Campus Columnist finalist
Loneliness as a student
There is a lot of talk about loneliness in your twenties, the time you will most likely spend at university or in an apprenticeship, starting somewhere new. Most times you have chosen, for the first time in your life completely by and for yourself; often you have chosen something different from the people previously surrounding you. A great leap, an immense step, you are free to choose and build your own life. It is freeing, thrilling and exciting, and at times heartbreakingly lonely.
You are alone for maybe even the majority of the time. There are going to be a lot of times when you experience something great and you turn around to see that there is nobody waiting for you to tell them about it. There are going to be a lot of times when your life is falling apart, or at least seems to be, and you turn around to see that there is nobody looking out for you. There are going to be a lot of times when you’ll come home to an empty room, there are going to be days on which you’ll barely speak to anyone, there are going to be days on which you’ll cry on the phone talking to family and friends.
Most times the geographical distance is not even the aspect that causes the biggest change in relationships, often it has to do with the experiences which can not be shared, the empty pictures in their heads when you talk about certain places and people. It can be daunting, painful and incredibly hard to observe your own life distancing itself from everything that has been part of it before, which in no way means that the value of these things has been altered in any way but now, the majority of your life will happen apart from them.
Space and freedom
The exciting thing about this is that you’ll have an eternity to spend with yourself. You’ll get to be selfish, you’ll be able to decide everything from the smallest detail like the colour of your socks to the big decisions like which direction your life is going to sway towards during and after Uni. There is space and freedom to discover yourself, to grow and become whatever you have chosen for yourself, there is room to turn yourself as well as your life upside down and change everything again.
Loneliness as a student can tear you apart, it can grow and grow until its size physically hurts, and it can break you apart over and over again. But there is a vastness in it which gives room to discover yourself, to sit with yourself and get a hold of who you are and can be.