When dental students feel homesick in the first semester

Lonely at the university: when students are homesick

Young women with homesickness: Especially students in the first semester often feel lonely and have homesickness.

Semester start. Of the lecture hall is full of strange faces, all focused on numerous smartphones watch. At noon in the cafeteria, the student body seems to be made up of well-established cliques and unapproachable loners with headphones and great concentration on the open textbook. Anyone who has believed in movies and television and assumed it shortly after enrolling Students Party To be passed on to the next one quickly realizes that student life can be quite lonely.

Anonymity instead of a student party

Just young freshers, who have moved to study fresh from home, often have with homesickness to fight. But even older students, who may change universities or even go abroad, face the challenge of finding a connection and finding like-minded people in the seemingly anonymous group of fellow students.

Ludger Lampen from the Central Student Advisory Service of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum reports: "Taking a course of study away from home always means the beginning of a new phase of life. Often there is little or no time left for old school-age contacts, and old friendships and relationships are harder to maintain and nurture. Creating new contacts, relationships and friendships always needs time and an active approach to others, ability to communicate and the willingness to spend time outside of lectures and seminars with new interesting people."

Brigitte Diefenbach, psychologist and student advisor at the University of Wuppertal, continues: "Depending on the degree of study students are in, these phenomena are different: at the beginning of the study you first have to process many new impressions and information. The familiar, well-known environment, grown-up friendships from the school, as well as previously effective learning strategies may no longer work. The beginning of studies requires a complete reorientation with regard to the self-employment in the study organization, the new students, lecturers, rooms, the daily routine, the own creation of a timetable, the own motivation to learn. This reorientation costs a lot of energy. Even more, if you move to the new place of study also the first own apartment and the family or friends are only medially accessible. For foreign students a whole new culture with completely new rules can be added. But even at graduation, this sense of being lost or loneliness can occur again, for example, when the studies had to be self-financed or for other reasons the connection to the classmates has been lost and no lectures or seminars have to be attended, only the final thesis is imminent, which one usually writes alone and independently."

Student councils, university sports and co.

But one is hopefully well-informed start to your studies University life certainly offers opportunities to socialize and get involved. Student councils, AStA and the university sports are important contact points, which also organize numerous leisure activities for students. Also, most colleges offer good deals to pursue their own interests and hobbies.

"Healthy Campus" at the University of Göttingen

Only one of many initiatives at German universities is that pilot project "Healthy Campus" at the University of Göttingen. The Initiative for health promotion for students has been around since Summer semester 2017. The University of Göttingen, together with the Institute of Sports Science, is planning and testing numerous measures on the topics of exercise, nutrition, stress and drug use over the next two years. The aim of the initiative is to support the Göttingen students in coping with the requirements of their studies and to prepare them for the demands of professional life.

These include fitness classes, backcheck, nutritional counseling and cooking classes with Göttingen restaurateurs, as well as advice on health issues, exercise breaks in the lectures and advanced training for lecturers to design health-promoting courses. During the year further measures will be developed together with the students.

Psychologist Diefenbach also recommends taking advantage of the help and counseling services offered by the universities: "If the homesickness or sense of loneliness is too bad, we recommend visiting the student advice center or the psychological counseling that is available at every university. Here you can discuss your personal situation in a confidential conversation and find other solutions."

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Christina Cherry
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