Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.

We are expected to be with someone once we get to a certain age – then we get engaged, then we get married, then we have kids and so on. That’s the normal thing to do, right? Well what happens when you are a 22 year-old on a Saturday night, sitting on the floor of your Chicago apartment with a computer, a glass of wine, and an entire margarita pizza, by yourself? To answer that question, this blog post happens. 

Look, being single is a choice. I’ve heard it all before- “You could get a guy if you wanted to” or “You’re just too picky.” I know I’m “young, and have time” but sometimes it feels like I need to be with my “soulmate” because more than half of my friends are with theirs right now. Don’t get me wrong, I am so beyond happy for them, but it’s hard seeing everyone around you in love when you are probably the furthest person on the planet from being “in love”. 

Then there’s the family holidays and the inevitable questions that always come up when you find yourself alone with your great aunt – “So, how’s school going? Still into that writing stuff? You got a boyfriend, yet?” I always say the same thing, “School is great, love to write, and no boyfriend just yet.” I always felt like that last part was the wrong answer to that trick question. I know there isn’t a wrong or right answer because “I have time” but what if being single is what I want at the moment? 

Look, do I wish I had someone to text or call “good morning” or “good night” to or have someone to watch movies all day with? Yes, but I’ve come to learn that the single life isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. There is a stigma to being single that is almost…bad. Like being single is against the norm and that if you enjoy being single, you’re weird and if you enjoy time alone, you are depressed and lonely. But I’ve come to find that being single can actually be a good thing.

In high school, this boy told me once, “If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else”. At the time I thought it was just another excuse to not be with me but as I’ve grown up, I am realizing how wrong that statement can be. As I step back and take a look at myself, I see that I might not have mastered the whole “self-love” thing yet but I sure know how to love someone else with all my heart. But how can you properly love someone and be in their corner if you aren’t even in your own corner? It’s a confusing concept.

Now falling in love with yourself looks different for everyone, and it’s easier for some of us and seems impossible for others. Honestly, no matter what I might put off, even after 22 years of life, I still haven’t mastered the whole “self-love thing” but I think being single and alone has really helped me.

The only real, “let’s put labels on it” relationship I’ve ever had was during the summer before my Sophomore year of high school. It lasted exactly one month so to be honest, calling this a “relationship” is a stretch but I’ve been single ever since. For those of you counting – yes, that means I’ve been single for seven years (plus the 15 years before that).

While I was in high school, I was never really alone, though. You know, there were always those cute little crushes I had on the guy that sat next to me in study hall or I always had friends surrounding me to keep me company. 

But alas, we got older and graduated and moved away for school. I began a new cycle of my life, alone. You see, I decided to take a huge leap of faith and leave my hometown and all those I knew well to move to the third biggest city in the United States, Chicago. At the time I felt I was doing something new and exciting and that, just like high school, I would have a bunch of friends and we would make so many amazing memories in a city that is made for your 20s. 

Of course, COVID-19 had other plans. I made a few friends my freshman year before the virus struck but after going online and moving away from the city for nearly a year, I lost touch with a few of them. So here we are, a senior in college (about to graduate…yikes!) that feels like a freshman and has only a few friends who either live in the suburbs and are 40-60 minutes away or have their own friend groups formed and I’m just an “add-on”. 

But here’s the thing- I’m in no way complaining. I mean yes, this isn’t what I expected at all but living alone, being alone, and doing this whole thing called 20s and college alone, has taught me some things. And that’s where we get back to the whole “self-love thing”.

As I sat in my apartment watching movies, writing, eating, drinking and doing all this alone, I realized something. In high school, I had this fear that if I walked into a football game alone, I was going to look like a loner. So I would wait in the parking lot until my friends showed up or go through the back entrance and blend into the crowd. Now, I almost prefer to do things alone. I think I’m so used to it by now that being alone is okay. I go get food, alone. I walk to class, alone. I sit at the library, alone. 

When you don’t have a special someone to take you on dates, I’ve come to see that taking yourself on a date is fine. Let’s be honest, no one is going to notice you’re alone. People are too absorbed in their phones or own lives to notice the one person being confident enough to sit at a restaurant alone. I know this can take some getting used to but just imagine all the things you would be missing out on if you were too scared to do it alone. You’re only in your 20s once so you have to make the most of it while you can.  

Spending so much alone time with myself has helped me grow a self-love. I wouldn’t say I’ve fully mastered the trait but I’m certainly on the right track. I’ve come to realize that in this crazy thing called life, the ONLY person you’re going to have through it all, is you. So what’s the point of hating yourself if you’re stuck with yourself for life?  

The only certification I have to be giving advice is my Senior Superlative but I figured I’d try and touch someone’s heart strings. Life is short and we all have different paths on this planet. My path is being single and alone for a little while to find myself while my best friend’s path is to be in a serious relationship looking at a possible marriage.

Ms. Taylor Swift says it best: “I never understood it when people would say ‘Oh you know in your 20s you just need to be alone’, and I just never quite got it because they would never explain to me that it’s so important to define yourself on your own terms.” 

When you’re in love, you always have a second person’s opinion affecting yours because that’s what happens when you’re caring and in love. Sometimes you just need to dye your hair or move to Los Angeles because you want to. Being alone in your 20’s can be a good thing, so let’s celebrate the single ones and recognize that that’s perfectly fine because we are all just trying to get through this crazy thing called life. 

Sarah is from Dayton, Ohio and is currently studying MultiMedia Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys thrifting, traveling, fashion, film photography and lifestyle. She is a creative person and finds comfort in writing, exploring the great city of Chicago, and listening to music. Her dream job is to travel and see the world as she writes about different cultures and activities to do in those different countries. Instagram: @sarahgsommers