Thu. Mar 28th, 2024

Loneliness in London

By Lillian Cowdery Mar 27, 2024
Kingston Upon Thames Riverside. Photo: Lillian Cowdery

Students leaving small towns and village homes and coming to university in London can find the change overwhelming.  

Starting in close knit communities and quieter areas and then being swept up in loud city life, KU students shared their thoughts with us about tackling loneliness whilat surrounded by people. 

Second year student Ava Harvard-Sweeting said: “When you come here there’s such a large pool of people that it feels like a shock, after coming from a smaller place where communities are closer to here where there are so many people. 

“I’m always hearing of people and friends socialising and having fun and it can make me feel like I’m doing something wrong for not being out often and can feel lonely, but then you speak to those people and a lot of the time its fake and they’re not actually doing as much as you thought.” 

There can be a cultural shock between smaller community life and life in the big city. For instance, in smaller areas breaking into conversation with strangers is more common and accepted, compared to London where it can have the opposite effect and be considered inappropriate. 

Jasmine Dawson said: “I come from a small town in North Wales and when I came to London, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people around me. I was sitting on the tube with some friends and started to speak to strangers because that’s just what I’m used to and most of the time I received a stilted, strange response which made me feel uncomfortable.” 

There can be a hectic environment in bigger cities where it feels like everyone is in a rush and nobody has time for anyone, and nothing seems to shock people.

However, for those that have lived in cities such as London they tend to be used to the fast pace and wide array of people. 

Third year student Jakub Walecki said: “London and the surrounding boroughs are quite full of people so growing up I never really felt lonely or isolated, I’d always come home a bit overwhelmed and with a dead social battery which I think is pretty common for people living in the city, 

“I found that I wasn’t really lonely as my friends would be, at most, a 20-minute bus journey away so I would see people pretty often.” 

Although socialising can be a rewarding but also overwhelming experience for some, students tend to live busy lives and must remember to take time for themselves to recharge and look after their wellbeing in this busy environment. 

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