Overcoming loneliness the DMU way

by Kate Goodyer, Andre Sobol, and Beatriz Ferreira

 

 

Almost half of UK students admit feeling lonely during their time at university, according to a recent report by Sodexo.

The majority of students experiencing loneliness were first years or international students, who are moving away from home for the first time and are likely to struggle with language and cultural barriers.

Students at De Montfort University (DMU) have mentioned the importance of Freshers’ Week events to help freshers getting involved in university life, but also suggested that it can lead to other students feeling left out if they do not relate to the activities available.

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Since students are required to pay for most Freshers’ Week activities or to join societies, financial problems can also have a negative impact on their social life because it can prevent students from getting involved.

One DMU student, who didn’t want to be named, said: “If you don’t have the money to go out there are not that many other options so I think that some people just avoid being with others.”

She added: “Also, for students that don’t live in campus, who stay at home, they lose part of the experience of staying in an accommodation and meeting people, it’s harder to make friends.”

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De Montfort University Students’ Union mission statement for student well-being.

Derrick Mensah, the Students’ Union’s Vice President for Student Activities, admitted feeling lonely during his time as a University student,.

He said: “It is hard to identify a student that is lonely but in most cases if that person is willing to expand themselves and come into the office we can see what they want to get involved with and hopefully point them in the right direction.”

Top 3 tips to fight loneliness:

1. Join a society

Joining a society can help students meet people with the same interests as their own.

2. Ask for help

There are several places available around campus such as the DMU Wellbeing Service or the DMU Mental Health Inclusion Team where you can look for support or find someone to talk to.

3. Try new things

Don’t be afraid of getting involved and trying different activities.

If you are experiencing loneliness, make sure you schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Inclusion Team at Gateway Building or visit the website http://www.dmu.ac.uk/current-students/student-support/wellbeing-disability/mental-health-support/index.aspx

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