Overcoming Loneliness

February 19, 2024

Everyone always says that college will be some of the best years of your life – you’re exposed to new people, new ideas, new ways of living. But what happens when things don’t go as planned? In a school as large as UNC, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely. “How should I meet new people if I’m not already part of a group? How can I find people who like the same things as me?” Many of us at UNC have probably had these thoughts at one point or another – in fact, loneliness is growing on college campuses across the U.S. The important thing to know is that you’re not alone. There are lots of students at UNC who are in this situation and are looking to form meaningful connections. Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone – you never know if that will be the start of a beautiful friendship! Here are some tips to get started:

  • Join a Student Organization: This is a great way to meet people with similar interests! Browse Heel Life to find clubs that you’re interested in, and show up to a meeting. Chances are that you’ll have a great time doing something you love while also getting to meet new people who share your interests.
  • Join an IM Sport: Sports are a great way to meet new people – you can meet people with similar interests while having a shared activity to do in the meantime. It’s also a good way to stay healthy and get some exercise.
  • Reach out to Someone: Many people may feel fear and anxiety doing this. Putting yourself out there and reaching out to new people is not necessarily easy, but it’s a great way to start a new friendship and form a connection with someone. Try talking to someone after class, inviting someone to grab lunch, or even scheduling a study session.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering is a meaningful way to connect with others while simultaneously helping your community. Through volunteering, you can not only connect with other student volunteers who have the same passions as you, but you can also connect with the community members whom you are helping. Check out Heel Life for volunteer student organizations to get started.
  • Look into Community Activities: Your search for relationships doesn’t have to be limited to UNC – expand into the community and explore everything that it has to offer! Local book clubs, climbing gyms, and karaoke nights are great places to start to find people who share your interests.
  • Check out Social Media Groups: There are groups on social media platforms, such as Facebook groups, that are centered around particular interests or hobbies. Join one of these groups in your area to get updates on their activities and meet new people who share your interests.

Remember, if you are feeling lonely at UNC, you are not the only one. Putting yourself out there can be difficult, but you can do it! Try following these tips, and reach out to CAPS or go on the Heels Care Network if you feel like you need mental health support. We are one community here at Carolina and we are here to support each other.

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