Nearly Half of Students Admit to Loneliness While at University
Many students associate going to university respective freedom and a chance to meet new people, for many going to university can be a stressful period in their life. Along with anxiety over finances, the change from sixth form/college to university can bring insecurity and vulnerability. In light of the of growing numbers of loneliness and mental health-related
According to a new university survey, almost half of UK students (46%) admit to loneliness during their time at university, compared to 32% globally.
Fresh Student Living have looked out the top reasons why university students may experience loneliness, and how best to combat it.
Common reasons for feeling lonely at university include:
- Being away from friends and family
- Making new friends can be a struggle
- Feeling isolated from groups or events
- Missing old friends and your hometown
- Having high expectations of university life
- Being in a relationship with someone from home
- Anxiety about balancing studies with an active social life
- Having no trustworthy person to share your feelings and experiences with
- Feeling disconnected and alienated from your surroundings
What are the best ways to deal with feelings of loneliness?
Join a society
It may seem like an obvious thing when it comes to going to university but joining a society is a quicker way of meeting like-minded peers. It’s also perfect for those who are not really into the party and Freshers’ scene. Regardless of whether you feel like you have a specific talent or interest, there’s something for everyone – from cultural societies to volunteering and everything in between. Whatever your fancy, there will likely be a club or society for it on campus, just look around and see what grabs your attention. Maybe even take up something completely new.
Usually there is no downside to having a part-time job while at uni, as long as it doesn’t impact your studies. Not only is it a little extra income, but there is the potential to meet new people, which could help if combat feeling lonely and isolated. Working different shifts, like in a restaurant, café or bar means you get the chance to meet different people and chat to customers throughout the day (or night). Also, your colleagues would probably be keen to hang out after hours.
Mix up your seating arrangements in lectures
It’s easy to fall into routine and sit in the same seat for every lecture but university is not school. Try to sit somewhere different to surround yourself with new people. Ask if that spare seat is free and start chatting to your neighbours. Perhaps there is a social coming up worth attending, or you get invited to hang-out after class. You never know where a conversation might lead, but you have to start talking.
Hang out in your student accommodation social spaces
Whether you are studying, reading or just watching TV, try to get out of your room and instead spend some time in the common areas.Communal areas play a huge role in getting to know new people and making friends. Fresh Student Living’s social spaces and events make it easy to hang out with people in your shared accommodation, whilst giving you an excuse to interact and strike up conversations.
Talk to someone about your feelings of loneliness
Sometimes, your feelings of loneliness could stem from something other than finding yourself in an unfamiliar place with none of the people in your comfort zone. If you feel like you are in a bad cycle and feeling isolated from your peers, remember it’s not uncommon, talk to a friend or family member from home, or even a tutor. Charities such as Student Minds offer explore what support you can get from your university, along with further services such as online and community support for a variety of topics.
There is Some Good News...
According to research, 20% of British students 'meet the loves of their life on campus.'
This means that while uni can be a lonely time, the potential to meet someone special is high, with the most relevant example being the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who met while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
About Fresh Student Living: Fresh Student Living is a leading provider of student accommodation offering homes to over 16,000 students in more than 50 towns and cities across the UK. Their philosophy revolves around creating quality student homes as unique as the people who live in them and has resulted in 90% of students rating their time with Fresh Student Living as very satisfied or satisfied.