The First Few Minutes of Loneliness

This article purely targets those going off to live in halls or shared housing. If you are living at home then it may not particularly apply to you.

What does the title mean? ‘The First Few Minutes of Loneliness’, well, it’s all about how you deal with those first few moments of feeling lonely when your parents and friends leave after moving you into halls/shared housing and you don’t know what to do with yourself. 

This article is important because it’s going to highlight the fact that no matter who you are, you may have a feeling of extreme loneliness in the first few minutes of moving into halls – on your own for the first time, in your own room away from home.

Here’s my personal experience:

I arrived in halls after an extremely busy journey. Three cars worth of stuff in a convoy going down the A46 towards Lincoln, all carrying my belongings. We stopped for a McDonalds around lunch and finally arrvied at my halls in the early afternoon. After getting my key and spending a long time hauling my stuff up a few flights of stairs, we arrived at my room, belongings falling out of the door. My room was smaller than I expected and I remember this taking me by surprise. I had my mum, my nan, my best mate and my girlfriend at the time – all there helping me move in. I remember that it was so cramped with us all in there, my mum sent me off whilst they all sorted my room out. By the time I’d got back, my room was some what unpacked. I remember just sitting there with my friends remember how strange it felt, how i thought I’d never feel at home in that room – but oh how I came too. I also remember how lonely I felt when I had to wave them all goodbye and I was in my room, on my own, for the first time. 

I remember as soon as they left I was sat there on my desktop, looking around at my room. My new bed sheets, the pictures friends had given me, all the new items I’d brought for the new room, all the old things that sat amongst them and being honest, I got tearful. They’d gone and they’d now be an hour away and I’d be in this place all alone. I started getting tearful, to the point I just wanted to curl up in the bed and miss the first night of Freshers. But I didn’t. Here’s my advice to you…

Now here’s some advice on what you should and shouldn’t do should this feeling hit you when you’re there:

DO

  • Get up and go talk to the lovely new faces you have yet to make friends with in your hall, corridor, flat or whatever you are living in!
  • Plan your evening ahead and how you are going to spend your time! E.g. plan your outfits and Freshers events – this will give you something to look forward to.
  • Spend an hour or two making your room, YOUR room. Make it comfortable and homely and just some where you can escape to after a long day of lectures.
  • Arrange all your stuff, neat and tidy. E.g. bedroom stuff, kitchen stuff and what not. A tidy room is a tidy mind after all.
  • Invite people to have a walk around the area and get to know the the nearest amenities. (a McDonalds and a Wetherspoons are a must)
  • Put some music on, prop your door open and just chill out.
  • Have a nap. This will become extremely common as you mould into your new student lifestyle, sometimes when your feeling your worst all you need is a good old nap to kill any negative moods.

DON’T

  • Sit in your room alone feeling sorry for yourself, the opportunities to meet people are endless and you’ll regret it if you don’t make the most of this.
  • Be afraid to make the first move when talking to people, they’ll appreciate it.
  • Leave your room a mess so that you it’s messy and uncomfortable.
  • Miss the opportunity to bond with your flatmates on moving in day.
  • Shy away and be anitsocial.
  • Cry to yourself.
  • Refuse to go out.

A lot of it is common sense and I probably don’t need to tell you the “don’t’s”, but I thought it was important to add. Don’t feel lonely in the first few minutes of being in your ‘new home’. If you let the feeling settle in, it’ll ruin moving in day and things may or may not go down hill from there. Change that attitude as soon as you start to feel lonely and do one of the things I’ve suggested. It’s all about how you hold yourself. University is a taste of your indepedence, your freedom. Don’t get knocked down at the first hurdle. Enjoy your time at university. 

Let me expand on my story some what and you’ll understand how different things could have been for me.

In that moment when I didn’t want to go out, just at that moment, a friend I’d made on Facebook (who luckily lived across the corridor from me) messaged me and asked “Are you coming over to get ready for Freshers together and start drinking?” and I replied with something along the lines of, “Sorry mate, I don’t think Im going to go out tonight. I’m not feeling the best. Just feeling really low after everyones gone, I’ll catch up with you soon”. He didn’t reply he literally burst in my room, grabbed my arm and took me to his room. It’s fair to say I went on to have a very good night indeed. Just imagine if he hadn’t messaged me or if I wasn’t honest with him or if he hadn’t come get me or he didn’t have that kindness? My first night at university may not have been the same. 

Be the person that’s brave enough to be honest to others. Be the person that offers the helping hand. Be both the support and the person who is brave enough to support themselves at the same time.

This article highlights something that I haven’t read much about, but I hope it makes a difference to at least one person.

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George Burton

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