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16 October 2014
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Emotional worries - Loneliness

Leaving home, leaving friends and going to an institution away from home comforts is worrying. However, in an average university there will be more than 1000 people all in the same boat, with the same fears and apprehensions. The friends you make at university or college are invariably friends for life who share common interests and activities.

"What if no one likes me?", "What if I don’t fit in?",
"How do I meet people?"
These are just some of the questions in student’s minds when taking up a place in further education.

Halls of Residence
The majority of first years will be offered a place in a hall of residence. These can be catered or self catering, mixed or single sex, split into flats or huge buildings. People are matched up with others on their course, or people with similar interests as far as possible, and it is a great way to meet people and make friends. On your first night, make the effort to knock on a neighbour’s door and encourage them to do the same! Many universities also offer a ‘peer guide’ or ‘mentoring’ system whereby a 2nd year student will take a group of first years out, introduce them to the campus/city and encourage friendships.


It’s worth taking out possessions insurance for your room if it is not covered by your parent’s insurance.

Freshers Week
This is a week of entertainment organised by the student union - the place most likely to become your home from home during your time in higher education. The Union will offer a massive range of activities and events to suit all musical and cultural tastes. It is a fantastic place for a few drinks, a quiet chat, a wild party, society meetings or political rallies.


Try not to spend all your money (and time) here… there is the small matter of work!

Freshers Fayre
Usually in the first week of term, all the clubs and societies will try and encourage people to join them. This is a great way to meet like minded people and get involved in running a club. The choice is vast - from sailing to star wars through to charity and politics. Also, if there isn’t one to suit you, the Student’s Union will help you start your own society. Universities also have clubs which can be directly relevant to a career (for example, newspaper, radio station, political clubs, community volunteer groups).


Don’t be tempted to join too many societies - stick to one or two to which you can really devote time and energy!

Your course
Whatever course you have chosen, you will meet people, have the opportunity for group and seminar work and the chance to get involved with academic type study groups. Again this is a fantastic way to make friends. Of course it can be intimidating to stand up in a seminar and contribute, but once you get involved in lively debate it can be fun, stimulating and make you think in different ways. There are no right or wrong answers so have a go!


If you think you are on the wrong course, it is possible to change

All higher education institutes will offer a massive range of religious activity and provide places of worship for every denomination. Chaplaincys are always open to all, regardless of faith.

Counselling & nightline
If you are having problems making friends, feel lonely or depressed, all institutions have a huge support network. Don’t bury your head in the sand or drop out prematurely. Talk to someone who can help. Everyone will feel lonely and out of their depth at some point, and it’s not a sign of weakness to seek advice. Either visit a student welfare officer or counsellor face to face, or phone ‘Nightline’ - free anonymous lines manned by fellow students are found at all universities.

Other areas of concern:

Money | Loneliness | Coping with the workload | Sex and health | Right course, Right place | Careers

Cymraeg (Welsh)


Also see...
Mature students
Emotional worries

Next step...
Skills for work

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