I’m sitting in Penn State’s student union (the HUB), and wonderfully energetic and loud music plays over a loudspeaker. It’s fun and festive–just the thing for a mid-morning boost.
Yet, I feel like the only one listening to this public music. Everyone around me wears their headphones. I remember the day when listening to music seemed so public. We’d listen together in our dorm rooms. We played CD’s and listened together.
It felt a little lonely as I sat listening to music that nobody else could hear or wanted to hear. The whole experience felt representative of loneliness on the college campus.
As I show my students this video about loneliness in college, called My College Transition, we talk about about this problem of being alone together here. We also read “The Real Campus Scourge“ on loneliness in college.
Just talking about it makes us all feel better. And we think about talking to others more, connecting outside of our phones, and gathering together to share our lives.