Hey guys, it’s Omer again. For this week’s blog post, I’m going to be focusing on the topic of loneliness and its adverse effects on mental health among college kids.
In a 2017 survey of about 48,000 college students, 64% reported that they felt “very lonely” within the past 12 months, and only 19% reported that they never felt lonely. Clearly, this issue is very prevalent for college students.
Research has found that loneliness is associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems, and increased stress.
While finding a solution to this problem is not very simple and will certainly not end all feelings of loneliness, there are certainly steps students at Ohio State can take to relieve some of these sentiments.
If it is a nice day and you happen to feel lonely, grab your hammock and go outside! Usually there are many other kids doing the same thing, so it’s certainly a great way to meet friends. Some of my favorite places to go hammocking around campus include the trees by Morrill, Mirror Lake, and right by the Olentangy River.
OSU has so many events and ways to meet people, so take advantage of your resources! Dorms hold events in their study spaces around two times a month, so make sure to be on the look out for these! There are also so many other clubs to join and religious organizations, including Chabbad and Hillel for Jewish students (Chabad has Shabbat dinner every single Friday).
Another way to combat loneliness if the situation gets very dire is to find someone you trust and connect with them, possibly talking about how you feel or even just spending time with them. For those living in the dorms, this could be your RA or Hall director. Additionally, OSU offers drop in appointments with the Counseling and Consultation Services, where you can talk with a counselor for 15 minutes in confidentiality about the problems or loneliness you may be facing.
Loneliness is a feeling that I am sure many of us have felt on occasion. The most important thing to remember when these thoughts and feelings begin is that you truly are not alone, that there are so many people around you willing to support and help you. Taking advantage of the many resources Ohio State provides is certainly a way to combat loneliness, and will only serve as a basis for feeling better and supported by those around you!