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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Lonely. What else I could try?

Topic: Lonely. What else I could try?

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. notanon
    notanon avatar
    5 posts
    14 September 2018

    I'm an international student in Australia. I came here alone when I was 17 and don't know anyone here. At first, I chat and regularly video call with my friends back in my country, however after a few months, group chat died down and there are no new messages.

    I'm the eldest in my family, and growing up, I wasn't able to rely on my family much as my siblings rely on me. I need to keep up this facade of a strong sister and set example for them.

    I went to a psychologist and she told me to try and join clubs. So I tried joining club, I made friends. But it's like we go club gathering once a week, talk, and outside gathering, me and other club members are like semi-strangers.

    Since coming to Australia, 2 years now, I've spent every single day eating my lunch alone. Doing homework (minus forced group projects) alone.

    and when loneliness hits the peak, I search and start playing online games and making online friends which help me a lot. But a part of me still feels empty and sad.

    I decided to try consult my best friend, what she said translates to 'Your depression is not real', and she probably meant that I do not have clinical depression.

    I don't know anymore what to do. My accommodation is walking distance to campus and a grocery store. These past months, I've just been to 3 places, bedroom, grocery and campus. I haven't went to shopping center, or go do anything else. All I do is play online game with my friends.

    I can't sleep at night, cos I'm afraid tomorrow will come and I'll eat alone again. In the morning I often don't want to wake up and deal with life.

    The only conversation I had these past few weeks are with cashiers as I've been skipping club gatherings. I just received an email telling me I did not have enough attendance for a unit and automatically failed it.

    I'm not sure what else I could try and do to cope with this loneliness. Online game and daydreaming is the only thing for me right now.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. james1
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    14 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hi notanon,

    Welcome to the forums, it is very nice to meet you here. I am so sorry to hear you are struggling a lot with loneliness right now. I was born here, but my mother and father came here individually in their early 20s and also knew nobody here, so I know second hand how lonely it can be.

    Loneliness is one of the biggest factors in depression (clinical) and I just wanted to let you know that I am taking you very seriously right now and I really hope you can get some professional help.

    If it would help you convince a doctor to take you seriously, you can complete this test:

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety-and-depression-checklist-k10

    I went to the GP once about feeling really bad and they told me to complete this. They had a chat to me as well and we decided I needed to go see a psychologist. I know you have seen a psychologist already, but perhaps they did not understand. It may be good to see if you can find another one who does understand your situation a bit better, because it can be very very hard for people to live overseas without any support.

    One slightly longer term solution is to house share. You mentioned you eat alone a lot and I think house sharing might be a good idea. Many students at universities (I think you are in university right now?) do house sharing for this very purpose - to make friends and not be alone at home.

    What do you think? If these do not sound good to you, please let me know and we can definitely keep talking about some options that you feel comfortable with.

    James

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Donte'
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    16 September 2018 in reply to notanon
    All my life my mum taught me that I shouldn't talk to strangers, but it’s after midnight and a complete stranger made me realize so much and brought a tear in my eye. My mum was absolutely wrong because I'm always awake at this time hoping someone would remember me even if it's a stranger online. A simple post, a message...So thank you stranger.
    2 people found this helpful
  4. notanon
    notanon avatar
    5 posts
    16 September 2018 in reply to james1

    Hi James and Donte,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Where I lived, everyone does their own things. They come back and just go into their room. No one uses the living room area. They cook, then bring their food back to their room. One doesn't even say 'Hi' to people. The chores aren't divided. You clean it if you cant stand the dirtiness. or else let it be. When there will be inspection, some people will clean and some lazier people just clean their own rooms.

    I don't have many options for doctors and psychologist due to my OSHC not covering much. I went to university counselling and it didn't help at all. So I did went somewhere else, but it took me trouble to find a cheaper options.

    and Donte, I agree with you on that stranger thing. Time-zones difference often keep me up and chatting with people from the other side of the world, but also because of that, I have someone to talk to in the middle of the night when I really need to.

  5. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    16 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Dear Notanon

    Hello and welcome. I am so sorry you feel so lonely and distressed and I hope we can help you find a way to meet other people and form friendships.

    Before that though, I see you have failed a subject because you have not attended enough lectures. Does that mean you are skipping lectures? If this is correct I think you definitely need to see someone. Sounds as though the uni psychologist was not helpful which is unfortunate.

    I am unsure if you can access Australian Medicare services. Perhaps you know or can make an appointment to see a General Practitioner (GP). If you do see a GP please tell him/her how you feel and ask for a referral to see a psychologist. Hopefully you will be referred to someone who is more in tune with you. Sometimes seeing a psychologist is a bit hit and miss and you need to see someone else.

    I think staying indoors all the time you are not at lectures tends to make things worse. Are there any activities at uni you would like to join. Universities usual have a range of activities to join. There are usually a number of sporting activities or if this is not for you then look around for clubs that do things you are interested in. For example chess clubs. I don't play chess and have never wanted to but many people enjoy this game. And it's just an example.

    There are often clubs that cater for people from various countries so if there was such a club on your campus it may help to join. At the very least you could talk about how it feels to live apart from your family and I expect others have felt as lonely as you.

    Posting in here is something that helps people so please continue if it helps.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  6. james1
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    17 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hello notanon,

    Oh, I am sad to hear that the way that house is run is with minimal contact with your housemates. That must feel even worse being physically so close to them, but emotionally separate.

    Have you ever heard of the website called MeetUp.com?

    There are many people, both local and international, who use MeetUp.com to make friends and just live more of a social life. I have personally been to some for language exchange where you alternate and speak in your own home language as well as English. Usually, the same people come each week and you can have a nice little group. I also have been to one with board games and for writing stories.

    Do you think this could help you?

    I know you mentioned that uni clubs still somehow felt like just a weekly gathering of strangers, so I also wanted to ask what kind of friend do you really miss having? Is there a social or support group/friendship from home that you really wish you had here as well?

    I hope you don't mind my questions and please let me know if they are difficult to answer.

    James

    1 person found this helpful
  7. notanon
    notanon avatar
    5 posts
    18 September 2018 in reply to White Rose

    Hey Mary and James,

    I first skip only morning lectures cos I wasn't able to wake up in the morning due to not being able to sleep at night. But then going to classes start feeling really really tiring and scary. At this moment, I have convinced my parents I want to change course/university, but the new course/university did not accept me. I am still trying to apply to other places. I kind of feel that I'm just trying to escape my current university/life by finding a new one. Plus I am majoring in math and the stress have been quite heavy for sometime now. I am still attending weekly meet up for a club.

    The type of friend I want would be a friend who I can go and watch movie theater, or invite me to their birthday party. Or just go and eat fro-yo or drink Starbucks. I've added people on Facebook and Instagram and see people hanging out or birthday parties, but I was never close enough with them to be invited. I've tried being more forward, like replying to someone on Facebook that is asking people to go to movies, but at the end they'll chat me and say they cancel it, but they actually go with people they are closer with.

    I think I will try meetup.com and see what happens there. Just posting here alone makes me feel like a lot better.

    Thank you,

  8. smallwolf
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    18 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    notanon,

    Hi. It sounds like you house sharing with other people, but not necessarily Uni students? Is that correct?

    When I moved to the city when I was much younger (almost straight after highschool) to go to Uni it was a very different world. I had to look after myself. The first 2 weeks I stayed a hostel type place, until I got my bearings, and then found a flat to share, but ended up in a share house with a bunch of other students from a different Uni. So there were 6 students, 1 house, communal eating, shared responsibilities etc. It does not really matter where, but certain there would be notice board on the campus for students looking for flat mates. We would even help each other with assignments if we could. Just wondering if you might be able to check the places where notices are put these days at Uni and have a chat with that other person? You never know what might happen?

    Tim

    1 person found this helpful
  9. james1
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    19 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hello notanon,

    It is nice to hear from you again. I do enjoy talking to you too. I still often have issues with loneliness and talking to you helps remind me that maybe I'm not as alone as I often do feel.

    It really sounds like you're trying very hard to meet new people and change your life for the better. Good on you for that, because it can also be really defeating sometimes when people cancel on us. The important thing is to get up and try again, which you are doing right now.

    Yeah, I understand what kind of friend you are looking for. It really sounds like you just want someone who you can just hang around and do things together.

    Do you mind if I share my partner's story?

    She is originally from Scotland and moved here for work. One of the hardest things for her is that she didn't grow up here and many people our age already have established friends from school. She also really just wanted friends to hang out with, but everyone already seemed to be busy.

    Her closest friends now are actually from her previous gym, from work and from language exchange when she was learning Japanese. In the 7 years, she's met heaps of people but only about 5 have really stuck, but those 5 are really good friends and she's happy about that.

    So I think you're doing all the right things by continuing to go to clubs, and by trying to do things that you enjoy. It's so much easier to make friends if you have a mutual activity, and hopefully there will be someone who you just get along with really well. It can be really disheartening at times, but we're here to help you and keep you company too.

    p.s. what online games do you like? I'm a bit of a gamer myself :)

    James

    1 person found this helpful
  10. baet123
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    19 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hey notanon,

    Welcome to the forums. Sorry to hear your struggling at the moment but it will get better mate. There are plenty of options out there that you can try including meetup.com.

    James, Small, WR and Donte have said great things above so I will just add a bit of information that may be able to assist you.

    You enjoy playing video games right? If you are at university there are so many societies to join. Societies are groups of university students who share common interests with each other and you will have weekly meetings. This is great for you to network. For example, if you play league of legends, dota 2 or counter strike for example - most universities will have League of Legends Societies and other gaming societies. You will have a lot in common with the students in these societies and I would recommend finding a society that your interested in and giving it a go. Music, sports or for any other interests you have, there will be a university society for you.

    It might be hard now mate but it will get better.

    Please let me know if you contact these societies at university and hope you find one that suites.

    All the best,

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. notanon
    notanon avatar
    5 posts
    26 September 2018 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi again,

    I'm living with uni students. We all go to the same university, just different faculty and we're from different country, different background. From what I notice, people tend to flock together with people from same culture... I'm not sure about moving... I don't really have friends to help me carry my stuff, moving alone by myself doesn't sound easy. I don't have car and idk anyone who have car that can help me and etc. Probably I'm just running away again, but I'm kind of really scared rn.

    your partner's story sounds pretty amazing. I've always believe that time will bring me friends, and ofc effort too. Tho lately that belief starts to waver ><

    Games I play lean more towards anime and manga-ish. I play Twin Saga, PUBG Mobile, lots of dating sims, and mobile rhythm games. And yes, I'm in the anime manga society and does attend weekly meet up, but i still cant get into their circles. Most are Australian raised and I can't seem to fit in, especially when they start talking about Australian TV Shows or similar.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. randomx
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    1027 posts
    29 September 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hiya not , glad you've found somewhere to talk.

    Weird , l've never spent that kinda time in another country but l always liked the idea however l never ever thought about the friend factor and fitting in but l can see how it might end up a pretty big thing.

    l grew up in Melbourne and my area was very mixed so l knew people from all over but was too young to even think about the struggles they may've been living . l've been in some small town now a few years to stay close to my daughter but l don't really fit at all and have made no friends .

    earlier, 19 and 20s l hitched around oz for 18mths and one of the things that really helped being alone was the youth hostels l'd stay in , met people from all over in those and made whatever friends mainly in those too and it's a shame your accommodation is so keep to itselfish . Is there another place like that you could move to ? A different one might be a lot more lively and mingley than yours. One thing l thought too was maybe you could try doing your gaming and stuff in the lounge , even if no one else hangs out there , others might see you and start using it too or have little convos passing through, The lounge and kitchen we always where you met people in the hostels back when and there'd often be just one person but others would come and go when they'd see me or anyone else using it.

    My gf is from another country and culture , she's been here 4yrs. Luckily she doesn't really care about friends much so whatever happens in that way doesn't bother her. where she was living before we met though for 3yrs , she eventually made 2 good friends there and they still keep in touch now so that's been nice for her. lt takes time unfortunately ,

    Anyway good luck eh and l hope some of the things and suggestions people ahve to say help in some way , hang in there. And pat yourself on the back too for being so brave as to study in another country alone , well done you.


    2 people found this helpful
  13. james1
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    james1 avatar
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    2 October 2018 in reply to notanon

    Hello notanon,

    It sounds like you don't have a strong connection with your roommates and I understand it can be really hard when you do not have the same background. As you say, many uni students tend to live with people from similar groups. My university used to have clubs for people from specific backgrounds, in addition to the rest of the sports/hobbies groups. Not sure if it's something you are interested in, but perhaps your uni has these as well?

    Yeah it is certainly hard to get into certain people's social groups, but you are doing the right thing by continuing to attend.

    My own experience is that it is easier to make friends in a 1 on 1 setting or at most a small group. Maybe that is just because I do not like big groups, but when I went from high school to uni, I had basically no friends so I was really missing just having one person I could count on.

    For me, gaming was a good conversation topic, but it was having regular (but short) catch ups that really helped. One thing I had going with a friend was a weekly pool (billiards) and drinks hour on Friday afternoons. We both liked pool and console games, so we'd catch up for an hour or two each week. Even though it was only short, it was regular and we got to know each other really well over the semester. So I definitely agree with you that time and effort do help, and I also experienced the difficulty of trying to make friends slowly without having a very good friend already.

    How was your weekend? We had a long weekend which was nice.

    James

    2 people found this helpful
  14. notanon
    notanon avatar
    5 posts
    22 September 2019 in reply to james1

    Can't believe it's been over a year since I posted this. It may be very late but I want to thank everyone who responded and gave me advice. I also would like to update on what happened.

    I ran away completely, and dropped out of the university. I enrolled in a college and kind of restart myself. I try to be more outgoing and I don't know if I made any long lasting friends just yet, but I do talk with my classmates and that alone is currently more than enough.

    On one side, I'm still very scared of society's perspective, all my high school friends who know I dropped out of an amazing university (go8) would all ask "why" and some even say "what a pity" or "what a waste" but I do feel much more happier (it's grammatically incorrect but-).

    2 people found this helpful
  15. SammyB
    SammyB avatar
    62 posts
    23 September 2019 in reply to notanon

    Hey notanon, just came across your post and read through your thread, it's incredible to see how much can change in a year! I admire the courageous steps you have taken to improve your wellbeing and connect with others among your school community.

    Despite having a fresh start at college, it sounds like your success is sometimes weighted down by thoughts of others viewing your decisions in a negative light. We can often feel trapped and fearful of thoughts and ideas about how things ‘should be’ rather than what our true needs are. Is this what you’re feeling? At times we can also seem to place more value on other’s opinions, but how will they hold up over time – will they really matter a few years down the road? If you are happy with the way things are, this should be enough. Wishing you all the best.

    Sammy

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