A letter to the lonely

LonelinessDear friend,

Life is full of situations that stretch us as we experience “personal growth.” Life in university is certainly no exception.

Over the years, I’ve learned that with the company of loneliness comes the choice to be defined by your lonesomeness or become stronger and softer-hearted through it.

I’m writing to encourage you to release yourself from those chains of seclusion. I’m not saying this is an easy task, but rather it will require a pragmatic decision on your part, and you will be forced to come out of your shell, sometimes repeatedly. But oh, when it happens it is so worth the risk.

While life circumstances have brought me through seasons of profound loneliness, I am also quite the introvert and this characteristic constantly places me at war within myself.

So… do I stay in my comfort zone? Or do I push myself to “get out there” so that I can make new friends? (This runs the spectrum from going to an event to saying “hi” to someone.) My situation will not improve unless I make an effort to change it.

This post may feel somewhat like “tough love” but coming from experience, there are times when this kind of talk is necessary to stir things up a little. It may feel strong, but please believe me that it is communicated with complete love to help anyone battling loneliness, especially when the campus can facilitate removing that struggle.

Getting involved on campus

10527260_10152495018636213_5928591087194180791_nTo shamelessly plug, UVic is bursting with opportunities waiting to pull you beyond your shell. Speaking from experience, it’s been worth the momentary discomfort to experience fun and friendship.

Groups include the Vikes Nation sports teams, volunteer experiences within student leadership such as the Orientation team, or our own blogging team (yes I’m recruiting you ;)).

Also the UVic student ambassadors group, dance groups, and UVic even has a Valkyries Quidditch club. Why would someone throw themselves into these kinds of groups when even friendship itself may feel too far away?

Well, I’m always amazed at how working towards a common goal and serving others can have such an enriching experience. Pouring your time and care into others keeps you actively participating instead of ruminating on the negative thoughts.

While this may sound extremely corny, you are not alone in your loneliness. As students, we tend to do a fairly decent job at seeming like we have it all together as we rush from class to class, but honestly, we have no idea and we like to keep up appearances.

Don’t look at others and think they haven’t felt what you what you have, for comparison stirs up discontentment. I am reminded of the saying, “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Well, loneliness can also foster the spirit of leadership. And speaking to the leaders out there, there may be another person lonelier than you, and waiting for someone like you to take the first step and speak to them. Who else can relate to their situation other than you because you’ve experienced it?

Will you remove your chains to help them with theirs?

P.S. I would like to also say that if you know or recognize me, I absolutely love conversation and would genuinely love to meet you and have a chat. Please feel free to say “hi”; new friends are always welcome.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Jes Scott says:

    Beautiful post. Thanks for bringing to light some of the things that are hard to talk about.

    • Courtney says:

      Hey Jes,


      I really appreciate that! It’s definitely been something that has been on my mind for other people and this is a great forum for reaching out to others.

  2. Mitch says:

    Hi! I definitely know how the life of an introvert can feel, and I really enjoyed the read. Thanks for taking the time and energy to write it. If I see you around campus I’ll definitely say hello!

    • Courtney says:

      Hey Mitch,

      Thanks! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      – That would be awesome! I look forward to chatting with you!

      Side note: I look different from the current picture of me wearing glasses as my hair is longer now so it might be difficult to recognize me, but a new picture is coming ! 🙂