How loneliness can affect us and what can we do about it


Christopher Alvarez, General Editor

No matter who you are, you can probably relate to the feeling of loneliness. Maybe you have felt it more or less than others, but there probably was a point in your life where you felt this. I myself have felt lonely in points of my life as well.

Loneliness is the feeling of one’s feeling of social isolation, regardless of their actual social standing.  It’s never a good feeling, especially during the school year. By itself, it comes with an increased risk of death and/or diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

While this mainly affects people in their older age, students are just as susceptible to it. Studies show that when students experience loneliness it can contribute to poor academic performance, low self esteem and self worth, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to poor physical health and poor physical performance. 

Between 2012 and 2017, there was an increase in loneliness among teens from 18% to 37%. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 5% increase around the world as well. 

“I felt very lonely during freshman year. I had a lot of friends to an extent, but I didn’t really feel people knew who I actually was, they just knew my name. I felt like I needed to change something about me; maybe change the way I look and look like everyone else since I came from a place where everyone was white. I felt like I needed to look and act like them,” said a member of the class of 2023 who wished to remain anonymous. “Since I didn’t have real friendships, I didn’t feel like participating in any school activities because it’s different when you have real friends to do them with.”

So, we know that loneliness can affect students in a negative way and that it’s increasing everywhere. What do we do about it? Will it ever be solved? We are not sure if we can answer these questions or ever solve this issue as a whole. However, we can make small differences to combat it. 

One student shared his experience with loneliness and how he got out of it. “To deal with the loneliness I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and talk to more people. I joined more activities to keep myself busy. I had no time to think about being lonely and I eventually was able to get out of my slump.”

Listening to music has also been proven to help improve mood and help with the feeling of loneliness. Numerous studies have found that music has shown to improve people’s mental state, regardless of the type of music they listen to. To many, music is a friend who helps and provides comfort even if nobody is around. People who feel alone and sad can feel welcome and accepted by the music that they listen to. 

Other solutions like joining clubs to make friends can also work. There are a lot of cool people that you can meet in clubs, and it can be a lot easier to start friendships there due to a common interest. You can also go and talk to your consoler if you need someone to talk to.

Again, we are not sure if this problem can ever be solved completely, but there are small solutions that we can do to slowly try and chip away at this issue. If you are ever feeling lonely, you are never really alone.