Relationship issues are the number one reason students at UCLA seek help from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). These concerns and conflicts can be with a romantic or sexual partner, a family member, or friends. Maintaining relationships in college can be difficult especially with the pressures and responsibilities placed on students.
Transitioning to a new environment can result in feeling lonely or homesick. Some students feel like they lack the attachments they had from their old school or hometown, they miss specific friends and/or family members, or they have difficulties managing a long distance relationship. Adapting to a new campus can be exciting but also difficult. Connecting to unfamiliar people in a constantly changing environment can be refreshing but also stressful. Sometimes these pressures can be overwhelming and lead to personal conflict and interpersonal problems.
Navigating the social culture of a large campus can be stressful. Finding a community to connect with, a group of friends to belong to, or an individual to share feelings and experiences with can be challenging. Managing an active social life with all the other responsibilities of being a student is something we all deal with. The following tips will get you started on learning how to cope with social stressors and finding ways to prioritize your emotional health:
- Get involved. Find a student organization on campus that fits your needs whether that is cultural, religious, academic, or social. Being around other students with the same interests as you will provide opportunities to make meaningful and lasting friendships.
- Try something new. Do something exciting and different to change your routine and meet new people. Enroll in a class through UCLA Recreation, attend an on-campus concert or event, or do something as simple as striking up a conversation with your next door neighbor.
- Communicate. Work on understanding what you want from your relationships and communicating that clearly to others.
- Focus on your wellbeing. Even if you can’t change your external environment, you can always focus on yourself and staying health by giving yourself at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, staying active, and eating well.
- Talk. Whether you talk to a family member, friend, or CAPS counselor, reaching out can be the first step to feeling better.
Take an anonymous and confidential screening to see if you or someone you care about might benefit from speaking to a mental health professional.