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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

A major part of the college experience is where you live and who you live with. A lot of times it can make or break your experience. 

One of my biggest fears in life is being alone, so it’s interesting that I made the choice to live by myself. I come home to nothing and no one, but my own thoughts. My own couch, TV, decorations, music. Something to call mine. Something to call home? 

Living Room With Globe
Breanna Coon / Her Campus

I grew up in a big family, so it’s safe to say I’ve never had anything call my own. This is my first time being able to say that anything is just mine and just for me. This is my first time having my own bathroom! I had roommates for the first two years of college. For the most part, it was a positive experience and they became some of my best friends. Even when I was the only one doing the dishes, sweeping, or taking the trash out, I never even considered that I had another choice. 

Living alone genuinely never seemed like something I had the option to do. I was afraid of the cost, of what my old roommates would say, of what my always-concerned parents would say. I was afraid of what it really meant to be alone and be with my thoughts. Most of all, I was afraid of the responsibility. I had never been able to exist all on my own. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents and to be able to find a reasonably priced apartment near campus. 

Living alone meant decorations were all up to me. Living alone meant I wouldn’t have to clean up after anyone else. For the first time in my life, I wouldn’t have to wait for the bathroom to be open so I could shower. The shower was all mine, and my products could be everywhere! I could take as long as I wanted to do the dishes. I could play my music as loud as I wanted (within reason, I do have neighbors). I could have guests over whenever I wanted, no permission or heads up. 

I don’t have to worry about my alarm disturbing anyone or waking them up. For the first time in my life, I can exist without worrying about how much space I’m taking up. I can create my own space. I don’t have to share. I don’t have to apologize. No roommate, sibling or parent can complain.  

The freedom of having my own space is a privilege I do not take for granted. Full control of my own place, knowing that decisions are up to me, is a scary part of adulthood. It’s a scary part of growing up. Coming home to peace and quiet is a gift. Except for when it’s not, on nights like my birthday. After celebrating with friends, I came home alone. Excited, free, but suddenly wishing I wasn’t in my own space all by myself. Suddenly wishing that someone else could be present. Sometimes the silence in my apartment feels so loud. The emptiness can be overwhelming. Knowing that there is no one there, just me, in these 1,000 square feet can make me want to curl up and cry (and I have).  

There are still times when I wonder if I made the right choice. But every morning when I wake up, I turn on a playlist with good vibes at full volume. I shower as long as I want and I’m grateful to learn what it is like to be alone. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to start being okay with myself, sitting with my thoughts, entertaining myself. I’m grateful to start a new chapter and call something my own. I had to remind myself that I can exist outside of other people and my relationships with them. If there is any time to make my own choices and do what’s best for me, even if it feels selfish, it is now. I get to shout, “MINE!” and have it really mean something. Hopefully, as time goes on, I’ll get used to calling my apartment “home”, even if there is no one and nothing to come home to, except homework and TikTok and Chipotle leftovers.  

My name is Tatiana Marshall and I am a junior at the University of Kansas. I'm from Kansas City, Missouri and I am a HUGE chiefs fan. I am majoring in English, with a minor in Spanish! I love to write poetry, scroll on TikTok, play disc golf, and spend time with my friends in my free time.