College loneliness: not alone in feeling alone


Genevieve Guenther

Vanessa Dickerson, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: Vanessa Dickerson is a junior studying Communication. Vanessa also partners with TealTV and has a true passion for broadcasting as well as sports journalism. All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Vanessa can be found on Twitter @nessadickerson. All suggestions and inquiries may be sent via email to

Before leaving for your first day of college, there are a mix of different emotions. Excitement is an overwhelming one because of all the new friends and experiences you’re about to embark on. What if after getting to college, that expectation of having a group of friends doesn’t happen immediately?

That happened to Emery Bergmann at Cornell University. Bergmann is a freshman at Cornell University who made a short film about her transition to college life that has since gone viral. Her video has over 200,000 views. In her video “My College Transition,” she points out that she sees people walking in packs and it seems like everyone has found their place but her. She also mentions that she tried joining clubs and putting herself out there, but she had little to no success.

I have to say that my experience at UNC Wilmington has been very similar to Bergmann’s. I am from North Potomac, Maryland, a town outside of D.C. which is about a 6-hour drive from here. I was so excited to come to Wilmington and attend school here. I had come here on vacation with one of my friends here multiple times and fell in love with the city. I had met great friends in Wilmington before starting school here, so I figured it would only get better after classes started.

It hasn’t exactly happened that way.

I’ve called my mom more times than I can count in tears about wanting to leave UNCW because I didn’t feel like I fit in. I would feel even more alone sitting by myself at Wag and watching everyone else around me sit with a big group of friends. I sit alone in pretty much every class I’m enrolled in.

With that, I decided to join both The Seahawk and Teal TV to meet some people who had similar career interests as me. While that has helped with perfecting my craft at what I plan to do for the rest of my life, I still haven’t found that group of friends at UNCW that everyone else seems to have. I have plenty of friends off campus that I see at work and on the weekends, but I haven’t found my “place” as a Seahawk yet. I also continue to go back to Maryland frequently to be with friends and family where I feel like I belong.

This is my first semester, and while I may not be a freshman, I know that we are all going through this experience together. I know that I’m not alone with feeling alone on campus. I think this idea that college is supposed to be the best time of your life puts pressure on some to find those friends right away. While it may come easy to some, it doesn’t come as easy to others.

While watching Bergmann’s video, one part that really stood out to me was how much her phone and social media make things worse.

“I know social media is fake and stuff and that people are picking and choosing their favorite parts of their life to show you. But like I don’t know, it gets to you,” Bergmann said in her video. This couldn’t be truer.

I am guilty of this myself. Social media only shows a glimpse of someone’s life, and that glimpse happens to be the best parts. But if you are feeling alone, seeing everyone on social media having the best time with their new college friends can be hard. I’ve decided to have the attitude that I will continue to put myself out there and keep a positive attitude about it. I have great friends off campus that I see very regularly, but I will keep working to be a part of this Seahawk community and I hope others who are feeling alone will do the same.