My name is Jennefer Ferdous. I am a sophomore with a Psychology major and an interest in Physical Therapy. I faced many obstacles my first year; however, talking to someone about my problems and learning time management helped me a lot!
My advice to first-year students is try to make as many friends as you can and learn to manage your time. Finding a home in an unfamiliar environment can be hard. However, at the Mount you can participate in many clubs and activities that you have interest in and find similar people!
Many first-year students, including me, experience loneliness at one point or another during their time at the Mount. When I first became a student at MSMC, I felt homesick because I was not used to being away from my family for such a long time. My homesickness slowly became a reason for my loneliness. When you are feeling homesick, don’t be afraid to call your family members and invite them on campus for a few hours. Talking to your family members over the phone or face-to-face for a while helps overcome homesickness.
Loneliness should not be ignored! Being lonely for a long period of time can turn into depression. One big mistake I made was ignore my loneliness by thinking it was normal. When I’m in an unfamiliar environment, I often become less outspoken, resulting in me not being involved in social situations. I think many introverts like me often don’t feel comfortable talking to people about their personal problems (like being lonely), and that can make the situation much worse. Since I was introverted, I didn’t feel the need to talk to someone about my problems and continued to ignore it. My grades were dropping dramatically due to me no longer being able to find enjoyment in studying. I started zoning out mid-conversation and my brain became foggy. Being lonely often leads to lack of concentration and sadness.
When you’re feeling lonely, reach out to the MSMC support team! Even though sometimes it might not seem like it, many people are willing to help. Even your roommate or friends can help you overcome a hard time when you are not feeling your normal, happy self. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone from your own age group, emailing your favorite professor is also a great idea! Many professors at the Mount often help students going through personal problems. Even if your situation isn’t something they can help with, they can still guide you to the right person or a professional. Trying out new hobbies also helps! When I felt lonely, I tried out new hobbies like cooking and drawing.
Adjusting to a new environment is hard, but you have to tell yourself everything will be okay. Sadness is temporary, and it will go away once you find the right group of people. The most important step is to understand that loneliness isn’t something you should push aside! If you don’t feel good, talk about it with someone immediately. When you feel great, getting good grades will become much easier!
If you are feeling extreme loneliness or sadness, the Counseling Center at the Mount is always here to help. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org