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Another lonely college student

24

Replies to: Another lonely college student

  • lzparelzpare Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    It's ok to be a lonely college student. As long as you find fulfillment in the things you do you can still feel happy without friends
  • leafconeybearismartleafconeybearismart Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @Sally_Rubenstone
    I guess I should elaborate a little. My sport is Quidditch, and I only joined because I knew that being on a team was a really good way to make friends (plus I wanted a way to stay active). It's not demanding at all, practice twice a week and an occasional tournament on the weekends. I'm really really bad at it which is kind of embarassing but like I said I want to keep active and I was hoping to make friends here. I didn't play any sports in high school, and in middle school I was terrible at them, so it's definietely not a big part of my identity. It's just a club sport, nothing serious.

  • leafconeybearismartleafconeybearismart Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @whatisfafsa I asked the theater major I know if I can usher and she says that it's pretty much only for students who are taking a theatre class (it's required of them). As a matter of fact, I am volunteering at a school near me in the city with kids who I'd consider less fortunate but I don't think it's really helping in any significant way.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,086 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    @leafconeybearismart -Joining Quidditch does seem like a fun way to meet like-minded people. But this doesn't seem like it's worked out so well for you. So maybe your next step should be to research some liberal arts colleges where you can take theater classes and take part in productions without being a theater major.

    It's actually not unusual for a lonely or unhappy freshman to pursue a transfer college without giving up entirely on the current one. Even if you decide to research transfer options and then apply, you will still have till late spring to make a commitment (assuming you're applying for a September 2019 start). So keep up your grades and activities as best you can since this will not only boost your transfer acceptance odds but will also make the months ahead as pleasant as possible. But also be on the lookout for new clubs and organizations to consider that might provide the camaraderie you're seeking.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,253 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Agree that applying as a transfer student now can be psychologically comforting without a binding commitment. Just advance preparation for what if things don't work out. Also, can serve as a great motivator to get stellar grades.

    P.S. As an editor of the school newspaper you should never eat meals alone when you have something to read. Stay busy.
  • leafconeybearismartleafconeybearismart Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @Publisher @Sally_Rubenstone I feel like a failure everytime I think about transferring. I transferred grade schools because I had no friends, and I almost switched high schools because it was just a really bad school. I don't want to give up and start all over again when everyone else has friends.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,086 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    @leafconeybearismart -Twenty-five years ago I co-authored a book called The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges. The first paragraph talks about the large numbers of students who decide to transfer, assuring them that they're not alone. And in the third paragraph, it says:

    ... it's important to recognize that transferring isn't quitting, it's moving. It isn't failing, it's changing.

    It's still very early in your freshman year, even if it doesn't feel that way to you. So, as I said above, you'd be wise to start investigating transfer schools where you can participate more fully in theater, but without giving up on your current school. (If you don't know where to begin with your transfer-school "research," start with the Colleges That Change Lives website: https://ctcl.org/ )

    As I also suggested before, many college students pursue transfer possibilities while, at the same time, they try to stay focused and engaged in academics and extracurriulars at their initial school. It can take months to make friends. Some students, in fact, get through all of freshman year without feeling fully connected to anyone at their college (or to the institution itself). But then they return as sophomores and find that they're in a whole new place ... not literally, of course, but figuratively. It's probably due to feeling more comfortable and less foreign the second time around (no more hunts for the laundry room!) but maybe it's due to different expectations as well.

    We often hear about "sophomore slump," but--for some students in my orbit--it's quite the opposite. No longer being the new kid on campus can actually be energizing.

    So don't give up on your school ... or, especially, on yourself! But do take steps to see what else may be out there for you, so you'll have options if your situation doesn't seem to improve.

    Post edited by Sally_Rubenstone on
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,253 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    OP: If you do not want to consider transferring, then you need to treat your depression. Your initial post in this thread shares that you are involved in multiple activities including two jobs, editor of school newspaper, clubs & study groups.

    Since I have no medical qualifications, all I can suggest is that you engage in daily exercise & try to get some sunshine. Many suffer from SAD seasonal affective disorder (I think). Means that you need lots of sunlight to feel good.

    Have you ever been to Florida or to a sunny climate ? If so, did it help ? Daily exercise results in a healthy release of endorphins (nature's happy juice) & can make a very significant difference in one's mood. And, no matter what, think positive thoughts. Do not focus on negatives.

    If your school has an exchange program, consider participating.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,191 Forum Champion
    I do agree that transferring can be a good thing in certain situations. I transferred after my freshman year and it was the best move I ever made. I transferred to a school that was much better in my area of study to a school that was previously unaffordable (family circumstances changed enough to make it affordable).

    Looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision. I definitely did not view the transfer as a failure -- rather it was a change for the better for me.

    HOWEVER, transferring is not easy. Here are some challenges I faced in a transfer.

    --A ton of strong friendships are made freshman year when everyone is looking for new friends. I had the best of circumstances when I transferred (I was randomly placed into a suite that had an unexpected opening as someone didn't return for sophomore year and my suitemates and I hit it off very well and became good friends). They also had a short transfer student orientation where I met someone in my major who ended up being a close friend. I met other friends along the way -- through classes, clubs etc. I did find enough friends at my new college but I always felt my social circle would have been bigger (and less dependent on my suitemates and their friends) had I started there as a freshman.

    --It can be a bit awkward to be learning the ropes when the vast majority of your peers are settled into routines at the school. That goes away after a little while but being the only one walking into the first day of a class holding a campus map, being uncertain of the ins and outs of scheduling, drop-add etc. when most everyone else was already in a routine was hard for me at first.

    --Academically I had a hiccup because an intro class I took at my first college did not prepare me adequately for an upper level class at the new school (it was a prerequisite class they gave me credit for). I got through it but it was stressful, time consuming etc. I also lost a class or two of credit as the new school did not accept all of the classes from my first school.

    --Financially many people find they don't get the same level of merit aid as a transfer student. This may make a similar school unaffordable.

    That said, I would make the same move 100 times out of 100. But it is important to know that a transfer is not always easy. If the OP pursues that route I would do everything possible to feel confident that it will be a good move -- visit the campus, be sure they have things you want there in terms of ECs and social life, be sure the academics are at least equal to your current school, be sure it is affordable, find out where transfers students get housed, ask if they have any orientation programs for transfer students and how they get immersed into campus life.etc. In short to the extent possible, make an educated and informed choice if you pursue that route.
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins Registered User Posts: 868 Member
    edited November 2018
    As @Publisher mentioned, semester abroad is a fantastic idea if social factor is the only reason for you to consider transferring. You’ll get a new scenery, new people and more importantly, you’ll grow as a person with your new experiences. When you’ll come back, it’s going to be a different world here as well.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,175 Senior Member
    OP, re-read this thread. From the outset you have drawn an absolute box: 'I have tried every single thing there is and there is *no* way for me to be happy. I can't change anything. I can't leave b/c that is "failure". I can't do the things I want to b/c of x external factors. I have a history of unhappiness and there is no way out'.

    That is simply factually not true for you at this stage- but it does require you to take some steps.

    1. Deal with the depression. If the counselor's actual advice for somebody with a history of depression who is reporting feeling hopeless and depressed is 'wait it out' go see a different counselor. But: if it's that you just said 'I'm feeling lonely and don't have any friends yet and everybody else does', go back and be more forthcoming: "I am feeling hopeless and depressed and isolated and as if there is no hope for anything to ever be better"

    2. Deal with your housing: your college has a variety of living environments, and typically there is some room movement during the first term, as students work out what is ok for them. ResLife at your college has a stated commitment to getting it right for the students. That doesn't mean that it is easy to just walk in and everything is magically fixed, but it does mean that there is a system and a commitment to making sure that students are in "safe and supportive living communities where students can engage with others, explore their personal identity, and develop a deeper understanding of their impact on the world." (their quote). Re-examine the housing options. Again, you are likely to have to advocate for yourself: ime the first response of ResLife offices is to say 'give it a little time'. Now that you know more about the school / housing options, work out a couple of options that you think might work better for you, such as the wellness LC. Have a few ideas ready, and work with the ResLife to figure out a way to change.

    3. Dump the Quidditch team. What is the point of being on a team where the people aren't nice to you, and you feel like a failure? It's fine to be new & inept - if you are having fun- but you obviously aren't, and you are missing the whole point of the advice to join a team. Ditto for any other suggestions that you say aren't working for you.

  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins Registered User Posts: 868 Member
    edited November 2018
    OP, As a parent of kids your age, your post was tugging at my heart so I looked at your other posts to see what could be the reason for your unhappiness. In your other posts, you did mention getting low grades, worrying about admissions, seeing a therapist for anxiety and not loving your high school.

    If this is the case, ask student health center, your doctor or your parents for recommending a good professional therapist.

    I noticed that you love theater, had good time doing theater and wanted to go to some college near Broadway in NY. You also mentioned your love of theater in current thread.

    If this is the case, take a theater course, audition for a play, make contacts in theater department. Don’t rush to go to NY, you can go there for internship, graduate school or work.

    I noticed you didn’t do great academically in high school and failing a required science course now as college freshman as well.

    If that is the case, focus on studies, go to office hours, talk to academic advisor and professor.


    If your family and therapist see a need for and benefit in changing dorm, major, school or town then do that. Quit your sport if you hate it. Making a change isn’t always a failure, it can be realization of what doesn’t work and switching to something more likely to work well. However, one should always make sure there aren’t any better solutions to fix what you have as grass may not be as green on other side as we assume.

    Life is complicated and teen years/high school/college are even more complicated. There is no problem if you have someproblems as long as you work to find solutions. There is a solution for every problem so don’t worry and keep working on looking for ways to improve things. Sometimes it takes longer than our expectations. You’ll be fine. Stay relaxed and reach out to resources available to you through your family, doctors and school.
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