How To Feel Less Lonely When I Have No Friends In College
By: Toni Hoy
Updated November 20, 2019
Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers
Out of your entire educational career, the move to college can often be the hardest in terms of socializing. We leave behind many of our old friends and are placed into a new, foreign setting where we have to start all over again. For many, this can be an isolating experience that leaves them confused about what they should be doing to start anew.
However, what you may have overlooked is that almost everyone around you is in the same situation. Most people entering college (whether as freshmen or transfer students) are looking to make new friends. Although it can be scary, all you have to do is put yourself in a position where you are able to meet others. That said, getting out there can be the most difficult part of the process. If this is where you need assistance, read below for some tips on how to find new friends during your college experience.
I Have No Friends in College-How Do I Feel Less Lonely?
Socializing in college doesn't have to be hard, and once you gain traction, it becomes much easier. To get you started, here are a few ways you can get out and meet others easily.
Join a Club
One fun thing about college is that there are a lot of clubs. In fact, there are so many that almost everyone can find something they are interested in. Think of things you are passionate about and use those things to connect with other people. Additionally, if you want to meet new people, going out is your best bet. Whether it's a club, party, or networking event, you need to put yourself out there. Show people the real you and you'll be bound to make a friend soon enough.
Keep in Touch with Friends and Family from Home
Transitioning from high school to college is tough, so it's important to have a support system in place when you start to get lonely. Make established relationships a priority by scheduling regular phone or Skype time with your parents and old friends. This way, you can keep socializing while you work on making friends in your new area.
Plan Visits in Advance
Another way to make it through the school year when you are feeling lonely is by planning visits and holidays in advance. This way, you know exactly when you will see the people you love, which will give you something to look forward to. You can also plan for friends and family to visit you at school. If you moved away for college, showing your family and old friends around your new neighborhood could be a lot of fun.
Work on Your Social Skills
If you get anxious or shy when talking to new people,that's something to work on so you can improve your ability to socialize. Maybe you aren't making friends in college because you're misinterpreting people's behavior or sending the wrong signals. Working on your social skills involves pinpointing problem areas-like speaking too quickly when you get nervous, having poor posture, or feeling self-conscious when meeting people-and working to improve them.
How to Cope With Being Alone (or Feeling Lonely)
The tips above will help you meet new people, but you still may need help dealing with that lonely feeling while you are adjusting to your new life. Here are some ways you can cope with being alone and feeling lonely.
1. Learn How to Be Alone
There are some people who are terrified of being alone, as we often view being alone as a negative. However, having alone time is something that is vital to our health and well-being. We all need time with ourselves, and we shouldn't seek to be with people every hour of every day. Learning how to be alone is a valuable skill that will carry you through this initial rough patch.
2. Use Your Loneliness as a Motivator
When you transform your feelings, you control them and their effects. Rather than letting your loneliness control you, try turning it into motivation to get out there and connect with others. After all, the feeling of loneliness is telling you that you need interaction. Framing it as a need like hunger or tiredness can change the way you look at and react to it.
3. Be Out Around People
You may not make friends everywhere, but you don't necessarily need to. Sometimes, simply being around people can make you feel less lonely. If you don't already, try getting out more in public and doing things on your own. You might be surprised and pick up a friend or two along the way!
4. Getting the Support You Need
Being lonely for a long time can have negative effects on your mental health. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, it is perfectly okay to reach out to a counselor for help. Students are under a lot of pressure, and having someone to talk to who can help put things into perspective can be a big help. That said, it is not always easy for students to access counseling services.
BetterHelp Can Help
If it is difficult for you to find a local counselor or you are uncomfortable doing so, there are convenient online counseling services. BetterHelp is one that matches users with experienced professional counselors. You can access BetterHelp's network of licensed counselors from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people in similar situations.
"She's amazing with helping me figure things out. If I didn't have this app or Amanda while I'm at school, I don't think I'd make it."
"I was in a very bad place when I started counseling with Vanessa. I was drowning in my negative thoughts, especially about moving into a new place. Vanessa helped me face these thoughts, counter them. It isn't easy, but I am training myself and getting better at it. She helps boost my confidence in all aspects. In Vanessa, I found guidance, empathy, open-mindedness and a good listener. Vanessa will never fail you!"
College is a time of self-exploration and growth as you work on building your new life. If you feel like you're alone in your experience, use the tips listed above to reach out to others and begin creating your new social circle! WIth the right tools, making new friends is within reach. Take the first step today.