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You Are Not Alone

By Jaden Merimee

You’re not alone. As much as you may feel it in college, you’re not.
It’s different being away from the ones you love and eating alone for the first time. It’s hard to get out there and jump into new things when you don’t have someone to catch you or jump alongside. It’s hard at night when the partying stops and the shadows of those you were with fade until it is just yours. You’re not alone.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting new at school without the safety net of a friend, or if you have some, there still can be this lonely feeling you can't quite shake.
We all go through it, whether you are physically alone or with a room full of people around you. Now, here is the thing, without trying to sound like a poster on a wall, you aren’t alone. Yes, you feel alone, but going through this, you’re not.
You look at the person to your left or right and you may see and think that this person has their life together, so why don’t I? How do we really know that person has everything figured out, we don’t. It’s hard not to compare yourself; we all have done it, but comparing and contrasting with their world doesn’t help us in the end with how we deal with ours.
We feel this impending weight of what is next for us or struggle with how to keep up. It is one thing to set goals and find people to look up to, but it’s a whole other to let that determine your worth. These cold, isolating thoughts can freeze you out.
Is the college experience what you hoped for or dreamed of? Are those dreams changing? Are they crashing? You’re not alone.
Need me to throw in some statistics? According to a 2022 Sodexo Student Lifestyle Survey, “53% of current college students reported that they are currently concerned with feeling lonely, and 47% reported they are concerned with feeling isolated.” Bam, statistics. Although this shows that college students are really going through it, at least in light of this, it also means that most are going through it together. Bam, a silver lining.
In all seriousness, it’s hard. People may pile up work to stay busy and keep distracted, or people may skip class altogether and push aside or avoid what they can for now. The feeling is connected, whether it is driving yourself into a burnout or letting it pile up so high it towers over you completely. You’re not alone.
“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.”- Douglas Coupland.
Knowing that you are not the only one feeling this way could help you feel less alone with feeling alone. I know it sounds contradictory, but it isn't. It’s one thing to be alone, though it's another to feel it.
So, when it comes down to feeling alone in college, it’s okay because we have all felt it. Everyone has experienced it, even people who might surprise you. Whether you are struggling with finding your purpose, not feeling connected with anyone, not knowing what you want to do or who you want to be, or anything else that causes you to feel this way, you are not alone.
“Everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives, and maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way for longer periods of time, but there’s nothing wrong with you.” - Emma Stone.
You might ask since a majority of college students share this experience, how come we all still feel it?
Many people don’t realize how much others feel it too. That is why having the comfort of knowing others are feeling just the same is important for all of us. Sometimes, just lending a friendly face to a stranger as you walk by might make their day a little better. It could even help with yours too.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-and-done solution. It may arrive as a fleeting feeling or stay longer than you hoped. Keep going. Learning to push yourself forward is hard, but not impossible, even though there might be times it feels that way.
“So now, all alone or not, you got to walk ahead. Thing to remember is if we’re all alone, then we’re all together in that too.” – Cecelia Ahern
It may sound redundant hearing it over and over again, but it needs to sink in.
In times like this, we need to help build each other up the most. The world can be a messed-up place, and it could feel like it’s against you, but know, there is beauty in it too, so by taking it one step at a time, day by day, it is going to be ok because, in the end, we are not alone in this.

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