If you’re asking me

You’re not alone in your loneliness

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear readers,


The one thing you expect when stepping foot on campus that first day is to instantly be engulfed in a group of friends. You go about your first day waiting for friendships to magically form.

But everything changes in a second, and your whole mindset does a complete 180.

You walk around campus, and suddenly you’re surrounded by friend groups. Davies is swarming with laughter, you’re the only one who doesn’t have someone to talk to in class and your roommate is bringing people over every waking hour.

Days and weeks pass by, and it seems like everyone has found their people. Every weekend you sit alone in your room, photos from parties filling your Instagram feed. The halls echo with the sounds of slamming doors as your floormates laugh with their friends.

You sit alone every day, your Airpods in, wondering where you had gone wrong, how you had failed, and “why don’t people like me?”

I’m here to tell you I know exactly how you feel. Your feelings are valid and entirely more common than you may think.

During college, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. We’re told these will be the four most important years of our lives. I remind myself on the daily that this is the time to meet my lifelong friends.

I search and I search for people who will accept me as a friend. I look around and wonder if anyone could possibly feel the same bitter loneliness I do.

Then the hopelessness sets in.

I am a second-year student, and I still have this feeling, but in the past few weeks, I have finally realized that I am not alone in my loneliness. 

This feeling isn’t one I’m experiencing on my own.

Because I have recently been embracing my loneliness by trying to figure out ways to change it, I am going to provide you — a friendly introvert — with six ways to try and combat your loneliness.

  1. You don’t have to be a sporty person to be in sports. Try joining an intramural sports team. And if they judge you because you have two left feet? They simply aren’t your people.
  2. Explore clubs on campus. Find a club that satisfies every hobby you possibly have and find the time to attend the meetings. (Shh, I promise your homework can wait.)
  3.  Find one person to talk to in each class. Make conversation during every class period. Once you know them well, ask for their Snapchat. While it may be scary, that’s one point of contact with one more person.
  4. Choose one person per week and ask them to hang out. It could even be as simple as asking them to study at a coffee shop. Sometimes you have to be the person to initiate a connection. If it doesn’t turn into a friendship, hey, at least you tried.
  5. I’m begging you, please go to the wing events in your dorm, if you’re living on campus. Even if your roommate can’t go with you, still go. I skipped almost all of mine freshman year, and I regret it to this day. Going alone is better than not going at all.
  6. Finally, find one other person who’s alone in a busy room of people. They probably feel the exact same way you do, but they’re too scared to talk to anyone. Even though it may be terrifying, everyone wants someone to talk to.

There are ways to challenge your loneliness. Even though the feeling is all-encompassing and often suffocating, it can benefit you to embrace the feeling and take it head-on.

You’re not alone in your loneliness. I see you and I hear you, so I hope that my tips will help you view your loneliness through a new lens.

You’re capable, you’re strong, and you’re an amazing person, but you’re hiding yourself from the world. You need to pull back the curtain and let people see you for you.

No one is going to hate you, and no one is going to judge you. There are people out there who will love and accept you. I promise.

Lots of love and hugs of encouragement,




Schad can be reached at [email protected].