Feeling lonely at university is very common and nothing to feel ashamed about. Everyone can experience loneliness and you are not the only one. Please bear in mind that you do not need to be alone to feel lonely. A sense of belonging and togetherness is integral for building meaningful relationships with people. You may interact with lots of people on the surface, but if you don't have a true connection with them, loneliness is still a risk. It is also important to remember you do not have to struggle with loneliness alone and that the University has a lot of support in place for you.
What you can do to help loneliness and isolation
• Try to build a healthy, well-rounded routine - Routines enable and maintain meaningful connections with others. Make sure you know when you're studying, when you're exercising, and when you're socialising. Organising a weekly or even monthly plan can not only be therapeutic but help you feel better in terms of feeling lonely.
• Join a society or club - There are many different groups you can get involved with at the University, choose one you're truly interested in and try and stick with it. Scroll down to see what Team Sunderland and Your SU have on offer.
• Reach out – Do not struggle alone, there is a lot of support for you. Your friends also may feel lonely and it may be good to talk to them to build that stronger connection but also to understand how they may deal with feeling lonely
Global Friendship Evenings
Every Tuesday at 7pm-8pm our Chaplain Chris Howson hosts the Global Friendship Evening! This is a social event for all students at UOS to meet and get to know each other. All current and former Sunderland Uni students welcome to join in. To get involved just contact Chris.Howson@sunderland.ac.uk for more details.
Support through Wellbeing
The Wellbeing team offers many different services that can help you overcome your anxieties and feelings of loneliness, such as Silvercloud, an online CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) programme that can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
You can also sign up to Togetherall, for free, to have a space to talk about how you feel with others who may be experiencing the same issues, struggles or concerns. If you feel you want to talk to someone on the phone, via email, text or webchat you can also go to StudentSpace and get in touch with a trained volunteer.
Feeling lonely is not in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem can increase your chance of feeling lonely and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health. Please contact the Wellbeing team if you feel like the loneliness or isolation you are experiencing is getting too much you can email at email@example.com or call us at 0191 515 2933.
Support through Sport
Adventure off Campus is a brilliant scheme that connects students whilst participating in adventures and activities across the North-East. From kayaking to a countryside walk, there is something for everyone... and it's free!
TeamSunderland also has a good range of sport clubs to join if you were interested in getting involved and becoming part of a team.
Support through your Students Union
Your Students Union offers a wide range of events and activities to get involved in! If you haven’t already, you can see what events are on offer by clicking here. New events come up throughout the year so keep checking back!
In addition to events, the SU also has a lot of societies you can join so you can meet other students with similar interests as you. You can view all the societies on offer by clicking here and if you can’t find something your interested in, you may want to start your own society! Here is a guide on how to start a society.
Finally, the SU also has an ‘SU Buddies’ Scheme for those who may need more 1-on-1 support. To make your transition to student life a bit easier, the SU can match you up with someone that’s been through it all before! Having a Buddy is a great way to meet new people, familiarise yourself with your campus and boost your confidence. You can get a buddy by clicking here.