Freshmen aren’t the only ones adjusting to College

Fighting the struggle of loneliness as a sophomore



Gosling, far left, with her family at their home in Appleton before she left for her first semester in Eau Claire.

A common misconception is that being surrounded by people makes you less lonely.

Because of this, many people overlook loneliness in college since you’re surrounded by thousands of others who are trying to adjust just like you, but that doesn’t make the feelings of loneliness any less difficult to battle.

Working away from home at a summer camp following my freshman year was an eye-opening experience that changed my perspective on loneliness in many ways.

Being a sophomore, I can assume that most people my age are adjusted to being back in the college atmosphere already and have very little insecurities regarding loneliness.

I am not one of those people.

In the past, I was always eager to move away from home and have my own experiences where I was free from my family and my homebody ways. I could make my own life, and start my own journey.

When I left home for the summer, I didn’t really understand what I signed up for. I had never left home for an entire summer before. My mindset was similar to that of my freshman year, I was excited, and I couldn’t wait for all the new memories and experiences that were ahead of me.

I soon realized that I missed my family, my room and my bed more than I did when I was at college. I was away for the whole summer, with new friends, but I felt as though I needed to be home.

The summer before my freshman year I was at home and  was used to spending days at work and nights at home with my family. At the end of the day, I would be so excited to come home, relax and not have any worries.

Compared to working at a camp, that was easy. Having a 24 hour job with kids was overwhelming, and I couldn’t just go home when I was stressed.

Leaving home reminded me of the obligations of being an adult. We have to get back in the routine of our life even though there may be strong emotions that are felt and that don’t disappear at the end of the day.

For me, being at camp and thinking about my home made me feel as though my family was living without me.

When coming to Eau Claire, I knew what my family would want for me to do: live life, make mistakes, have fun and find pleasure in the small things. Furthermore, to find comfort in friends and take care of each other.

Making this my goal, I know loneliness can be a feeling of the past. By appreciating the small things in life, loneliness can be conquered, and happiness found without thinking of home with thoughts of despair.

Although easing the loneliness can take time, we’re thrown into a new lifestyle and it can be hard to settle in at first. Finding my own inner peace has helped the most and it also makes it easier to get things done without the burden of unnecessary stress.

Also, reflecting and relaxing can cure my symptoms of loneliness. Leaving the phone at home isn’t always a bad decision. It helps you focus on yourself and find that inner peace that we all desperately need.

This year, I’ve noticed more than I did in the past that we really have our own agendas, and everyone has to follow their own judgment. We are adults, though we don’t always act like them. College students are put into a hardly wavering mold from year to year, and we have to find our own independence while simultaneously balancing a demanding social life.

Being confident with who you are and actually enjoying the alone time you rarely get in college makes loneliness less of a problem.