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Lola

June 12th, 2023

Bust the loneliness bubble: my postgrad survival guide

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Lola

June 12th, 2023

Bust the loneliness bubble: my postgrad survival guide

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Postgraduate life brings with it a whole range of unique challenges, and let’s talk about one that hits close to home for many of us: loneliness. As a master’s student, I’ve come face to face with these challenges and realized how they differ from the undergraduate experience. Don’t get me wrong, loneliness can affect undergrads too, but postgrad life has its own set of circumstances. Unlike undergrads who usually live close to campus or in shared dorms, postgrads have a diverse range of living arrangements. Some of us live alone, while others crash with family, friends, or in student housing that’s further away from the hustle and bustle of campus life. It can be tough to find that immediate sense of companionship and support.

Now, let’s add an extra sprinkle of loneliness to the mix—I’m an international student at LSE, thousands of miles away from my home country. And trust me, I’m not alone in this experience. LSE is like a melting pot of international students, with a huge chunk of the student population coming from all corners of the world. Adjusting to a brand new continent with its own cultural norms and social dynamics has certainly contributed to the sense of isolation I’ve felt. So it’s no surprise that as I embarked on my postgrad journey, feelings of loneliness started creeping up. However, armed with the knowledge I gained from my studies in Behavioral Science, where we are constantly reminded about how crucial relationships are for our well-being, I knew I had to take action. So, here are a few tricks up my sleeve that helped me tackle loneliness, and I hope they can work wonders for you too:

1. Plan FaceTime and calls with friends and family

Recognizing the significance of nurturing existing relationships, especially with my loved ones back home, I realized the need to make them a priority. As I reached the midway point of my master’s prorgamme, I noticed that I had unintentionally drifted apart from some of my closest confidants and decided to make a concerted effort to change that. I started scheduling regular FaceTime or phone calls with my loved ones, taking into account the crazy time differences. I won’t lie, coordinating with friends in California (an 8-hour time difference) wasn’t always a piece of cake, but believe me, it was worth every effort. A video chat with your closest buds or a family group call can provide that much-needed support and laughter, no matter the distance.

2. Find new friends in your new city

Okay, this one might sound like a no-brainer, but trust me, don’t take it for granted. Making friends as an adult isn’t as easy as it was when we were carefree kids on the playground. But it’s absolutely possible to meet people at any age. Here are a few things that worked for me:

  • Dive into your cohort and department: you already have something in common with a few hundred other students—your degree!
  • Embrace the LSE community: join clubs, societies, or sports groups to expand your social circle within the LSE family.
  • Explore beyond the school walls: hobbies, sports, and clubs can be a gateway to new friendships. I found myself making buddies by joining book clubs and attending cool events in my area.
  • Reach out to old acquaintances in the city: remember that person from secondary school who also ended up in your new city? Why not reach out and catch up? You’d be surprised how great it feels to reconnect.

3. Bolster your own well-being

It’s entirely possible to have a full social calendar and still feel incredibly lonely. Sometimes it may be that you haven’t met the right friends yet. However, oftentimes you can combat feeling lonely by working on your own well-being. Take a moment to appreciate the social life you do have while also getting comfortable with your own company. Being alone doesn’t automatically mean you’re lonely. Embrace your hobbies, engage in activities you love, and savor some quality “me” time. And when you do hang out with friends, make an effort to be present and grateful. Trust me, it makes those social gatherings even more meaningful.

These are my three major tips that I’ve used to combat loneliness while at LSE. Have you had similar feelings? What have you done to combat loneliness? Drop a comment below and let’s create our own little community right here in the comment section.

About the author

Lola

My name is Lola Idowu, a master’s student from New York, studying Behavioural Science. Aside from my interest in human behaviour, I also love to read, try out new restaurants, and shop at local markets or boutiques.

Posted In: Student life

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