So you think you’re #alone….as #students begin their new lives.

 

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A student colleague of mine from a former life recently published his autobiography. In his brief reference to #college days he mentioned that he felt he was quickly disillusioned by the course and it’s content. He felt he didn’t fit in, and that he was misunderstood by tutors and others who were not from his region of the country. That many of us were disillusioned and disillusional about our ability, with reference to our regional accents.

My immediate response could’ve been to take offence – but when I thought about it some of what he had said was right. We were all pretty unsure of our course of action, and many met this in the other with bravado and idealism. Nothing wrong with that – except they were clearly just that. However, on top of that we were busy attempting to make sense of this ‘new family’ (it was a very small course). We all responded differently to the different #cultures that surrounded us, making #judgements along the way to keep us ‘safe’, or so we thought. As an #introvert I withdrew, and spent time with very few people, many of whom seemed to leave the course.

In this biography the inference could be that he alone felt this way. But evidence and student counselling rooms are full of these sorts of thoughts and feelings. The difference now is that young people are more aware that help is there – if they can navigate their way through their feelings and thoughts to a place and space to understand what is going on for them.  The sense of confusion, newness, loss and pressure all come together in one space, whilst often far away from all that they know.

So as term starts and all that ‘freedom’ and ‘opportunity’ is offered to students, take a moment to consider what these young people are attempting to come to terms with. A confusing time and so many new experiences to deal with can be a difficult challenge for the most experienced of us.

Loneliness is not uncommon, and indeed to be able to be with ourselves is a bonus.  But being #alone and #feelinglonely are two very different experiences. As any introvert will tell you.