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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

The past few months have been boring, to put it bluntly. I’ve noticed myself spending a lot of time alone in my room, not doing much. I started reflecting on this and came to one of the most important realizations: boredom isn’t bad and alone isn’t lonely

Growing up I always had a lot of friends. In fact, during high school, I had a huge friend group in addition to outside-of-school friends. This gave me very little time for me, but I never complained as I enjoyed hanging out and being social. Now, I’m two months short of 20-years-old, and I can say my circle has gone from a roomful to a small and personal pizza. 

After a few months of college, I realized how picky I had become with friends. I no longer jumped quickly to say ‘yes’ to every invite as I have always done. Instead, I started weighing if it was worth it. Sure, academics always come first, but there are days when I am willingly choosing to stay in although all my homework is done. 

So what am I doing all day and night by myself? Well, I am hanging out with me. 

After reaching out to all three of my friends (yes, all three) one day asking to grab a coffee, and finding out all my friends were busy, I decided to go by myself. Now, as small and silly as this may sound, it was nerve-wracking. Sure I have done some errand-running alone before, but this wasn’t the same. It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to go on a walk and sit down to enjoy a coffee. It’d be a shame to let it go to waste. Not having anyone to join me made me quite anxious as I started to wonder if people would stare and judge me at Starbucks for sitting there all alone. What will they think? 

Well, as I have come to learn, most people are too busy with their own lives to waste their time judging a stranger at a coffee shop, and if they are sitting there all day judging people, well maybe they should reconsider some life choices. 

College really takes time away from socializing as peoples’ schedules conflict and most are only able to hang out on weekends. This caused me to constantly think, “I wish my friends weren’t busy right now so we could…” and the realization that I could do whatever it was alone, was quite freeing. I could wait on people forever or I could see my plans through myself. So I went skydiving and dragged my little brother with me. While I do highly recommend going skydiving the point here is: stop waiting on other people. The problem is that waiting holds you back. Why should an activity be any less enjoyable if done alone? Are you calling yourself lame? Now that’s not very self-love of you. 

Choosing to stay in during weekends and spending time alone has taught me a lot. I picked up recreational reading again which I hadn’t had time for since seventh grade. This snowballed into TedTalks and even podcasts. 

I highly think at this age, our early twenties, it is important to get to know yourself. We are growing up so how will you know what to bring into this new chapter in life unless you know what’s good for you. Getting to know me more has made me highly selective in who I spend time with, what activities I put effort into, and where to aim my passion. 

Looking back, while I had a blast in high school, my life was very stressful. I found myself constantly overbooked, dealing with drama and running in circles. 

To some, not having Friday night plans sounds lame, and if you want to go out there’s no shame. Personally, I am finding enjoyment in being able to go to bed early, after a good skincare routine and some journaling, rather than a night-long of drama and chaos. 

I will of course still go out and have fun, but I am learning when and how to do so. Sometimes, I have enjoyed a night in with my cat more than being in a room full of people. 

Hala Abdelrazek

Illinois State '24

Hello everyone! I am a current Junior at ISU. Things I enjoy would include: baking, reading, crafting, and watching tiktoks; halaabdelrazek8. I hope to graduate and work as a Secondary Mathematics teacher. However, due to my love for journalism as well, I am eager to write for HerCampus and be part of this community:)