It’s Okay to be Alone

It's Okay to be Alone

Kate Wolffe, Editor In Chief

It’s okay to be alone.

It seems that we forget that, as individuals, and we get caught up in the endless quest for company. We lead ourselves to believe that if we are alone, we are wrong, there is something broken, no one wants to be with us, we aren’t worth being with.

We see it everyday, friends ask us to accompany them to their classrooms, the cafeteria, the bathroom. Often we go without question, we’ve all been there, searching for pals, someone to walk beside in order to prove that we have friends, as silly as that sounds. Not only do we wish for someone to chat with, we seek an ally, someone to help us present a united front against the eyes of our peers, eyes we perceive as endlessly judgemental.

It’s really easy to lose yourself in the people around you. It’s important to be alone, important to take a vacation from the scrutiny of others and explore what you really want, what you need, what you desire to get out of this crazy adventure called life, because being alone is something that is so vital, easy, calming and freeing. It’s instrumental in helping you realize who you are, who you want to be. It’s harder to do that while surrounded by people.

So hang out with yourself. And although its deliciously fun, being alone for the evening doesn’t have to mean watching Parks and Rec for hours on end, binging on Ben and Leslie’s love and enough Phish Food ice cream to incapacitate Lil’ Sebastian. There are all sorts of things to be doing and seeing. So here it is, a few brief tips on How to Be Alone:

1. Start simple: Go with yourself to the cafeteria or bathroom. Walk with a purpose to your next class, head held high, making eye contact- heck even smiling- at people who pass by. Principally do it for yourself, walking tall and proud feels good; the fact that you may make a lasting impression on your peers is a fortunate side effect.

2. Get comfortable with solitude: Take yourself out for coffee and resist the urge to check your cell phone every ten seconds. Sit with a book that you haven’t had time to read, or just observe the people around you. Resist making judgements, and observe the beauty that is human behavior and simple interaction.

3. Spend the whole day alone: Go on a walk, and spend all the time you like panting at the top of that hill- there’s no pressure to be who you aren’t. Listen to your body and take the time to connect with yourself, realize your hopes and goals for the upcoming weeks. Go out to lunch and order whatever you want, there’s no one there to look at you weird when your chocolate milkshake arrives with a side of broccoli.

4. Learn to take some time for yourself everyday: being alone can help you better connect with yourself, and this connection may lead you to new opportunities and friendships, things you never would’ve done, and people you may never had met had you decided that it was key to spend every waking moment with your security blanket of companionship.

Making the choice to be alone doesn’t mean you’ve given up on your friends, doesn’t mean there aren’t people around to support you, it just means that you’ve realized you need to support yourself, be friends with who you are. At first it may be awkward, but you’ll soon realize that once you accept yourself and learn to embrace the essence of who you are, you are no longer so afraid of those staring eyes, belonging to people who in truth, don’t care. If they watch you, assume it is with the best of intentions, and move on. Take the time you would’ve spent fretting over their opinions and use it on something worth your energy- focus on how you feel, follow your passion, plan the rest of your day- forget about the rest.

Use your solitude as a way to find yourself, meet new people, introduce yourself to new ideas, indulge your mind with unique beliefs and experiences, and realize your passions and potential.

Realize that it’s okay to be alone.