Monday, 14 October 2019

IF YOU'RE FEELING LONELY AT UNIVERSITY, YOU'RE NOT ALONE

A candid shot of me laughing while sat on a wet tree branch in the middle of a forest


"I don't miss home, I miss my friends and family"

Bonjour, Guten Tag, Hello, Hi! How are you all doing? 

This week, I want to get back into the routine of posting regularly here on my blog while juggling university, a competitive sport and a part-time job. 

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by Capital FM North East to speak about York freshers and whether or not freshers flu is a thing (it's definitely a thing) on the radio. It was such a good opportunity and I would love to speak on the radio again, maybe exploring other student-related topics such as loneliness.

I think I'm right in saying that every student experiences loneliness. I thought I was immune to the feeling but last weekend, it hit me and I spent nearly all day in bed, feeling sorry for myself. During my gap year, I was constantly surrounded people e.g. my colleagues or I was out doing something e.g. visiting friends at university or meeting up with other bloggers. There are days at university where you don't have any lectures, you're not in the mood to go out clubbing or to the SU, so you're alone in your room with your thoughts and that's when the feeling of loneliness hits. 

Conversations I've overhead at university:
"I just want to go home and be surrounded by people again"
"Please can you come over, I had being in my room alone"
"My flatmates are never in"
"I eat dinner alone"
"I haven't made any friends yet"
"I don't feel like I have anyone to speak to"
"I'm starting to feel depressed tbh"

I live 3-4 hours away from my university so going home and surrounding myself with close friends and family is not an option. I had to tackle this feeling quickly before it could chip away at my mental health. To help combat this, I joined the university hockey team and got a part-time job, that way I am constantly interacting with different people and when I'm not working or training, I'm at university, writing a blog post or doing research for upcoming seminars and lectures. 

My solution to feeling lonely may seem "easy" but not everyone can juggle university, a job and being part of a society or sports team. One of the worst things you can do is staying in your room. I'm guilty of locking myself away and spending hours scrolling through Twitter instead of doing work. Locking yourself away can make you feel more lonely than you actually are. Go to the library, a nearby cafe, sit at your dining table or in a friends room, anywhere where you're not in complete silence and can interact with people.

There are so many other ways to combat the feeling of loneliness at university that I am yet to explore and I'm working on producing a mini Ebook or digital leaflet to advertise across my socials and hopefully present to the wellbeing team at my university. 


Have you felt lonely at university? If so, how did you combat it?

Fran
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