Social wellness refers to the relationships that humans have and the ways that they interact with others. According to the American College Health Association’s Spring 2017 Executive Summary, approximately 62% of students “felt very lonely” within the last 12 months, with 26% feeling very lonely within the last two weeks. Social isolation and loneliness are not new topics for those transitioning to college, but advances in the prominence of social media has impacted many students’ abilities to create new friendships offline.

Some strategies to improve social wellbeing are:

  • Spend time with the right people: Make meaningful relationships with individuals who make you a better person. If a certain person creates more stress than they do benefits, it may be time to question if that’s a good person for your circle.
  • Put the phone down: When spending time with friends, try to do so without social media, texting, or email. Be mindful of the present, which includes the people you’re with. Additionally, that helps those individuals feel appreciated that they have your complete attention and focus!
  • Try new things: The Office of Student Involvement is the perfect place to start for students wanting to try something new. With over 600 campus organizations, there is definitely something for everyone. Additionally, accept invitations to try new things! It might feel awkward at first, but trying new things with new people is a fast way to make new friends.
  • Ask for help: The University of Alabama has great resources for students struggling with loneliness, such as the Counseling Center.