Student Loneliness is very common at university although it may go unnoticed, as University is often associated with ‘having the time of your life’. However, some students experience the opposite and hide themselves away. You could argue that the majority of the students being surrounded by people of similar age would have plenty in common, this may not be the case as some students may feel awkward and unhappy.
Loneliness at University is common among first-year students which are not surprising as some may be leaving home as they miss their friends and family. Additionally, work patterns could change, living in a new apartment is seen as daunting. All the factors mentioned can lead to social insecurities that may lead to a lack of a confidence as the students may not know what to do or who to be.
The quote below (from University of Dundee) describes student loneliness
Loneliness resembles entering a hall of mirrors and seeing the familiar as something that’s made painful and scary. It’s also like looking at a distant table – out of reach and piled high with delicious food – and feeling that in your hunger you could quaff everything in sight, forgetting all the while that you don’t require that much to sate your appetite… when we are lonely we don’t actually need much in the way of company to banish the feeling… that’s why pets play such an important role in our lives, and yet the feeling can be so insistent that it seems like our life needs to be changed out of all recognition if we are to feel less lonely.’
I stumbled across the following points on the University of Cambridge website
Loneliness is common at university for many reasons including:
- ‘you are away from friends and family
- it may be the first time in years – maybe even since primary school – when you have had to ‘start from scratch’ making new friends
- you may be missing old friends and finding it hard to replace them – or perhaps even a bit reluctant to replace them with substitutes
- you may have high expectations of the university as a place where you will make friends for life, and be disappointed in the people you initially meet
- you may have a long distance relationship and feel torn between social life here and elsewhere
- you may be anxious about work and feel in conflict about spending time on social activities’
Student loneliness is something that occurs without anyone noticing, it is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed and noticed. Which is why I have decided to conduct a campaign on student loneliness.
Everyone needs a friend!