You're Not a Loser: Shutting Down Your Feelings of Loneliness

I won’t lie, my transition to college last year was brutal. Saying I cried at least once a day might be an understatement. Part of the reason the transition was so hard for me was the constant feeling of loneliness. I went from seeing my family and friends every day to being hundreds of miles away. Of course, my loved ones were only a phone call away, but some days it still wasn’t enough to diminish the sadness that was eating away at me. This year everything is different. I no longer feel that earth-shattering loneliness even when I’m homesick. So what changed?

Reflecting on my freshman year of college, it’s clear to me that a lot of my problems were created in my head. I would watch Snapchat stories or go on Instagram and see people living, what I perceived to be, their best lives. Meanwhile, I was separated from my friends that have been by my side for over five years. I felt out of my element. I didn’t have to make new friends in high school, I already had them. It seemed impossible for me to make new friends in college. Watching other people hanging out with their friends made me wonder what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I be out all the time? My friends had already formed their friend groups in their schools, so what was taking me so long? These negative thoughts and emotions were just the result of me psyching myself out. It took me a long time before I could shut them down. The key to controlling these negative thoughts was to find my self-worth and crush those insecurities my mind was tormenting me with.

Courtesy: Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

The most important change I made was to stop comparing myself to others. Instead of allowing myself to question why I was afraid of going out, I just appreciated the distinction between my life and the lives of others. It’s okay to not go out every weekend or not have plans every day. If that’s not what you enjoy doing, why would you want to do that? The opposite is true as well. If you love to go out, you shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. The point of your life is that its YOURS, so stop comparing it to others. My life coach gave me the best piece of advice when I talked to her about my negative emotions. She told me, “You won’t find your clarity in someone else’s filter”. It’s important to remember that life isn’t a race. It’s not about who’s living it up better or who’s getting more likes. Life’s about making the best of it and doing what makes you happy. Surely, comparing yourself to others 24/7 isn’t the way to do it. The easiest way to boost your self-worth and stomp out feelings of loneliness is to appreciate your life for the opportunities you’ve got. You can’t love yourself when you’re constantly looking at your flaws compared to someone else. Your self-worth and happiness will come from appreciating who you are and what you’re doing to make yourself happy no matter how you do it. You don’t need to be doing something exciting with others all the time. It’s okay to do your own thing!

Courtesy: Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I also learned to end my feelings of loneliness by getting involved on campus and getting out of the house. If you find yourself being overly negative or feeling like you’re missing out, getting out of the house might clear your mind. My best piece of advice is to find things you’re passionate about. For instance, if you’re passionate about health, join AED or other health-related clubs. If you’re passionate about fitness and want to meet other girls, join CHAARG, a club where girl bosses can workout together and form bonds. If you hate being at home, but you don’t know how to get out there or you’re afraid to, a club is an easy way to do it. Getting more involved on campus this year has really kept my spirits up and made me happy with myself and what I’m doing. I don’t feel the need to compare myself with others. I’m doing my own thing and I’m satisfied with it. It’s time to kiss the fear of missing out goodbye and live your life the way you want to live it, not the way social media makes you think you should!

 

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