The idea of meeting life-long friends, going to the grandest parties, and living out your best life is often associated with college because of all the depictions from Hollywood blockbusters. However, once college Welcome Week ends, it is normal to feel the sudden loneliness. With family members leaving and the celebration ending, everybody seems to have moved on to different things. As a college student myself, I totally experienced the feeling firsthand. Nobody said the transition to fit into a new environment is easy, but the key is to utilize strategies that are proven to help combat the feelings of loneliness.
1. Create a Home Away From Home
Decorating the dorms and making them your own is extremely important. Making your dorm represent yourself not only can make you feel more at home, but it also acts as a great conversation starter. Therefore, be sure to bring your favorite blanket, photos of your family, and other mementos for decoration! As a college student myself, I love using polaroids to create a photo wall to showcase my personality and to record specific memories. Totally recommend this as a form of room decoration.
2. Get Involved
Every single college will hold involvement fairs each semester to showcase all the clubs offered. These fairs are an important pathway to become involved with others that have a similar interest as you. I still remember going to my first involvement fair, and I was definitely overwhelmed. There were just too many clubs. However, despite being overwhelmed, I got the chance to talk to different students with similar interests as me that helped me gain insight into how to make the most out of my time in college. Thus, I encourage everyone to look around during the involvement fairs to find a comfortable group in college for yourself.
3. Find a Support Network
It is probably daunting to make new friends in a new environment. However, don’t be afraid. Everyone else is also new and are looking to meet new people. Thus, don’t be afraid to throw yourself into a new conversation or ask people to get lunch with you at the dining hall!
Tip: The best places to meet new people are residency halls, campus dining halls, or simply campus events.
4. Enjoy What The Campus Has To Offer!
There are always events going around campus. There are always movie screenings, concerts, dances, etc going on. So by following campus activities social media accounts and following what events are going on will allow you to make the most out of your campus life. Other than the events provided in school, you should also take advantage of the environment of the campus. Utilize the buildings and the food around campus to your advantage and enjoy every second of it.
Tip: Every college has beautiful and comfortable places to study. You can make it your mission to find the "perfect" study spot for yourself.
5. Find a Mentor
A mentor or a big can definitely help your transition into college life and combat the feeling of loneliness. There are several ways to find the perfect mentor for you. You can start by joining cultural and professional support clubs that offer big and little programs. Through these programs, you will be matched with an upperclassman based on your interests.
As a mentor myself, I love the connections I form with my mentees. Not only do we go to a lot of events together, but we also chat weekly to make sure the mentees have the best freshmen experience possible.
Moreover, you can also contact your advisors and professors for academic based questions too. Therefore, find yourself someone who can answer your questions or simply share their experience to help you make the most out of your time in college.
6. Plan a Routine
Plan out a schedule for each week will help organize your time to maximize your opportunities to meet other people.
Furthermore, making your own daily morning routines and night routines is extremely helpful to revitalize yourself.
For instance, I treat myself to a cup of Starbucks Latte every Monday morning to boost start my week. So plan out routines and your weeks to stay engaged with the school and yourself, which will distract you from feeling lonely.
Don’t underestimate the power of exercise as a way to stay energized and upbeat. With your college tuition comes free use of the college gym. So why not use it? Exercising really helps keep your mental and physical health in track, which is extremely important in college. Moreover, going to the gym is also a great way to socialize.
Tip: You can find workout buddies through social media groups. It is a great way to meet new people with a similar work out routine as you.
8. Keep a Journal
Your mental health is really important! Therefore, keeping a journal is a great form of self-therapy. Moreover, with college being an important milestone in your life, it is important to record the experience. Thus, why not record the memories through your own words?
Tip: Re-read what you shared as a way to sort through what you are experiencing. Sometimes it is fun to look back at some fun memories too.
9. Set Your Goals
Don’t let loneliness paralyze your productivity. Write down personal and academic goals with specific due dates and strategies for success. Work on goals to become more socially connected. You can combat the feeling of loneliness by having something to drive you forward toward success. Personally, I like to write down daily goals and errands and cross them out once they are accomplished. I find this way help me finish my goals, while also giving me a sense of accomplishment.
10. Look Online
If you tried everything and still feel out of place. I recommend surfing through the internet to find a role model. There are several YouTubers that vlog their days in college. By watching these vlogs, I found it helpful to transition into college. In the videos, you can look at other people's day to day and find things to do to combat loneliness. Moreover, you can always try reaching out to these content creators for advice!
Other than YouTube, other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram all have different groups which will post about events around campus. Through these posts and groups, I bet you can find a group of people you are comfortable with.
Overall, transitioning into college is not the easiest thing. Especially after the honeymoon phase, the workload of classes starts piling in. However, don't let the pressure block you from socializing with others, which makes the feeling of loneliness even more serious.
Making college feel like home and enjoying it is a big part of the college experience. Thus, I recommend using these 10 strategies to make the most out of your college experience!