January 26, 2020

How to Combat Loneliness in a College Setting

by Constance Tyne, ‘22 - Staff Reporter

Some people envision college as a part-time party, where you’re constantly making lots of new friends and doing exciting things. Part of this is true. College is a great time to meet new people. Especially at Gordon, being a student at such a small institution allows for a high concentration of like-minded peers within a mere two mile radius. The reality, though, is that college is also a time when people feel very alone. 

No matter how many friends one might make, it is common to feel on the outside of a friend group or circle at some point. It is perfectly understandable; whether a freshman or a senior, the brief years of college are different from previous schooling experiences, whatever they might have been. No one is perfectly comfortable for the entirety of their college careers. 

Between the stress of completing everyday assignments, perhaps managing finances and choosing an area of study, figuring out long term goals and preparing for the future—social insecurity is another drop in the bucket of things that college students are faced with. Like every school, Gordon presents a unique set of challenges for students. 

The size of the student body means that you see many of the same people on a daily basis, not all of whom will ever actually become friends. This can cause many to feel trapped and perhaps socially limited. 

Additionally, the lack of a typical campus ‘party scene’ forces students to be more intentional about creating comfortable and fun spaces to get to know their classmates and peers. Another contributor is the weather. The “special” nature of New England weather often calls for staying inside. On cold days when classes are over, students may lack the motivation to seek social opportunities because of the discomfort of the cold weather.

If you’ve felt isolated or behind in your friendship-making endeavors, or if you think that it’s too late to make new friends or get involved in a new activity, don’t worry! There are always welcoming clubs to join, projects to start and programs to apply to.  

College is so unbelievably ephemeral; the worst thing you could possibly do is take your college years for granted. They will be over before you know it! So take the time to familiarize yourself with the opportunities that campus provides, and go for it! 

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