The Loneliness Epidemic and the Ram Rush Antidote

Email Dustin Bruce, PhD

If you had to guess who the loneliest generation is, you might be surprised to discover it’s not the elderly.

According to a recent study of 20,000 American adults by Cigna, the loneliest generation is Generation Z – traditional college-aged adults, ages 18-22.

It’s easy to see why college students could be prone to loneliness. Unfamiliar surroundings, missing family and friends, anxiousness about the future, and feeling overwhelmed by new academic and social opportunities are just a few challenges college students face.

But when you look at loneliness through a Christian worldview, like we do at University of Mobile, you see that it’s not simply a health or social issue. There are theological issues at play here as well.

First off, the Bible reveals a God who is never lonely. Because God exists eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, He has never known a moment of loneliness. Furthermore, as humans created in the image of God, we are born with a desire for love and communion. Created to be in fellowship with God, sin keeps us from experiencing the most satisfying relationship of all (1 John 1:6).

Men and woman were also created for meaningful interactions with other humans. It was prior to the fall that God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Sin frustrated our desire for companionship, but it did not create it.

Finally, believers in Christ await a day when they will join with the multitudes of the redeemed in a new heaven and a new earth, when all tears of loneliness will be wiped away (Rev. 21:4).

At University of Mobile, we take God’s design for humanity seriously, and that means we take the need for friendship and meaningful human interaction seriously.

That’s why we start each fall semester with a jam-packed two-week antidote to loneliness – Ram Rush. We intentionally offer a host of opportunities for students to form friendships with their peers, faculty and staff during the time when many college students feel most alone.

Then we continue to provide opportunities throughout the year for students to participate, serve and lead with others.

As a core value, we say University of Mobile is “Student-Devoted,” and that means doing all we can as a university to ensure our students have the opportunity to form the meaningful relationships they were designed to need.

About the Author
Dustin Bruce, PhD

Dustin Bruce, PhD

Dustin Bruce serves as assistant professor in Christian Studies and heads up the Office for Spiritual Formation at University of Mobile. His academic work focuses on spiritual formation and historical theology. He is married to Whitney, and they have two daughters: Marlie and Bella. He enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family.

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