Some students do experience some loneliness during their time at university: the Office of National Statistics found that 26% of students say they feel some loneliness at university, compared to 8% of the general public.
Loneliness affects everyone in different ways and responses to it can vary. It’s important to not compare yourself with others; just because someone is surrounded by people, doesn’t mean they are not lonely. Loneliness can hit at any time; however, it can often be connected to moving away from home, a relationship breakup or starting university.
It is important to remember occasional loneliness is normal. But if it continues for long periods, it may be time to reach out for support.
In short, you are not alone in feeling lonely. There is lots of support available at ULaw to help students cope with this.
Hearing from our Guildford Mental Health First Aiders
At every ULaw campus, including online, there is a welfare team you can reach out to. They have shared with us their advice for dealing with loneliness, things which may perpetuate it and ways to combat it.
Take space from being online.
Josie the welfare manager at Guildford suggests: “Sometimes being online can be a great solution to loneliness but it can also exasperate it further. For example, if you are spending too much time online, comparing yourself with others, comparing likes and your experiences to others. Remember online profiles are not a true replica of life and not a good benchmark of happiness.”
Talking therapy is known for being a useful method to tackle loneliness. Sharing your experience with a friend may result in them opening up to share they feel the same way. You’d be surprised how many people feel the same way as you and talking about it could help someone in a similar position. You can also speak with the Welfare Team who are available at every ULaw campus.
Power of nature
Guildford mental health advisors also suggest connecting with nature. Getting outside has been known for shifting perspectives and can be very rewarding.
Volunteering and hobbies
Helping out at events or volunteering with a local charity is a brilliant way to build self-esteem and meet new people.
Taking up a hobby like running, drawing, crocheting, or joining a sports team is a brilliant way to tackle loneliness. There are lots of societies at ULaw from football to Harry Potter, there is something for everyone and they are a great way to find people with similar interests to yourself.
Do something which you enjoy
Always make time for something which makes you happy. Listening to podcasts, reading or mediation and yoga are great forms of self-care.
It is also important to remember to not drink alcohol to excess to cope with loneliness. Alcohol is a depressant and can make feelings more intense. At ULaw there are lots of events put on by the student union which don’t involve drinking.
Campus Facebook Groups
There is a Facebook group for every ULaw campus, these can be a great way to find out about events and connect with other students.
Support is always available at ULaw and there are lots of charities outside of the University that are available to help. It’s important to remember to not be afraid to reach out for help and to share how you are feeling with others.
Here are several charities that can offer support and advice for coping with loneliness.
- The British Red Cross have a support line if you’re feeling lonely and want to talk to someone.
Tel 0808 196 3651
- Sense provides a range of advice, support and services on disability and loneliness.
Tel 0300 330 9256
- Cruse Bereavement Support offers bereavement support.
Tel 0808 808 1677
- Family Lives offers a confidential helpline service for families in England and Wales.
Tel 0808 800 2222
- Calm Zone is a helpline and web chat offering support to men in the UK who need to talk or are in crisis.
Tel 0800 585858
- When life is difficult, Samaritans are there – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them free on 116 123 or email them at [email protected]
- If you are under 25, you can contact YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free, 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. Text YM to 85258
- Young Minds also offers a Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544
Visit our student support page for more information on how we can support you.