Campaigners criticise ‘tokenistic’ initiative started after polling showed almost all students experience bouts of loneliness

Millions of teenagers across Britain will arrive at university for the first time on Monday as freshers’ week begins.

Almost all will experience bouts of loneliness with nearly half being worried they will be judged if they admit to it, according to a sample of 1,000 students, collected by YouGov for the government.

Spend time helping other people, such as volunteering with student groups or by offering a regular conversation to someone feeling isolated

Keep in touch with friends and family over the phone

Arrange something fun to do with your current friends

Join a club or society at university to connect with others who have similar interests

Do things you enjoy, such as playing sport, reading or listening to music

Be open to everyone, as university is a great place to meet people from all different backgrounds

Remember some people only share the good things happening to them on social media so try and avoid comparison

Talk to someone you trust about how you feel

Get in touch with the university’s student services about the welfare and support it can provide

Remember that others may be feeling similar, so you are not alone

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