A new health survey of Norwegian college and university students reveals that fully 30 percent admit to being lonely and feeling like outsiders in new school environments. They also miss having someone to talk to.
School started this week all over the country, and the media is full of stories about students settling in to a new academic year. They include the usual stories of partying and the so-called fadder system, where older students “adopt” incoming freshmen and try to help them adapt and find their way around an urban campus.
Norwegian universities have little if any on-campus housing, however, leaving students to find their own accommodation, often quite a ways off campus and not in the expensive inner-city neighbourhoods popular with young adults.
The survey confirmed that many new students thus feel isolated. The same survey also revealed four years ago that those who took part in fadder programs ended up with more close friends than those who did not. The fadder system was catching criticism this week, however, for having too many events that involved lots of alcohol consumption.