According to research by policy group Wonkhe, nearly a third of students feel lonely every week. Despite it being so common, you wouldn’t know it from how university is portrayed in movies, TV, and on Instagram. University can be fun, but it can also have some challenges.
When we are busy, we usually don’t have time to process our emotions. It is when we slow down that boredom and overthinking start to creep in.
It is tempting to push people away when you’re feeling down, but loneliness can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Here are some simple tips on how you can avoid loneliness.
Learn to enjoy spending time with yourself
Once you learn how to enjoy time with yourself out of the house, it will be easier to find a balance between socializing and spending time alone. This will help you feel less isolated.
Try taking yourself on a “date”, explore Bristol, or watch a good movie.
Step out of your comfort zone
It’s never too late to try something new.
Why not try singing up to a new society, picking up a new sport or hobby, or getting involved in a community project?
Remember that there’s nothing to lose, but possibly a lot to gain. Best case scenario, you’ll love the society you join and make new friends. Worst case scenario, you hate it and never go back – but at least you can say you have tried something new! You could still meet people with whom you may have other things in common.
I know it’s a cliché – but this will attract people who genuinely like you for who you are. This is much less draining and is more likely to lead to better bonds long term. Also, it is important to be persistent when building a new friendship – a relationship takes time to form.
Netflix can be good and bad
Netflix can be amazing when you just want to have a chill night at home, but it can also cause you to unintentionally isolate yourself. Make sure to see your friends and not let Netflix take over your limited time at university.
Switch up where you sit
Finally, sometimes switching up your seating in a lecture can help with meeting new people! Hanging out in common areas and connecting through apps, like Unifi, are also a great way to meet new people.
If you’re in halls, why not try leaving your room door open so people can come and speak to you whenever they pass by? There are many options and ways to tackle loneliness, you are not alone, and you have got this!
Main photo: Ellie Pipe
Read more: Staying healthy