Thursday 27 September 2018

#DearFresherMe: Loneliness at University

In this blog Trina talks about her experience with loneliness at university and reassures others who might be in a similar situation. 

Before coming to university, I was surrounded by the idea that, "At university you will make your lifelong friends," and "university will be the best three years of your life." I'm sure this is a common expectation for people starting at University. My high expectations were soon crushed as I started life in Leeds. I began to see groups begin to form - groups that I wasn't part of. I wasn't sure if it was my reluctance to put myself “out there,” or if I just hadn't met the right people yet. My anxiety made me feel too awkward to socialise sober, and even with my lovely flatmates I felt disconnected to everyone. I visited home often due to having a large group of friends back there. I sort of ignored the loneliness I felt when I was back at uni because I knew that my friends would be waiting for me back at home, ready to pick up as if I'd never moved away.

I did have friends at university, but no one close that I could just chill with sober, doing nothing and no one that I could message about anything but my uni work. My friends at home kept telling me, "you've not been there long. It takes time to get close to people." But it was hard listening to them when everyone else seemed so close and happy.

It wasn't long until I realised that a lot of other people were in a similar situation to me. Friendships take a while to grow and my impatience and overthinking obviously didn't help as I continued to feel hopeless about my social situation at uni. At the end of my first semester, a group had begun to form with me in it; yet I still felt like an outsider tagging along. It wasn't until I came back after Christmas that I started to feel like more of the group. I decided to stop going home every weekend and instead socialise more with this new group at uni. It was difficult, and I do still feel lonely a lot there but I'm feeling more positive knowing that everyday my friendships are growing and becoming closer and stronger.

My advice to people starting at University is not to worry if you haven't made "best friends" in the first few months - it will happen in time. Remember that everyone is in the same position and most people will get lonely at some point, but it will pass, and you will meet so many amazing people.

I am a 20-year-old mental health blogger and Film-making student from Manchester. I love writing and have a passion for helping others. You can read more of my work at 

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