Feeling alone at university? So is everyone else

UBC study suggests first-year students who feel alone make fewer friends

Almost half of first-year students think they have fewer friends than their peers, a new UBC-Harvard study suggests.

In surveying more than 1,000 UBC students, researchers found that 48 per cent of first-years believed other students had made more friends that year that they did, while only 31 per cent believed they had more friends.

No suprise: Students who felt like they had fewer friends than their peers felt worse about themselves, and that feeling held them back from making new friends.

“We think students are motivated to make more friends if they think their peers only have one or two more friends than they do,” said study lead author Ashley Whillans, a Harvard Business School business professor who carried out the research with UBC PhD candidate Frances Chena. “But if they feel like the gap is too big, it’s almost as if they give up and feel it isn’t even worth trying.”

Those feelings of inadequacy are probably linked to how public students lives are because of all the communal space in universities, as well as social media.

“Since social activities, like eating or studying with others, tend to happen in cafes and libraries where they are easily seen, students might overestimate how much their peers are socializing because they don’t see them eating and studying alone,” said Chen.

“These feelings and perceptions are probably the strongest when people first enter a new social environment, but most of us probably experience them at some point in our lives.”

Just Posted

Northern Sea Wolf departs from Greece on its way to B.C.

On November 3 the Northern Sea Wolf, departed from the Port of Piraeus in Athens, Greece

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read