups, course specific groups etc. join one and meet people online, if you strike up a connection maybe meet people in person?
2. Sign up for clubs or societies
Having the same interests and things in common with others is a good base for forming friendships.
3. Strike up a conversation!
Be welcoming, open, friendly and warm when meeting people at uni. Ask people questions (people love talking about themselves!) What is your degree? Why did you choose this uni? What are your plans after uni? Where do you come from? What do you do in your free time? By getting to know people, you may find someone you ‘click with’ and a friendship may form.
4. Invite people to do things
A coffee, a drink, shopping, cinema, food. Sharing experiences cements friendships! If someone invites you to something say yes!
5. Remember everyone is in the same boat!
The majority of people you meet will be in the same boat as you or will have been at some point. Make an effort, approach others who may look shy or nervous.
What can I do if my loneliness persists?
If you find that your loneliness persists and starts to get you down, please reach out to someone. Talk to a close friend or family member. If you don’t feel you can, you could visit your university’s student support. Alternatively you could visit:
Written by Laura Cunningham, Social Media Editor
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