Lonely is normal

This great article from The Washington Post addresses something I see on college campuses all the time. Many students, especially freshmen, feel lonely, homesick, isolated, but also think there is something wrong with them for having these feelings. 

Most college students have moved out on their own for the first time in their lives. Many are far away from their families and all of their close friends. There is a natural, initial rush of excitement when the school year starts. Classes are new. Orientation activities keep everyone engaged and busy. But a few weeks into the first semester, homesickness and isolation can set in. Students can become so preoccupied with putting forward a brave face, that they struggle to admit their loneliness to others, or even themselves. 

It takes time to build strong friendships. And it takes time to feel truly comfortable in a new environment. College freshmen are not necessarily going to immediately adapt to their new campus life. Admitting a sense of isolation is not a sign of weakness; it is the first step toward finding strategies to connect with others. Most universities offer counseling services for students who need them. And all schools have social outlets that can help students reach out to their peers. 

This piece has some great tips for both students and parents on how to address this struggle. I hope people continue to talk and write about this issue to further combat the stigma associated with it.