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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Loneliness at University

Published: 29 October 2020
Two females sat on bench

This month, we focussed on Connect as one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

You can read the Connecting at the University SUSSED post and view our October Wellbeing calendar.

Sometimes it isn't as easy to connect with others as you may have hoped, and this can lead you to feel lonely. Even if you have made friends, you might feel lonely if you haven't found someone you feel really close to or if you feel different to others.

Feeling lonely is very common at University, and with the social distancing guidelines that we need to follow, it might be more difficult at the moment to feel close to other people. Watch these videos on students' experience with loneliness and how they cope with loneliness.

Looking after your wellbeing

According to Mind's webpage, loneliness can be associated with low mood, anxiety, and sleeping problems. Whilst you're settling into the academic year and beginning to make connections with others, it's important to look after your wellbeing. You could:

  • Practise self-care - read Student Life's post on the self-care menu for some ideas!
  • Learn something new - taking up a new hobby to occupy your time can increase your self-esteem and improve your wellbeing.
  • Read Mind's page on Student Mental Health for some information about common student problems.
  • Use some of the techniques in the NHS self-help leaflets for anxiety, stress, low mood, and sleeping problems.
  • Talk to someone for support.

If you're not sure where to start, contact Enabling Services via telephone, email, or Student Support Drop-in, and we can help you to create a short-term plan.

Remember: there are still lots of opportunities to make friends and connect with others.

The SUSU Online Community is a Facebook group where people share hobbies, news and events. It is an active community with over 1000 members, so it's a great way to connect with others.

It is also not too late to join clubs and societies - if you didn't join during the Welcome period but you would like to now you have settled in more, SUSU encourage you to get involved.

If you are an international student and you're finding it challenging to make new friends and settle into living in the UK, you could sign up for SUSU's International Buddy System, where you will be paired with another international student or a UK student.

A University of Southampton student team are currently creating Unipal - an app which helps you to connect with others and make friends safely. Whilst they are creating their app, they're using videos, blog posts and their Twitter to raise awareness about loneliness in the student population.

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