How to find community at University22 November 2023
For many, University is a time of partying, fun and generally having a good time, however, there is a much-overlooked narrative of students feeling lost or isolated at university. This blog will give you advice and tips on where and how you can find a sense of community at university. Feeling isolated or lonely at university is more common than you may think, with one in four students feeling lonely most or all of the time and drinking culture is not the solution it may be presented to be.
Having a part-time job alongside your studies can be a great way to not only earn money and gain skills but also to meet new people in a different environment. This can regularly take you out of the student space and let you work together with a mix of people. Personally, some of the best people that I have met while at university are actually not fellow students, but groups that I have found through working part-time.
Despite being presented as groups with a heavy party culture, which may not be for everyone, societies can actually be an incredible place to meet fellow students in a similar situation. By having a shared goal away from your course, being part of a society can naturally foster a community of students with a similar focus. This could be anything from netball to baking, whatever strikes your interest. The regular events and activities hosted by the society are a great, student-friendly way to get involved in a community and help you take that small step into feeling slightly less lonely while at university.
There is no better way to get involved in the community than having a role within the local community such as through volunteering. This expands your skills and knowledge, gives you something to add to your CV and helps you get involved in a community atmosphere. Volunteering is anything that you spend time doing unpaid, including helping at fundraising events, getting involved in a litter-picking project or even helping out at a local charity shop.
Being present on your day-to-day
Another great way to find community while at university is to find it in the people around you – everyone at the university is part of one huge student community. Most of us have had similar experiences and are working towards wider goals, while perhaps sharing feelings of isolation during our studies. Therefore, you can find community and friendship in your fellow students by being present such as noticing and talking to the people around you, in seminars and lectures or even the staff at TESCO, which can help you find a sense of community within the university.
Have a look at the virtual communities
Finally, you can foster community through virtual communities, bringing students together and helping them keep up-to-date with local events and tips and advice for student life. This can be seen in Facebook groups for your accommodation or course, as well as Overheard at Cardiff University