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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Quarantine has directly impacted every single person on this planet. Even if it doesn’t appear that way. 

I want to tell you that you’re not alone.

I want to dive deep into the conversation of loneliness because it’s one that I had pushed back for months (which only made things worse). I want to start a conversation that addresses how challenging it can be thinking that everyone else is thriving and that you’re the only one going through something like this.

I’ve constantly felt the need to make it seem like I’m happy, that I’m enjoying myself and that I’m doing all these fun things with my friends. Because, really, we’re all secretly trying to compete for who’s going to the best parties, seeing the coolest places, and having the most fun with friends. 

Sad woman with smudged mascara holding a fake smile
Photo by Sydney Sims from Unsplash

Even when I feel like my life is going exactly as it should, that feeling doesn’t last long. Because, the thing is, keeping my feelings to myself is just a band-aid that I put over my wounds in an attempt to patch over the real root cause and hope that it’ll go away. 

I was living my best life and had it snatched away as I was sent home for the rest of the semester due to the deadly global outbreak of COVID-19. This was in March. It’s now November and I’m back in Amherst living off-campus, expecting this to be the best decision for me. I felt that living independently in the area that I grew to love with friends was what was best for me.

And in some cases, it was the best decision. But, slowly but surely, I began feeling helpless as I felt my mental health beginning to slip. I was constantly feeling behind in my schoolwork, struggling with being away from my family, all while dealing with increasing anxiety of being exposed. I was confused about why I was so down because I was holding myself to the expectation that I should be happy.

I battled with the desire to see my friends but also wanting to avoid any possible exposure to the virus. I was surrounded by more people than I was when I was home, and yet, I have never felt more alone.


Person waiting by window, sad
Photo by Andrik Langfield from Unsplash

I let my mental health get worse with this anxiety and loneliness because of one thing: embarrassment. I was even hesitant to mention the fact that I felt embarrassed while writing this article, not because I was wrong to feel that way, but because feeling lonely was never something I should’ve felt ashamed about. 

What I am embarrassed about is waiting so long to talk to someone, and that I wasn’t listening to my body and mind where it got to the point that I was losing motivation to do my schoolwork. That I let it get to the point where getting out of bed felt like a force. 

I kept beating myself up for feeling so alone, that I have to physically see and hang out with friends in order to feel included. But by stressing so much on what I was missing out on, I failed to see those who had my back, those who reached out even if they were not in the Amherst area with me. 

It was only when I began talking with a counselor and opening up to my friends and family that I was able to realize that everyone I talked to was experiencing similar feelings. I wasn’t the only one struggling. And THAT’S what made me want to write about this. To let you know that you aren’t the only one, even when it looks that way to you.

My struggles didn’t come from how I was feeling, but from how I failed to allow myself to accept and normalize those feelings. If I’m being honest, pandemic loneliness kinda saved me. It brought me to where I’m at right now where I can allow myself to validate my feelings, talk with a counselor, and use resources to help myself heal.

I do want to be clear that mental health struggles don’t just “go away”. Talking with a counselor and using mental health resources are all methods to assist in overcoming mental health challenges. Do not be ashamed of struggling with loneliness and the desire of wanting to go back to your normal life. Life isn’t normal right now. 

It is completely common to be battling pandemic loneliness. And it’s hard. The purpose of this article is to open the door of conversation for this topic because I too felt as though feeling lonely was only a “me problem”. Whatever you’ve been feeling is valid. These are difficult times. And you’re doing the best. you. can. Write that on a sticky note and put it in a place where you’ll be able to see it every day as your reminder. Trust me on that one, it helps.


Linked below are some of the resources that I’ve been using per recommendation to help reduce my anxiety and when I’m feeling alone. I hope that it can help you too ♡

  1. UMass Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (I’ve been able to find lots of resources through the UMass CCPH website so instead of making a super long list I highly recommend browsing for yourself and looking into the resources that best suit your needs.)
  2. Insight Timer (This app includes thousands of guided meditations and has helped me with mindfulness, managing my stress, calming my mind, and so much more.)
  3. www.virusanxiety.com (This website was recommended by a counselor who I’ve been talking with and although the website title might seem a little sketchy, it has incredible resources and articles about topics such as isolation and anxiety surrounding the pandemic.)
Stephanie Edwards

U Mass Amherst '23

Stephanie is a junior pursuing a BA in Legal Studies with a minor in Psychology. She loves spending time with her quirky rescue dog, Ava, and going for a run to let off steam. She hopes to one day visit her dream destination: Scotland.
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst