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

Victoria gets back on the bike for week-long commute competition

Second Bike to Work Week hits the pavement Oct. 22 to 28

VIDEO: Tent city moves to Woodwynn Farm, arrests made

The group is asking the government to provide housing for 60 tent city members

Saanich passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Cougar spotted Saturday morning in Saanich

Police found paw prints consistent with cougars in the area

B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

Labrador retrievers need to learn obedience and socialization before heading to work

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read