You’re NOT on your own, kid: Waves of loneliness hit us all.

Fresh starts are never really fresh

As educated students, we are aware that the media conflates certain realities to make their content more enticing. We know that TV will depict the “good” parts of college students’ lives: the crazy parties, the time when you make friends for life and moments of spontaneity which may or may not lead to embarrassing tattoos. A new world, college was supposed to be everything we wanted it to be and more. However, it is the number of expectations we place upon this idea of a “fresh start” that puts us in this position: we’re lonely.

The idea of a fresh start is inherently flawed. Although it is helpful for some people to mentally come to terms with the idea that they are leaving behind a negative facet of their life, it overlooks one crucial part of being human: memory. We can move, change our personalities and perspectives and become different people entirely, but our memories of our previous lives will stay with us forever. Too much pressure is placed on the change of scenery that accompanies collegiate life, whether it be three miles away from where you used to be or 3,000. Due to the burden, we feel to make our expectations of college life come true, we feel even more overwhelmed than the seemingly endless pile of schoolwork makes us.

Loneliness in college is something we’ve all been warned about, but in reality, it feels so much more consequential than portrayed in the brochures and self-help books. It feels personal. It’s like this feeling is something individual like we’re the only person in the world to ever feel this helpless. The more rational voice in our heads reassures us that we’re not alone, and everyone feels this way sometimes. We know logically that there is support around us, including counseling services, roommates, friends and more. But in a new environment sometimes these avenues seem out of reach.

Loneliness doesn’t mean you didn’t make friends. You can be surrounded by some of the best people you’ve ever met in your life, but still, feel like you’re the only person there. Or, it’s the sinking feeling in your stomach when you text all of your friends to hang out and they’re all busy. For first-years especially, we’re at the start of our very first semester of college. We’re homesick, not used to this hilly and brick-laden environment, aching for our old lives, which seem so recent and yet so far. Most of us have never lived in the same place we learn, which creates a new feeling of monotony that only amplifies our loneliness.

At times like this, it’s important to remember why we’re here, why we picked Trinity. Our defining reasons will vary, however, we can all agree on one thing: Trinity’s education and community are top-tier and improving with every passing year. Getting to college can mean feeling more in our heads and feeling less like ourselves, but it’s important to remember that while no one can feel loneliness like we do, most people have experienced some version of it. With finals coming up, some of us are feeling amplified levels of stress and fear of failure combined with fear of being alone. No specific advice will be able to help someone’s loneliness absolve itself. We’ll always be a little lonely, all the time, no matter who we’re with or where we are. There is comfort in knowing that this isn’t a feeling to be afraid of. Like growing pains, this is just something we go through to get stronger.