The Student Room Group

Feeling lonely on placement

I'm a uni student currently on placement in a different city from my uni and home town. I've not really been able to find anyone here as my internship only had 1 position so I'm the only intern here and there's no one of my age.

I end up feeling quite lonely on the weekends as I don't speak to many people then other than my family over the phone and sometimes to my friends back at uni. Any advice?
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm a uni student currently on placement in a different city from my uni and home town. I've not really been able to find anyone here as my internship only had 1 position so I'm the only intern here and there's no one of my age.

I end up feeling quite lonely on the weekends as I don't speak to many people then other than my family over the phone and sometimes to my friends back at uni. Any advice?
Hiya,

I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling lonely. I can understand why you would be feeling this way!

Firstly, I think it’s great that you speak to your family. This is really important. I hope that you can express to them and your friends how you’re feeling! It’s much healthier to express how you’re feeling to the people who care about you.

I understand that sometimes age can be a barrier but I found myself in a similar situation when I was 16. I was in an office where everyone was aged about 40 and I too felt lonely. However, I did like the job and the people so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and one day asked one of the ladies if I could join her for lunch. After that, we went to lunch together everyday. I was 16 and she was 62 but we got on so so well and we kept in touch and met up for coffee even after I left. So, my point is even tho age can be a barrier it doesn’t have to be! These might not be people that you’ll go out on the weekends with but you can still make some great work based relationships, where you’ll look forward to your placement.

You haven’t mentioned how long your placement is, but if it is a long term on I would recommend looking into clubs, exercise classes (whatever you enjoy) in the area where you can meet people with similar interests and make some connections.

Until then, I would suggest that you plan trips back to see your family and friends on the weekends. This way you have things to look forward too and might help combat the loneliness you’re feeling.

Last piece of advice, don’t be too hard on yourself. From personal experience, making connections can be difficult and it does take. But I have found the only way to do it as an adult, is by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!

I would also like to add, if you find you’re really struggling speak to your link tutor and see if your placement can be change. You can also reach out to your uni wellbeing team for extra support.

Good luck! I hope this advice can help you find your people and start enjoying your placement experience. 🙂

Sophie (ARU)
Talk to your Placement co-ordinator at your Uni - you will not be the first person to have felt like this, promise.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm a uni student currently on placement in a different city from my uni and home town. I've not really been able to find anyone here as my internship only had 1 position so I'm the only intern here and there's no one of my age.

I end up feeling quite lonely on the weekends as I don't speak to many people then other than my family over the phone and sometimes to my friends back at uni. Any advice?
Anon,

Perhaps, you can arrange for a friend or family member to come and visit on the weekend? Or perhaps you can explore the new city that you are living in on the weekends?

It's not easy to be in a new place away from family and friends, but remember that it's just for a short time. It's also the opportunity to think about what it would be like if you moved away for work after uni. It could make you better prepared to do this, or could help you decide whether you want to look for work in your university or home town.

It's great that you are keeping in contact with friends and family, so definitely keep that up and don't be afraid to share with them how you are feeling. Maybe they can send you something in the post to help you feel less down.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm a uni student currently on placement in a different city from my uni and home town. I've not really been able to find anyone here as my internship only had 1 position so I'm the only intern here and there's no one of my age.

I end up feeling quite lonely on the weekends as I don't speak to many people then other than my family over the phone and sometimes to my friends back at uni. Any advice?
Hi,

You are not alone in this feeling and just to echo what some others have said, you could talk to your placement advisor about any ideas on how to make friends in that area. While you are trying to make friends with people in your area consider trying to make friends with co-workers even if they are not the same age. I do understand this can be quite hard though. When I did my placement year I was also the only one my age, everyone was much older so to be friends with them outside of the context I was working in felt odd.

My placement was the same as my hometown and university so I usually stuck with the same friends but that does not mean you cant make friends where you are.

Have you spoken to other placement students in the same position? They might also be feeling the same and have some advice for you.

As for the weekends, what do you like to do hobbies wise? You can learn a new hobby too, to occupy your time.

I hope this helps and whilst loneliness might be common on placements and generally, it is important to talk to someone about this who knows your situation better.

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm a uni student currently on placement in a different city from my uni and home town. I've not really been able to find anyone here as my internship only had 1 position so I'm the only intern here and there's no one of my age.

I end up feeling quite lonely on the weekends as I don't speak to many people then other than my family over the phone and sometimes to my friends back at uni. Any advice?
Hi there,

I'm sorry that you've been feeling lonely in your current city. However, I want to assure you that this is totally normal in your circumstance and makes total sense! Please be kind and understanding to yourself in accepting that this can be extremely challenging.

On the other hand, making new friends in a new city is a great skill that, if you master it now, may help you so much in the future when you find a graduate role - loneliness at this stage is also very common. I'm unsure of the size of the city that you are in but I'd like to suggest a few things that may or may not be applicable- but I'm sure that some will be.

Become a local at a coffee shop - maybe pop in one morning every week before work. Other people that also have it in their routine will begin to recognise you and I've actually met some really cool people this way

Join a book club, running club (or do a mud run), pottery club etc - you can often find these on facebook groups etc

attend group events in the evening - e.g. wine and cheese tastings, networking events etc

Try bumble bff - exercise precaution when meeting any stranger from the internet, however, I've found this amazing when in a new city solo and haven't met anyone yet - there are a lot of people in a similar position to you and you will only meet people that are the same gender as you. This is an extension to the dating app but is to meet people platonically.

Host some colleagues for dinner - this makes for great networking and can help you to get closer and more comfortable with them (just because you're not the same age, doesn't mean that you can't form a friendship)

I hope that some of these apply and that you find them useful! Most importantly, still do things for yourself and don't let not having a close friend/ family member around hold you back - this is such a cool time of your life!

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep

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