Is It Ok To Be Lonely In College?

It is the desire of every young person who hopes to go to college or is currently in one, to make the best of their college experience. The thought of freedom and an opportunity to take control of one’s life and be responsible for the choices made, prompts the numerous application requests sent out every year. Let us know more detail about ‘Is It Ok To Be Lonely In College?’.

Is It Ok To Be Lonely In College?

Is It Ok To Be Lonely In College?

College is an institution comprising of different groups of people, majority of them chasing an undergraduate education in a broad range of academic area that the institution of choice has got to offer. With different groups of people, from different backgrounds, chasing different dreams, it is a place where anything can happen. While loneliness is a normal feeling that happens to the best of us, it is safe to say that it is not ok to be lonely in college. 

College offers a lot of benefit but for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the social benefits of college, why loneliness should be shoved into a cupboard and the keys thrown away.

Social benefits of College

  • Develop lifelong friendships – Like the popular saying goes “no man is an island on his own” … we all need friends. Friendship plays an important role in life, not just companionship but it gives one a sense of belonging, knowing you are not alone in whatever situation you face and you’ve got buddies who’s got you any day.
  • Networking – Another popular saying goes “your network is your net worth” … the world we live in revolves around this. It is mostly not about what you know but who you know. Networking plays a vital role in career development. Through it, you gain more exposure and opportunities to progress in your career but such things will never come if you keep to yourself. You have to put yourself out there and make sure you mingle with the right crowd.
  • New ideas and fresh perspectives – College is a breeding ground of ideas. You meet people who are smarter than you, people who have a thousand solutions to a problem you might have, people who see the world differently, people who approach life and certain life situations differently. This can be enlightening and educative, if properly used. 
  • Self-development – In an environment that comprises, the best of the best, you are constantly being pushed to improve on certain skills and behavioral traits or do away with any ill that could mar your character development. Through friendships and partnerships, you get to see your areas of weakness and strengths and improve on them.
  • Build Confidence – To survive in a world like ours, confidence is needed. College creates room for you to build and boost your confidence. For every time you meet someone new, you are challenged to build some sort of communicative skill that enables you accommodate that person, intimating or not! The more you meet new people, the more inter-personal skills you build. Certain tasks and assignments will require that a class presentation, these people or friends can help you master the act of communicating to large crowd as you get to do it with them first. This helps you grow as an individual and if all goes well, you just might succeed in making lasting connections.  

Signs that you are Lonely in College

  • Lack of interest in everything and anything happening around you.
  • Little or no concentration in academic and extracurricular work.
  • Disconnection 
  • Isolation.
  • Gloominess 

The Downsides Of Loneliness In College

  • Isolation and Disconnect: A sense of disconnection and isolation from everyone and everything going on which makes it harder to concentrate and leads to an overwhelming feeling of invisibility.
  • Sadness: With nobody to talk to or share experiences, with little or no hangouts, sadness becomes an emotion one exhibits in college.
  • Anxiety: Too much worry about the everything, little or no consolation, encouragement about anything can lead to a severe case of anxiety disorder and panic attacks.
  • Zero social skills: No room to develop social, communicative and interpersonal skills which could have a drastic effect on one’s self confidence.
  • Bullying and stigmatization: Loneliness creates room for inferiority complex to blossom. Bullies feed off that. Stigmatization comes from the lack of acceptance. Both never go well. It is traumatizing and can lead to a long stretch of PTSD. 
  • Depression: This is the greatest monster of our time. It is not a state you wish on anyone. Loneliness in college can lead to lose of interest in everything, a dark whole that nothing can feel and an overwhelming sense of failure.
  • Suicide: In most cases, the above listed points can lead a person to take his or her own life as he or she is made to believe that there is nothing worth living for.

Does It get Lonely In College?

It does get lonely! Truth is, no matter how easy/outgoing we are, we can never completely shake of the feeling of loneliness that comes with moving to college. It is by default, triggered by the following;

  • Moving to a new city, country or leaving home.
  • Uncertainty about the future.
  • Leaving friends behind, having to make new ones, not having an established group of friends.
  • Academic challenges.
  • Indecisiveness about career path or passion.
  • Lack or loss of familiar routine
  • Time management struggles
  • Unwelcoming roommates
  • Loss of family traditions and holidays, etc.

How To Avoid Loneliness In College?

To prevent yourself from getting dragged into the deep waters of college loneliness, you could do the following;

1. Make new friends

This might sound difficult but it isn’t. it might feel like you are betraying your old friends but you aren’t.  You have to position yourself in such a way that you are easily approachable and willing to meet new people and make new friends. Having supportive friends can help overcome any mountain.

2. Join clubs or groups that spur your interests

 Keep yourself and your mind occupied with healthy activities. It will broad your network and create room for self-development. Clubs like music club, debate club, drama group, basketball etc.…are good examples.

3. Create a schedule that can help you fit everything in

Create a timetable that will enable you find a balance between school work, extracurricular activities and help you build a routine.

4. Call or visit family as often as you can

Maintain communication with family and friends. Do not cut everyone off. When you can, try to visit home or old friends. You could also visit places and people that holds a spot in your heart.

5. Explore new passions so that through it you can explore yourself

Do something new! Do not limit yourself to things you are used to. 

6. Develop healthy communication habits

Reach out to someone if you are feeling low. It could be a peer or a professional.

7. Be in control of your mental health

Constantly look out for your mental health. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Seek professional and medical help and understanding of your emotions so you can clearly differentiate between them and speak up the moment you notice an imbalance.

8. Know that you are not the one who is lonely

This helps you understand that everything you are feeling is completely normal and there is nothing wrong with you. There are groups or persons you can talk about it with and share thoughts and experiences.  This will prove to be encouraging in the end.


Nothing prepares you for the surprises you’ll meet in college. A swing of pleasure and pain, a dose of personal and academic growth. There will be days it will get exciting and days it will be frustrating. One can only hope that the good days overshadow the bad. Loneliness is normal but it is not ok to be lonely in college. If it ever becomes too lonely, kindly know that you are not alone. Reach out to someone, please reach out early so you can get all the help you need. Remember, the college experience is supposed to be fun, stepping out of your shell is the key way to making that happen.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Is it ok to be lonely in college ?

Answer – While I’d admit that loneliness is a normal feeling, it is NOT OK to be lonely in college.

  1. What do I do when I get lonely?

Answer – Reach out to a trusted friend, Join extracurricular groups that fall under your interests, call family, seek professional help.

  1. How do I know when I am lonely?

Answer – Isolation and disconnection from people, college activities and everything happening around you.