By Jessica Marie Clayton
While college seems to be the most exciting, inclusive, and invigorating time of our lives, many people fail to realize how lonely it actually is. On Saturday’s when there isn’t a football game, campus becomes a ghost town, and it sometimes seems as if literally everyone has gone home. There’s no one playing ping pong in the rotunda, hardly anyone studying in MLC, and empty tables—which are usually a rare commodity—are everywhere in Bolton.
Strangely enough, a college campus with more than 30,000 students begins to feel like a small fish tank where everyone is suffering from a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
I once thought of Sundays as lazy days, but I’ve since changed that opinion to Saturday being the quietest, loneliest day of the week in college. Sure, Saturdays are the perfect time to go out with friends, make plans, be productive, catch up on school work, or experience new things, but when most of the population files out with differing destinations, so too does your motivation.
Most weekends are spent sitting around your dorm room feeling a strange sense of disconnect and it’s in that one moment when you actually stop and observe your inner energy, that you realize how sad and lonely you really are inside.
No matter how many people you pass—either on your way to eat at a dining hall or coming back into your dorm—you’re struck by this all consuming feeling of not being close to any one person. You look around at everyone living their lives, making lifelong friends, and getting into the mix and you feel left out. You’ve spent the last 18 years of your life waiting for college because it’s the “best years of your life” and you can’t wait to meet people “just like you”, yet you can’t help but mope because you haven’t found those few special people yet. And honestly, there are probably many other people that feel the same way.
It’s only October. It’s only been two whole months since making a huge lifestyle change and leaving the safety net of your parents’ homes and their watchful eyes to learn how to be an adult and take care of yourself. Many of us have never been on our own before, and therefore are struggling to balance the demands of school and the immense amount of freedom.
One of the most important things that we have to remember is that things take time; especially those things that make you feel like a complete person through and through. Qualities of trust, friendship, and connection take time to build, simply because you cannot force those things with just any person.
They require connecting on a level that’s deeper than the surface, which requires trust, and getting to know a person’s true intentions. There’s no real way to know if you’ll be able to fully trust a person or call them a friend until time proves their motives.