Imogen is 16 years old and got involved with Student Life because she enjoys writing and photography and thought writing articles for the magazine would be a great way to include both.
Loneliness can mean something different to every person you ask and there are so many types. It may be the sort where you are in a room full of people who are talking and laughing with each other but you still feel isolated and out of place. It may be the realisation that you have no romantic interest when all your friends do. It may be the kind of loneliness that can come from being in a new situation like moving to a new school, or a job, or even moving house and away from everything you’ve known previously.
All of these can have such a negative impact on our mental health and whether we have only experienced these feelings a few times or this is a daily occurrence of not feeling significant, there are often ways to combat it. Talking and interacting with friends and family is an obvious solution but this can be difficult to do when you don’t feel understood or listened to.
My main source of loneliness comes from being in social situations where everyone is conversing and I just don’t feel that I’m needed because I have nothing to input. In these circumstances I find myself fiddling with my phone and distancing myself in order to pretend that I don’t want to be involved or I do not care about the conversation. I am a very introverted person who finds it difficult to speak with a group of people that I don’t know well but when with close friends I can be loud and obnoxious. I’ve realised that the best way for me to overcome these feelings of loneliness is to speak with those I have the closest relationships with because that is when I am most myself and feel included in the situations.
So, my main points of advice to help you get through feeling lonely are to try to interact with your closest friends more or generally place yourself in more social environments, to try not to cop out by distancing yourself, subconsciously or otherwise, because you may end up feeling more alone than ever and, lastly, to make an effort to rid yourself of these feelings because unless you really want to get past them, you won’t be able to. You cannot change someone that does not want to change.