By Janice Robinson, Director, Residence Life and Administration
It is totally normal for students to feel a little lonely when they start university. The secret to feeling that you belong at a big place like UBC is to carve out a smaller place for yourself within it. Getting to know a smaller group of people or a smaller community is the key. You’ll begin to meet others and your loneliness will be overcome: one hello, one conversation and one relationship at a time.
Ten steps to combat loneliness and build a supportive community
1. Live in residence. It’s one of the best ways to meet people, adjust and succeed at university.
2. Hang out in the residence lounge, not in your room.
3. Eat with others. If you live in Totem or Vanier, your floor or house has special tables in the cafeteria where residents regularly sit. Just ask your Residence Advisor. If you go by yourself, and there’s someone at the table you don’t know, sit in the next free seat and introduce yourself.
4. If you want company, leave your door open when in your room. Others will stop and say hello.
5. Read bulletin boards and flyers around residence. See what’s going on, and go check it out. It’s fine to go by yourself.
6. Talk to a Residence Advisor about upcoming activities and programs you might enjoy.
7. Go to the Residence Involvement Fair (September) to learn residence committees like football, ultimate, musical, newsletter, sustainability and more.
8. See about getting involved with your residence association.
9. Go to Alma Mater Society Clubs Day (mid-September) at the Student Union Building (SUB). See if there’s a club that interests you. Getting involved in campus organizations is a great way to build campus connections.
10. If you’re still having a hard time, talk with a Residence Advisor or the Residence Life Manager. They can’t fix the problem—but they’ll listen and try to help you find answers.