Within a few months, I realized that the college experience everyone craves for is something I’m not experiencing. For better and for worse.
Loneliness in college is real. And even though I seem so social and friendly and happy online, I still eat alone almost every day.
In fact, most of the reason behind my youtube channel (and consistent videos EVERY FLIPPIN WEEK my freshman year) is due to loneliness. During my freshman year, I didn’t have many friends.
I mean, I met a lot of cool people, and we hung out every now and then, and we drove to Walmart. But as far as A1s?Besties? People I can talk to and tell all my deep secrets to if my life was that interesting? People that won’t ask me “how are you” every time we pass because they know everything since I was up at 11 pm venting to them the night before? That’s new.
Going from Alone to Lonely
You see, I’m the type of girl that’s too weird for the cool cats, and too cool for the weird cats. I listened to people like Lil Uzi Vert and Playboy Carti but I can also sing every Inuyasha ending up to season 9. I love J-pop and Japan but I’ve never fully watched an anime besides Elfen Lied (it had 12 episodes) and Dragon Ball Super.
I also loved food and realized a lot of people ate with their roommates/made new friends during lunch. I didn’t have a roommate my freshman year, so I tried randomly sitting next to someone and starting up a conversation like college veterans suggested and it was awk awk awk awk awk. It used to be so bad, that I would actually force myself to be in uncomfortably boring, lifeless conversations, just for the sake of feeling social. I wasted a lot of time.
So I eventually started going to lunch by myself. I pulled out my laptop or slid through my timelines and chewed in silence. And I was fine.
I was alone, but I wasn’t necessarily lonely. Every caf worker knew me by name and I’d talk to them about life. Cuz I had the energy to talk to people if I wanted to. And plus I had a boyfriend that was only a couple keystrokes away.
But three years, you’ve got a girl who avoids eye contact with people, who digs herself into deep ruts, and relies on her relationship to keep her content.
I was so distraught by the amount of time I spent socializing/pulling teeth out of people to talk to me that I gave up altogether in making new friends. It’s either people liked me or they didn’t. No more friendly good mornings to strangers. No more walking people to their dorms just to finish the conversation. I accepted that I wouldn’t find people like me and stopped making an effort for them to like me. I would go to class, gym, lab, and in between everything, fill my social cup by texting or calling my boyfriend. Slowly but surely, my natural extroversion transformed into coerced introversion.
Everyone is always saying not to let anyone be your source of happiness. But I’ve yet to find out how to not let my relationship be the light of my social world.
So at times when my schedule clashes with his or we’re both just too busy to talk, problems arise.
I realize my life is really organized chaos. I’m doing the same things every day. I’m losing my driving motivation to get work done. I oversleep. I feel the silence.
I believe people don’t really talk about loneliness because to them, it’s impossible to feel lonely in college. You’ve got fraternities and sororities! You’ve got unorganized clubs and organizations! You’ve got COLLEGE and all its fun events! But you can be in a boisterous room with hundreds of people and still feel lonely.
Things that will make you feel lonely
- Relying on someone to keep you happy/not bored. And it’s even more difficult when you’re in a relationship. What happens if you fallout with your S.O? Or just if your S.O is busy for the day?
Even though being in a relationship may seem like a quick fix, you need to have someone else to talk to and engage with when your significant other isn’t available. I’ll admit, this is still something I struggle with because I’ve been dating for a long time and have just been comfortable.
2. Sticking to a pristine daily routine. I was and still am very driven and self-motivated. I have a website, a youtube, a digital marketing business. I try to maximize every hour of the day. And by doing nearly the same things every day, it’s easy to fall in a rut, and boom the feeling of loneliness pervades you.
If you’re a disciplined workaholic, take a break. Skip the gym. Go watch a movie. Take a day off. Even if that means skipping a class or three. Just make sure you’re being strategic about that skipping (i.e make sure your professor won’t take points off for your absence).
3. Not leaving campus. I didn’t realize how soul-sucking being at Mercer 24/7 can be. I don’t have a car, but this year, neither do my roommates. I was even more inclined to stay in my busy routine because I thought I had nothing else to do. No car to buy groceries or just to get out. But asking a friend for a lift is worth it when you’re trying to get out of this rut. Just get out of the funk that is living on campus, and escape the night. Go to Walmart, go out to eat, or just do something that doesn’t remind you of school.
4. Not trying new things. Remember when I made that video about why I don’t go to college parties? So yesterday, I went to a college party.
Even though I’m not into the college party life, I needed something that wasn’t the gym that would keep my heart pumping. The good news, the music wasn’t terrible and I wasn’t groped or pulled!
Each of these tips goes back to getting out of that RUT. For me, this is the true key for fighting loneliness in college. Once I expose myself to new things, I’m making room for more experiences to talk about which may lead to having more things in common with people, which may lead to longer, more people to talk to!
But we gon see.
Do you ever feel loneliness in college? What do you do to break out of rut surrounding your loneliness?