Overcoming loneliness in London

4 November 2019

City life can often be fast-paced and exciting but that doesn't mean it doesn't get lonely. We've put together 5 emotional and practical tips to help you feel less lonely in London.

Reflection of girl with umbrella in puddle

University life can be difficult and with huge changes, new people and unfamiliar environments, many students can feel lonely and homesick. This can be made even worse by the sight of other students who seem to be settling in perfectly and forming friendship groups quickly. Living in London presents a challenge of its own and despite the humour of unfriendly people and awkward tube journeys, the feeling of loneliness city life creates can be a problem for newcomers and seasoned-londoners alike.

So, what can you do about feeling lonely? We have put together 6 emotional and practical tips to help you feel less lonely in London

It is often easy to forget that feeling lonely is actually very common. This is important to keep in mind as loneliness can you feel unwanted, convinced there is something wrong with you, self-conscious and angry at others. Recognising that it is not really about you and others are experiencing something similar may help ease these feelings of inadequacy.

1. Find ways of meeting people with similar interests to you

A huge benefit of UCL and living in London is that there is no shortage of people which means you are likely to meet people whose interests align with yours. Why not join a Students' Union Club or Society? There are also plenty of external organisations such as Meet Up which can help you meet new people and feel part of a community.

2. Volunteer

Research has also shown that volunteering has many benefits for mental health and one reason is the social connectedness you can gain. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and benefit others in the process. There are plenty of charities and organisations out there and the Students' Union UCL Volunteering Service may be a good place to start.

3. Don’t be afraid to text first

Don’t wait for other people to make plans or message you first. Why not text a new potential friend and go for coffee and/or explore new parts of London? This also applies to real-life situations and if possible, try to get you of your comfort zone and say hello to someone in your lecture or class.

4. Be kind to yourself

Try to remember that even when you are being proactive and trying to meet new people, it takes time to develop friendships and this will not happen overnight. Between your efforts, why not try to find ways to enjoy your own company – maybe watch a movie or have a few self-care days.

5. Stay in touch with friends and family from home

In the whirlwind of university life and trying to make new friends, it is easy to forget about your social support network at home. Try to schedule in time to skype or call your family and friends and arrange trips home, if possible. This may help you feel less homesick and to remember that you are worthy of friends, even if you don’t always feel that way.

If you continue to feel lonely and/or down, remember you can contact Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL