Whilst university can definitely be the best time in a student’s life because of the freedom, growth and learning opportunities that it gives you, University can also be a very lonely time for university students.
Why Can University Be Lonely?
This is something that lots of people don’t understand, be it family members, students of an extroverted nature who find making friends particularly easy, or people who are going to university with people they already know. However, many students struggle and for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they’re moving to a brand new area with no one they know, they’re having problems “clicking” with people and they just haven’t found where they fit in yet, or perhaps they struggle to motivate themselves to put themselves into social situations at all.
Therefore, the rest of the post will focus on my personal reflections regarding how to deal with and avoid some of these issues.
How To Prevent Loneliness At University?
Go To The Socials And Other University Events:
I must admit I am terrible for this point but I have been to a couple, and I can honestly say they are great. You get to meet tons of new people who do the same subject as you, and you can get into some very good conversations. Be it about the subject itself, your favourite parts, areas you hate (that can be a great icebreaker). Then, once you’ve broken that ice, you can easily talk to them about other things. For example, I went to one earlier in the academic year and naturally I started talking about psychology as a whole. But after ten minutes, I was talking to this woman about politics, beliefs, and all sorts of other things.
University socials can seem intimidating and this may be particularly true for introverted or anxious people. I found that being a non-drinker, for instance, often made this harder. Since all throughout society, the constant thing we hear about university is all the partying, drinking and other things that I’m (as a non-drinker) not particularly interested in. Despite this, I really do encourage you to go because they can be great fun, interesting, and definitely worth your time.
I’ll definitely be going to more in the future and I recommend you go to some to, at least give it a try.
Societies are a great way to grow connections. For those unaware, societies are social clubs formed around an activity, be it drinking, cooking, a sport, or something else entirely.
Now these are brilliant for social opportunities and meeting new people, because you get to meet people doing different courses. And this allows you to learn about how their degrees work, what their subject is like and you can learn plenty of interesting things like that, even before you start getting people to talk about themselves. Also one of my favourite things was you get to meet people from different cultures even more in different societies. Additionally, if you’re from an ethnic minority or LGBTQ+ group and are concerned about not being able to find people like you, there are normally a fair amount of groups / societies dedicated to these specific groups. It may potentially take some research to find the right one for you, but its worth it every time.
Therefore, I really recommend you do check out what your university offers and go to some events. These are great ways to meet people, get you out and help you feel a little less lonely.
Get A Part-Time Job
Having a part-time job would not only help you earn some money and experience, which is really great, but it gives you a chance to experience new things with new people. For example, I’ve met lots of great people through my work as a Student Ambassador for the university. I’ve met people who I never would have met otherwise and they’ve all been great.
If you focus on loneliness for a second, then part-time jobs can be really helpful in getting you out and mixing with people. Because you’ll be spending so much time with them, you might make a friend or two, or at least learn that you aren’t the only person feeling like this. It will also like grow your confidence in social settings.
Overall, getting a part-time job can be useful because it makes you go to work, mix and work with new people. As well as it has the great benefit of earning you some money too!
To wrap up this post, I just want to stress the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I know that going to a brand new place with no one you know is a bit concerning and sometimes it can feel better to just stay and mix with your flatmates. But I do strongly, strongly encourage you to go out of your way to meet new people, because it will be worth it in the long run.
You never know what people you’ll meet, the impact they’ll have on your life and what friends you could make unless you go out of your comfort zone, and make a strong effort to meet new people.