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

Fat Man Yoga offers low intimidation workout

“I needed to do more stretching and more flexibility stuff for my fat man body,” said Ryan Karl.

Feds caught with consultative pants down as groyne issue flares up: PSPC urged to get second opinion

MP Stetski said that of local stakeholders “nobody was aware of the project.”

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

The peak of Pinto

Hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view from the top of Pinto Mountain

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read