Why students feel isolated during their first year of university

 Over half of students with disabilities (52%) report having mental health issues while at college, and one in four (24%) report feeling lonely and alone during freshmen week.

It was discovered that during the Feshers period, young handicapped persons who participated in the poll were twice as likely to feel lonely and that no one cared about them as their non-disabled counterparts.

Why students feel isolated during their first year of university

Why students feel isolated during their first year of university?

Bee, a 25-year-old student who has fibromyalgia, joint hypermobility syndrome, inflammatory arthritis, and an emotionally unstable personality problem, is one of these students.

I recall having a lot of anxiety during Freshers Week, especially when it came to socializing and meeting new people, Bee said. I wished the institution had been able to give me the assistance they had advertised for me, namely the counseling or course on chronic pain and mental health. Universities frequently, in my opinion, fail to take into account students who have both physical and mental health issues, including chronic pain.

"Physical disability and chronic pain have a significant influence on mental health, and vice versa, but this is frequently not taken into consideration when assisting students with mental health challenges," says the author.

In 2017, Bethany, 23, who was studying politics and sociology, had a comparable experience. She told Metro.co.uk: "I have a variety of medical issues, including ankylosing spondylitis, which is a kind of inflammatory spine arthritis that, for me, causes whole body chronic agony." Unfortunately, the discomfort is not limited to my back.

She was already struggling with having a disability that you don't expect to cope with as a teenager when she got to university, and the society there made things worse.

As someone who struggles with chronic pain, Bethany admits, "I was already anxious about how it would affect my university life, my friends, my social life, and my ability to study." But then you have to deal with the reality that if you tell someone you have arthritis, they're going to ask, "What are you 60?," and that can be quite isolating. It's quite challenging.

Why students feel isolated during their first year of university

In addition, Bethany felt it isolating to be expected to fit into the campus evening culture, saying, "I didn't go to a really clubby university, but there was a nightlife." And since it would hurt so much, I wasn't really able to get in the habit of doing it every single night.

Because I was unable to participate in my friends' activities due to my physical limitations, there were several nights when I was rather alone.

She agrees with Bee that colleges lack the resources necessary to serve disadvantaged students. Although Bethany thinks her institution helped her with academic difficulties, she maintains everything else remained untreated.

According to Bethany, "universities don't have the assistance in place for impaired students to ensure that there are accessible choices for social life." If you're lucky, you attend an institution that goes above and beyond to ensure that students with disabilities can learn well, but when it comes to the social parts of college, you're basically ignored.

"Disabled pupils are essentially left to handle things, which I believe may be incredibly irresponsible." You can get terribly lonely and miserable, as I did.

You feel like you are watching from the sidelines and that no one can relate to your situation. And while coping with all of this, I was still learning how to live in a body that was crippled.

Bethany says it would have been "a lot simpler" for her to transfer to university life if institutions offered mental health support services that were specifically trained for students with impairments.

Bethany recalled feeling quite alone as she begged her flatmates to be understanding of her impairment.

I explained to my flatmates, with whom I shared a bathroom, that taking a shower would take me a tremendously long time at the time because I couldn't actually walk and had been confined to my very little bedroom, she explains.

Rose, a 20-year-old film student, experienced similar feelings in her first year of college after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain brought on by stress.

I shared a residence with roughly 22 other students, she said. While I was a student, there were occasions when my flatmates expected me to have their level of energy despite the fact that I hadn't slept for weeks.

Rose regularly had to explain to her roommates why getting caught up on sleep was important, which she described as being "awkward and occasionally humiliating."

I always felt like a burden, she continues. Additionally, it appeared that every able-bodied person on campus was ignorant of and misled about disability. Therefore, I wouldn't have to explain everything to everyone every ten minutes, I wish colleges would share information with students.

These emotions are regrettably typical among first-year impaired students, according to senior therapist Sally Baker.

As she observes, "One of my patients was a student with type 1 diabetes whose parents had requested in advance that her accommodations set up a fridge to hold her doses, but when they showed up for her to start university, there wasn't a fridge." They got it incorrect, therefore there was a microwave.

Why students feel isolated during their first year of university

According to Sally, it's this kind of "ineptitude and lack of caring" that frequently causes impaired kids to feel alone and unwelcome.

Internalizing problems and making people feel like it's their fault or problem is a frequent response, she says. "That increases shame and alienation.

However, it is important for impaired students to understand that their institutions have a duty of care to them. It is the responsibility of the university to address the issue if disabled students feel abandoned or let down because it is the university that has done so.

"All pupils should be treated equally." If they aren't getting it, it's not their fault, and you shouldn't make them feel like it is. It is the university's carelessness.

According to Sally, the university still has a duty to address loneliness even when the shame or discrimination that causes it is committed by other students rather than by the institution itself.


Freelance writer with a passion for EarlyInfo Website. Keeping up with the latest news, pondering on the essence of life, and thinking about new business opportunities. Most productive when Drink Coffee.

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