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You Asked: When Will This Loneliness Go Away?

Dear Sugar,

I am really struggling with my emotions at this moment in life. I just moved 1,000 miles away from home in order to attend a great school, but I'm miserable. I haven't made many friends if any, and most of my time is spent in my dorm room alone. I know this isn't good, I should go to clubs and hang around campus to meet people, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am very stressed and contemplating moving back home. My parents swear the problem is being away from my boyfriend — we have been together for about two years — but he wouldn't be in my hometown anyway, he's living away from home too.

In my hometown, I was involved in many community things and had a job that gave me great experience for my future career plans. But at college, everything big happens on campus; this is a small town, and I am a big-city girl. I don't know what to do. Any advice? — Homesick Sandra

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Homesick Sandra,

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this, but I can tell you honestly that I felt the exact same way when I first went away to school across the country from my family and friends. I was terribly lonely and hesitant to put myself out there, but after realizing that keeping to myself was only making matters worse, I changed my tune, made an effort to meet people, and ended up having a great college experience. Making new friends can be difficult, but luckily in a college setting, everyone is in the same boat as you are. Before calling it quits, make sure you've exhausted all your possibilities first.

Instead of going straight to your room after class, head to the campus coffee shop and read or study there. Hit the gym or join a campus club. Spark up conversation with the person you sit next to in class; at least you'll have something to talk abut! Your dorm floor is how most people make their first friends in college, so chat up the person next to you at the sink or hang out in the hallway when you hear people talking. And last but not least, get involved on campus. You say you were involved in many community things back home, so why not do the same now?

Getting accustomed to a new environment takes time. Try to be a little more patient and I'm sure once everyone settles into their new surroundings, friendships will be made left and right. Hang in there and good luck!


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Everyone has said exactly what I was going to say. At least tough out the semester even if you think it's horrible because that will be giving your school a fair chance and you won't lose out on any money. In the meantime do things you enjoy and you will end up meeting people. I made a pact with myself to talk to someone new everyday and that makes a world of difference, even if it's just complimenting a girls shoes. You never know you might meet another girl just like you struggling to fit in and you could become best friends. As far as missing your boyfriend make a plan to talk to him once or twice a day and that's it. I talked to my boyfriend really late at night when we were both lying in bed and first thing in the morning and then you have a lot to talk about at night. It gives you more time to go on with your own lives and really grow as people.
quietriott quietriott 8 years
like everyone says, being homesick is a very common part of the college experience. i am sure that several of your classmates/dormmates are going through the same thing right now, but just don't want to talk about it. as everyone has also said - join some activities! do some intramural sports, join a service club, or see if you can find another group that interests you. also, the best thing i did as a college freshman was to plan a few nights in my room where i invited people for a post-chem exam chinese night, or some of the girls over for pizza and movies, just to get people together and hang out. sometimes people are just as lonely and shy and need a little encouragement as well and they will start reciprocating. just take things one day at a time, and believe me, soon you'll be shocked that the semester is almost over.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i can definitely relate to how you're feeling. when i first got to college i was at a big school where i felt like the really little fish. i didn't know anyone, and i was too scared to talk to people. i think that some of the best tips are to make friends with people in class - set up study groups or just say something nice about what someone's wearing and that could just spark a friendship. i know that greek life isn't for everyone but that was one of the best choices that i made since i was living off campus. i didn't have the luxury of a roommate or people in the hall, so i made like 30 friends really fast from my pledge class and then everyone else in my sorority became best friends too. it's never easy being away from home and out of your comfort zone, but think about how much you'll grow. you'll realize that you can do more than you thought and be much more confident.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
I know going home probably seems like what you need right now, but you should really give it a chance. It's not always the easiest thing to go out and introduce yourself to people but once you make one or two friends I'm sure the rest will come easier. Also do you really want to go back home before really putting forth an effort to make things work. I'm sure you worked really hard to get to where you are at. If you go home you may end up regretting it later and wondering why you gave up so easily. At least try as hard as you can to make it work so you can at the very least know for yourself that you didn't just take the easy way out.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
oh yah, and don't give up so soon! give it a fair shot! my sister just went away to school and one of the girls in her dorm left after being there 24 hours. i have another friend who left after 3 days, and another who left after a month and a half. i don't think that's considered giving it a fair shake. and i can honestly say, 99% of the people i know who have taken the chance and moved away for school (and trust me, it's a lot, because i've done a couple programs) have loved it and had the times of their lives and met their very best friends there... there's a reason you chose that school so make the best of it!
geebers geebers 8 years
Dear gave really good advice. I completely agree with her.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i went through the exact same be honest, it probably is your boyfriend, and if you were to break up, you would feel much more free and open and wanting to go out to bars, dance with friends, and meet new guys i'm not advocating breaking up because i have no idea what your situation is and how close you are and how the long distance thing is working, but for me, we didn't have the best relationship and once i was able to distance myself from being tied to the phone and internet, i was way more open to have fun! and eventually, when i finished school, i did move home, and i strongly believe home is where the heart is, but it's important to take a leap, do your education, and take a chance. it will make you stronger! good luck!
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