lonely College Life

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    • #81768

      I am a Freshman in college and am really struggling. My grades are fine, I’m struggling the most in the friends department lol. I’m just so lonely.

      My whole life I have never really felt like I fit in anywhere and at college, I have never felt this so strongly. I have tried to make friends but everyone is so cliquey. I have a lot of acquaintances but haven’t had any opportunities to bond with anyone and I really don’t know how to. Most of the people in my major live together and i was placed in a different dorm in a single room all by myself. I end up walking everywhere alone, eating alone, and spending my weekends alone. I have clubs that I go to a couple times a week but I still struggle to connect with anyone there. To make things worse, I have heard people make fun of me for being alone all the time. I already am insecure and this just makes me feel even worse. I never did anything to these people.

      I found someone in my major who wanted to room with me next year, and I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to live alone again. But then my school didn’t place us together; they put me in a completely different building in a single room again.

      The year is almost over and I just am so sad and disappointed. I feel like I don’t fit in at my school and I feel like I lost my only chance to make friends. Nearly everyone in my major and year is studying abroad next year too, but I cannot go due to health problems. I don’t want to be alone forever and I just don’t know what to do. ๐Ÿ™

    • #81773

      Hi, Ella,

      I had a similar experience. I felt I did not fit in at my college. I was placed with roommates who all joined sororities, and I did not. Eventually I found places and clubs where people hung out, and anyone was welcome. I found odd places where small groups of people studied, and I started going there. There were small departmental lounges and libraries where the majors (such as biology, chemistry, and physics) hung out, visited, and studied. The biology department had a weekly ‘tea’ with a speaker, and people hung around afterwards. The professors loved chatting with the students about all sorts of things. There was a counseling center where I volunteered. There was a college radio station, music building, art buildings, athletic areas. I got to meet people and feel welcome at such places. Did you consider volunteering anywhere or being a tutor? There are many activities other than club meetings where you can spend time with like-minded people and make friends. Are there are clubs where groups go and do things together, such as camping, hiking, other activities? Are there any jobs you can do that let you meet people? I worked on campus and did not particularly make friends at my jobs, but I got to meet people and have some pleasant times and some company.

      When I was in school, single rooms were highly desirable, and there was a waiting list. Did you consider asking to be re-assigned to a different dorm room next year? Did you consider going to the housing department with your proposed roommate and asking to be placed together?

      In a lot of support groups there is a saying of ‘fake it till you make it’. Try not to worry that other people may be talking about you. There may be few or none of them talking about you. If there are, do you want them as friends anyway? Smile a lot and say hello to people. Some people will respond positively. Try not to waste your time worrying about the others.

      All the best,

      • #81934

        You are so sweet, thank you for your response! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I have always had a little more trouble connecting with people. I am dyslexic and struggle with remembering names which are embarrassing. I am also kind of a nerd, I love literature (dyslexics can read folks XD) and science. I haven’t found anyone who is interested in anything like that at my school.

        I have begun to volunteer with a group that provides after-school care to kids from a rough part of town. I have enjoyed being around the kids (I’m going into a Pediatric Medical Field so its also good practice for me).

        We have a club just like that at my school. I have tested it out, but still, feel kind of left out there because everyone goes with their sorority sisters. I haven’t yet given up on it though because I love outdoor activities.

        Another problem is that my school places all of the people in my major and related majors in triple rooms and assigns them a “buddy” that they have to go to class with freshman year. I ended up in a different building from them because the building they are placed in is in a somewhat unsafe area that is secluded from the rest of the campus that me and my parents were not comfortable with.

        There are not a lot of jobs on my campus. The school will only hire me if I have a federal work study which I cannot get because of how much money my dad makes (soooo dumb). The best they said they could offer me is the 2 am shift in the library which I physically couldn’t do. I have no transportation so that limits my options.

        I have tried to work things out with the housing department, but the housing department at my school is horrible and disorganized. I cannot get to live with my friend because the dorm she needs to live in for health reasons does not have room for me. according to the housing department.

        I am just kind of torn on what to do. The year is almost over and I feel very disappointed in myself. I have considered transferring to a bigger, less cliquey school, but am hesitant because I feel that I would be in the same situation there as I am in here.

        Thanks for your advice and i will focus on trying some of those things. It also helps to hear from someone who was able to get out of a similar situation that I am in. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #82123

      Hi Ella!

      I read your post very early in the morning yesterday, and I have to say, it broke my heart. First, I’m imagining you typing your post — as a college student at 1 a.m….and I’m thinking of my own daughter, as I can imagine this scenario for her. She would be a freshman this year herself if she were not taking a gap year … and yet another next year due to issues with ADHD and health/joint problems. My daughter also has social anxiety, and it is very hard for her to make …and keep “connections” with the RIGHT people. I say the “right” people, because she had what she THOUGHT were “friends” who completely let her down in the last couple of years of high school. They just couldn’t understand some of her anxieties and basically ended up telling her to “suck it up” and deal … real nice, right? At any rate, it is important for you to remember that you are NOT ALONE in this. I’m sure there are others — even if you haven’t found them yet — that feel the same. My daughter is a cello player (and a “science girl” herself — also considering archeology and/or anthropology as a career…), and was part of our local youth symphony for years, and attended many summer camp programs specifically meant for students who are really serious about playing. Because of her anxiety, one of the schools she attended for their 3-week program (for 2 summers in a row) allowed for her to have a single room. Unfortunately, she found this to not be such a good idea because she found that those that roomed with others actually had an easier time making connections, so, I can truly see your dilemma! For her, she’s realized that those connections come much easier with like-minded people. Certainly, that would be the case with your major. It is sad that the others in your major are housed separately, in what sounds like an unsafe place! (That is probably the reason they have them paired together — safety in numbers!) It sounds to me like maybe the college is suggesting that you cannot “fit” (i.e. – no room for you…) in the dorm with your friend because it may be meant more for students with health issues/disabilities. I see that you said you have dyslexia. Keep in mind that with that challenge, you are able to get assistance from the college. If they are federally funded, they should have an office for students with disabilities. If I were you, I’d make an appointment to meet with someone there and explain your problem. Even though dyslexia isn’t a “physical/mobility” challenge per se, just like ADHD, I’m sure it comes with it’s own issues. You could also speak with a counselor to get advice/assistance. ADHD and anxiety can lead to lack of self-esteem and feelings of isolation, leading to depression (and did in my daughter’s case). If they see the potential seriousness of the situation, they would not want to place someone feeling low in such a situation. I think they should make an exception and allow you and your friend to room together — there has to be a way! I have spent a significant amount of time advocating for both of my ADHD kids, especially when it comes to school, so, don’t hesitate to get your parents involved if need be. Of course, there may be challenges there too (since you are now an “adult”), but your parents can help, with your permission. No matter what, keep your chin up and you will eventually find your way! Don’t let any rude comments get you down, although I KNOW it is hard and it is hurtful. Sometimes I think maybe people don’t even really mean what they are saying — maybe they were just commenting that they “noticed” you were alone. Or MAYBE they should jump in and HELP you NOT BE ALONE! ๐Ÿ™‚ If they were truly being rude, you don’t need them anyway. Again, lesson learned for my daughter herself. She realized that those “friends” of hers weren’t really friends, because REAL FRIENDS support you! I hope this works out for you, and hope you will post again! At some point, my daughter plans on college and we’ll be dealing with very similar issues. I wish you the best of luck!

      Take care,

      • #82356

        Thanks so much for the response! I hope everything goes well for your daughter in college! I’m hoping next year will be better for me. I will at least be in the same dorm building as a lot of the people in my major next year, which is better than my situation now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #82124

      Just another thought — I’d also ask the disabilities office if maybe they have any type of groups or clubs for students with disabilities. Those students will understand your struggles, and, you might find lifelong friends!


    • #105717
      Ella C

      UPDATE: Things get better!

      Hey yโ€™all this is me, Ella (I just forgot my log in for this account so Iโ€™m on a new one) I just felt the need to post an update to this story to show anyone else who may be experiencing what I experienced that things can change for the better that that there is ALWAYS hope.

      I just completed my Fall semester of Sophomore year, and I feel like a new person!

      Towards the end of my freshman year someone on my floor reached out to me. They invited me to join them for weekly community service and encouraged me to attend floor events, even offering me a place to ride in the car. They made me feel welcome and wanted in the community and that gave me the confidence to reach out more in other areas as well.

      I left that year with a lot of hope and my mental health continued to improve over the summer.

      Even though we were in different buildings this year, that person who reached out to me freshman year became my best friend. I learned that he had experienced a lot of the same things as me and we were able to be there for each other in a lot of different ways.

      My improved confidence and mental health motivated me to reach out in other areas as well. I grew closer to the people I did service with and became a more regular member of my clubs. I am also set to live with some amazing girls from my major in an apartment next year.

      I actually was sad when I had to leave for winter break because I loved being at school so much now. I still have areas I am working on, but my life has turned around.

      So thatโ€™s my update! Sometimes things in college start out rocky, but they can always get smoothed out. Never give up hope and always keep trying. โ˜บ๏ธ

      • #109269

        That’s really nice. College is a great place for people who are different I think.

        I had the loneliness problem in highschool and in college they called me “Al the psycho” (Aca psiho but this is the english equivalent) and honestly it didn’t really bother me. I knew I had the stare that can freak people out but that was just me zoning out. One girl in high school even told me they thought I was mentally challenged when I came to class for the first time.

        Being active really helps out just as you yourself saw. I met few of my closest friends in college and the people who saw me as a freak kinda got used to me in a way. I honestly don’t resent these people for thinking that way and I see their point of view. Over time when I started talking to people more they understood me more.

        Like I said before, my big luck was that I enrolled in a college with a friend that really understands me and she’s far more socially active and approachable than me. I just have the look that always seems angry and distant even though as a person I am far from it.

        Honestly I don’t know if this relates to anyone but my biggest problem was that my outside appearance doesn’t really match how I am. I seem angry all the time I have the face that leaves the impression that I’m always serious or to another extend that I’m always high. I am far from that.

    • #109381
      Dr. Eric

      For me, I focused on activities and passion.
      I started rowing crew.
      I ended up a competitive cheerleader.

      My connections developed naturally from them.

    • #109441

      That’s a great story, Ella. I am very happy for you. Just remember how things improved for you in this scenario for future scenarios. I would even suggest journaling so you can refer back to it later. My story is very different, I have always found it easy to connect with people and I have always felt liked by all. Until 40, I am still trying to figure out what happened. I am always worried that I said something wrong and everyone is going to hate me for it. I feel I have to be perfect. I am overly sensitive and moody. I am in a Ph.D. program and I struggle to focus long enough to complete assignments. Most times the hardest part is getting engaged. But other times I sit for 10-12 hours trying to get it done and accomplish nothing. It is so frustrating. I failed two classes and was able to get accommodations. It seems like my professors give me more grief now that I do. I was never diagnosed with ADHD as an adolescent I was just recently introduced to the idea. I am hoping to get things together soon so I resume taking over the world lol.

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