I was reading an article a fellow blogger had posted about being a college student experiencing bouts of loneliness during the academic year. I couldn’t agree more about these debilitating effects that plague students like me during this difficult time. What I believe is most frustrating and what the article perfectly described, is that there are thousands of students on campus and yet it is almost difficult to make a connection.
I remember in a psychology class I had taken a few years back, we talked about the different types of loneliness that effect people. There were two in particular that I find myself struggling with on a day to day basis, which is social and interpersonal loneliness.
Social loneliness is a blatantly obvious perspective that I have been dealing with firsthand. I’m at a new school. I’m in a new state. I’m in a new city. I’m in a whole new world. It’s hard for me to gain the social interaction in such an unfamiliar place to me. I text and call my friends and family once a week, but that doesn’t fulfill the social interaction that I am craving. With loneliness, comes the feeling of isolation. I hate that feeling. I shouldn’t feel this way, but the people I know are a thousand miles away from me and I have yet to meet anyone new. This feeling has always been something was hard to deal with. In high school, I was always the saddest when my best friend, Bee didn’t show up to school. I ate lunch alone. I walked to my classes alone. I went home alone. I knew she would be back the next day, but it was hard for me to deal with the stress of being alone. I needed someone to talk to.
Interpersonal loneliness is something that I have dealt with since building my intimate relationship with B. I remember one night my friend Keke, my roommate Kat and I went out. We were on our way back home when Keke received a call from a male friend of hers. She was little drunk, slurring her words and laughing as she confirmed that she could swing by. Kat was a little upset and refused to take her.
“If you aren’t going to take me, I will get out and walk.” Keke blurted.
When we came to a stop sign, Keke got out the car and began walking towards her friend’s house. Kat got out of the car and tried to stop her, but when Keke has tossed a few back it is almost difficult to persuade her otherwise. She was walking away angrily as Kat and tried to chase her down. We tried our best to coax her back into the car, but our attempts went unheard.
“You don’t understand! I need male attention!” she yelled.
“You have male attention.” Kat said, “Your son.”
“No, bitch. That’s not the kind of male attention I’m wanting!”
It was in that moment that I understood what Keke meant and why she was angry. She was lonely and lacked a significant relationship with someone of the opposite sex. I know I feel that way sometimes. I need that affection of a male to help cope with the loneliness. Because of this, I have been missing B more than usual these days.
Although, this crippling loneliness has been a challenge to overcome I have found different ways to distract myself such as going to the pool, going for long walks and reading intellectually stimulating books. I can only stave this off for so long.