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

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read