Dealing with the loneliness.

Loneliness.

The greatest challenge that commuters face everywhere, especially if you attend a highly residential university like I do.

Since I have discussed loneliness at length before, I’m not going to mention why commuter students tend to be a more isolated bunch than others, but rather, I’m going to provide a single solution to curing such a disposition.

Think about it. You are a commuter student. All of your high school friends are busy/away at school. You know people in your classes, but they are not really your friends – just a few of the many acquaintances you meet throughout life. You see them in class, chat for a few minutes before it begins, say good-bye at the end of the period, and that is it.

College is a transformational experience for many people, commuter students included. For example, the moment I traveled to campus on the first day of classes, it struck me that a majority of people I had considered to be “friends” in high school – weren’t really friends at all. The fact that I had spent a lot of time with them only masked the fact that they were really acquaintances in disguise.

It disheartened me greatly that I realized that I never had any truly good friends in my life – and the fact that I commuted to school was going to make it even more impossible for me to find true friends there. Which became the case.

In college, I have tried both successfully and unsuccessfully – to reach out to others, be it fellow classmates, professors during office hours, even the campus cops/janitorial staff. Oftentimes, my efforts came to nothing. Eventually, I gave up. I still chatted with professors and fellow students whenever possible, but I realized that my limited presence on campus and lack of facetime outside of class limited my social appeal to others. It’s all perfectly understandable.

Yes, be aware of how alone you truly are is terrifying. But at the same time, I advise that you do not allow the issue to dominate your life, because college doesn’t last forever, and if you have any ounce of social skills whatsoever, you will make good friends. Be it at a workplace or on your own in the future.

So thus, instead of focusing on how lonely you are, put those energies into a personal passion or hobby. For me, it’s video games. I spend a great deal of time playing video games, chatting with people online about them, and while interaction with people over the Internet is far less satisfying than facetime with others, it still alleviates some of the pressure.

Additionally, if you are a pre-professional student like me (for example, I am studying accounting at the moment and hope to make it to the Big Four, if possible), focus on your future and how you will achieve your dreams. Because, naturally, the future is worth far more than the present (after all, this is why you are in college, right?)

In case you didn’t read the above, the gist is this: No one cares about how lonely you are, and you shouldn’t either. Your passions, your future, and your dreams are worth ten times the attention. As for good, lifetime friends, the time will come eventually.

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7 responses to “Dealing with the loneliness.

  1. This entire blog basically describes my everyday life while at school. At least I’m not alone!

  2. I’ve been reading your blog since last year and it has always made me feel less alone in my situation. I used to google the term “lonely commuter student” and google came up with very little except for your blog. I can relate to just about everyone of your posts. I used to feel sorry for myself and beat myself up for making the decision to commute to college, but my determination to make the best of my situation and your blog helped me get through it. As this is my last year in college and I’m almost through my commuter nightmare, I just want to say thanks for creating this blog.

  3. I am a veteran commuter student going on my senior year and this is the first time that my feelings have been validated by anyone. Its been a tough slough but hopefully things will change.

  4. This makes me quite emotional. I live what you have written everyday. I thought I was the only one. Thank you for writing this, it has lifted my burden a little.

  5. thank u so much for writing this, u have no idea how much it helps to know that im not alone. i really hope u keep posting on this blog, and i hope it gets bigger.

  6. I moved to a foreign country for college. I ended up staying with some relatives of mine who happen to live in the same town as my college. The whole point of me studying abroad was not only to get a better education but to meet diverse people from all over. Boy was I in for disappointment! As it turns out my school didn’t have many foreigners so there wasn’t
    anyone who could relate to my experience. The only foreigners there lived on campus and unfortunately I didn’t. Many of the other students went to high school together so even if they didn’t live on campus they still had their own friends. Soon after my first day I realized that most of them wanted nothing much to do with me and didn’t care to form a relationship beyond the level of acquaintance . The loneliness was unbearable. The fact that I lived with family made no difference as they were dysfunctional and annoying. To make matters worse one of them(my grandfather who is paying for my education) has full control over my finances and my life. There was nothing that my parents could do except try to comfort me as best as possible. All I could think about was my loving fully functional family back home,my best friend and my pets. My first year is now over and I am back home with my parents for the summer and I am dreading going back. All I could remember about first year was burying myself in school work and feeling dead inside. I still have the scars on my fore arm as a reminder. Despite all of this I still managed to get a 3.83 GPA so at least I have one thing to be happy about. I remember trying to reach out to people on campus like you did but really no one cared, not one professor or student. How I longed for someone to truly take an interest in me. This is why I can relate to your blog. Thank you for making me feel less lonely. Hopefully next year I wont be such a wreck.

  7. awesome post – i am totally living like this right now but as you said, it’s temporary or if you want, you can do something about it – join a club/call old friends/family/cousins/etc, meet new people, actively ask your ‘friends’ to do something together. get together, get together, get together… and then boom! you’re not alone anymore. (a little over the top but you get the picture.) and most importantly, be honest about everything and be yourself…. whew. advice to self. haha. i’m definitely still trying and still going to keep trying ~!

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