Waves of loneliness hit us all. – Trinitonian
New beginnings are never really fresh
As educated students, we are aware that the media confuses certain realities to make their content more appealing. TV has been known to portray the “good” times in college life: the wild nights out, the times when you make lifelong friends, and the spontaneous moments that may or may not result in embarrassing tattoos. . A new world, college was meant to be everything we wanted it to be and more. However, it is the number of expectations we place on this idea of a “fresh start” that puts us in this position: we are alone.
The idea of a fresh start is inherently flawed. Although it is helpful for some people to mentally accept the idea that they are leaving behind a negative facet of their life, this neglects a crucial part of being human: memory. We can move, change our personalities and perspectives and become entirely different people, but our memories of our past lives will stay with us forever. Too much pressure is placed on the change of scenery that comes with college life, whether it’s three miles from where you were or 3,000. Because of the burden we feel to fulfill our expectations of college life, we still feel 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 seems so much more consequential than depicted in pamphlets and self-help books. It’s personal. It’s as if this feeling is something individual, as if we are the only person in the world who feels so helpless. The more rational voice in our heads reassures us that we are not alone, and everyone feels that way sometimes. We logically know there’s support around us, including counseling services, roommates, friends and more. But in a new environment, these paths sometimes seem out of reach.
Loneliness doesn’t mean you haven’t made friends. You may be surrounded by some of the best people you’ve ever met in your life, but you still feel like you’re the only person there. Or, it’s the sinking feeling in your stomach when you text all your friends to hang out and they’re all busy. Especially for the first years, we are at the beginning of our very first semester of college. We are homesick, not used to this hilly, brick-laden environment, dreaming of our old lives, which seem so new and yet so distant. Most of us have never lived in the same place where we learn, which creates a new sense of monotony that only amplifies our loneliness.
At times like this, it’s important to remember why we are here, why we chose Trinity. Our driving reasons will vary, however, we can all agree on one thing: Trinity’s education and community are top notch and improving with each passing year. Going to college can mean feeling more in your head and less yourself, but it’s important to remember that while no one can feel loneliness like we do, most people have experienced some version of it. As the finals approach, some of us feel heightened levels of stress and fear of failure combined with fear of being alone. No specific advice will be able to absolve someone’s loneliness. We will always be a little lonely, all the time, no matter who we are with or where we are. It’s comforting to know that it’s not a feeling to be afraid of. Like growing pains, it’s just something we go through to get stronger.