lonely College Life

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ella 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #81768

    Ella
    Participant

    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. πŸ™

  • #81773

    Angie_H
    Participant

    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,
    Angie

    • #81934

      Ella
      Participant

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

      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. πŸ™‚

  • #82123

    nadaprice2
    Participant

    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! πŸ™‚ 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,
    Nancy

    • #82356

      Ella
      Participant

      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. πŸ™‚

  • #82124

    nadaprice2
    Participant

    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!

    Nancy

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