“University years are some of the best years of your life” they say. And for many people, that is the case.
You’re given your first real taste of adulthood away from home, the freedom to go out and come home whenever you want, you’re constantly surrounded by new people from all walks of life and it becomes socially acceptable to sit in bed all day binging Netflix shows and ignoring all of life’s responsibilities – not to mention ordering takeaways at 2am in the morning.
But whilst university can provide lifelong memories and friendships, it also has its downsides.
For some people, university is an incredibly isolating and lonely place – and it’s not spoken about enough.
Loneliness is more common than you think
Most students have felt lonely at some point during their time at university, with more than one in four regularly feeling lonely.
As a student, there are times where you may feel lonelier than others. This could be down to extra studying you’re having to put in, financial worries or simply feeling homesick.
Whilst loneliness is a feeling that you can’t just turn on and off, there are ways to help ease it:
Fill your time wisely
For some people the dangerous amount of free time you’re given can prove to be a negative thing. If you’re finding yourself spending too much time thinking about feeling lonely, fill that space with activities you enjoy doing. Volunteer at your Students Union, head to the gym for a workout or do something creative that will allow you to express yourself. Whatever the activity, the important thing is to try and keep yourself occupied.
Join a society
Societies are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people who share the same interests as you. Whether you join a sports society, book club or cinema club, your university’s student union will have an abundance of societies ready for you to join (there are some rather unusual societies out there – trust me!)
Spend time with your friends (even if you don’t feel like it)
There will be times when you don’t feel like socialising with other people but human interaction is one of the best things for combating loneliness.
So, whether you meet up with a friend for a coffee break or to study together, we guarantee that will help aid your feelings of loneliness – even if it is temporarily.
Reach out to someone
Whether it’s a housemate, course friend or a lecturer who you feel comfortable enough talking to – reach out to them and tell them how you’re feeling. Every university should have student wellbeing services in place, either on campus or online, for students who are struggling with their mental health.
If you would prefer to seek external help away from university services, the Syndi app is a trusty self-assessment tool that can point you in the right direction. We empower students to monitor and self-manage your mental health through providing personalised apps and resources that are tailored to your feelings.
Every student should have access to the necessary resources that can help them make the most of their precious university days, without having to fight a mental health battle.