Overcoming loneliness in university

It’s almost Christmas, first term done and dusted and yet feel a little lonely. Its okay not to be okay. Loneliness is more common than you think. You are not alone. The 2022 Student Academic Experience Survey asked questions about loneliness for the first time and found nearly one in four students (23%) reported feeling lonely “all” or “most” of the time.

Loneliness doesn’t last forever; it will come and go. Read on to help you understand how you are feeling and the changes you can make.


How to tell if you’re lonely.

Loneliness comes in lots of different forms.

  • Feeling left out and never getting invited to events
  • No one to hang out with
  • No one wants to join in on my plans
  • Don’t have anyone you feel close to
  • Feel stuck in your room

None of these? Feeling alone even when people are around is also a common symptom of depression or social anxiety.


How to meet new people.

  • Join a society
  • Get a part time job
  • Volunteer
  • Make an effort to talk to people on your course
  • Look for easy talking points – compliment on an outfit or bag could lead to a conversation that may be the start of a friendship

Take care of yourself.

  • Keep going to classes
  • Exercise regularly – It’s been well documented how beneficial regular activity can be for both your mental and physical health
  • Get out of your room

Friendships take time, especially genuine ones. Remember, the more time you spend out and about and interacting with different people, the better chances you will have of meeting people you get on with.

If your loneliness is getting worse – help is there.

  • Your university’s student services/support team.
  • Samaritans – phone, email, and face-to-face listening service.
  • Student Minds – guidance and support tailored to uni life.
  • Mind – mental health support and advice (including for loneliness).

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