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Experiences

Has the Pandemic Made Me a Little Too Comfortable Being Alone?

This is a very real question that I ask myself at least once a week.

Perhaps I'm still reeling from the shock of being thrust into college life after nearly one and a half years of virtual classes and isolation, but I feel like we aren't talking about this enough. At this point, people treat any kind of talk about the pandemic as passé, as though it isn't the reality that we still very much live in.

Honestly, I understand this mentality to a certain degree because it can get tiring living in a reality as depressing and dull as ours, but sometimes it can't help to just put it down on paper and let it out.

So, this is me letting it out: I feel very changed by the pandemic, and frankly, I do not know if it is a good thing.

I feel more independent than ever, being a freshman in college and being away from my parents has allowed me to feel this way. This is the natural sense of independence that is a rite of passage to anyone and everyone who comes of age. However, the pandemic has also instilled a different kind of independence within me, a more stubborn and unnecessary independence that I fear was born from comfort in isolation.

I've been an introvert for years now, so some extent of reserved behavior is totally expected from me. But even I feel shocked these days of how long I am able to go without having a real interaction with a human being. I ask myself, "Is everyone like this?" But I know the answer is, "no," since it is college where people are meant to have some of the best times of their lives, make great memories, and meet amazing people.

Don't get me wrong – I know people I could spend time with. But for whatever reason, I find that a part of myself (very, very deep down and hidden away) that wants to just do whatever I was going to do alone. I go to breakfast alone even though my roommate (whom I love) is always available. I go on long walks alone, even though the prospect isn't the safest. I watch movies alone. When I workout I do it alone. And maybe I'm a bit late to start questioning, but: why?

I probably should be asking a therapist about this instead of typing it out for the world to read, but I feel this is an important side effect of the event that has changed our lives and will probably continue changing our lives for a while longer. I initially tried to see the positives of the pandemic, saying that I was glad it was making me more comfortable with myself. But is that really true? Am I more comfortable with myself, or am I actually less comfortable with others? Or maybe I do this to try to prove to myself that I actually am comfortable with myself? But if so, who cares?

I know I've gotten myself into a bit of a predicament that I have made out to sound quite serious, but I need the readers to know that the problem is not that I am unwell, but that I am fine. A little too fine being alone all day.

I honestly do not know why I'm trying to delude myself into thinking that I need to do things alone to be doing it "right." We all know, it isn't, and will never be, a bad thing to need others. We are humans, after all. We need companionship and we need attention, and love, and interaction. Whether it's subconscious or not, it isn't right or healthy to deprive yourself of that.

I'm not saying that I'm going to suddenly flip the switch in my brain to "healthy mode" and start talking to strangers on my way to class. But I am saying that maybe I should start asking people to do things with me, so that I can at least silence my brain and all its questions for a short while.

Hello! My name is Annika and I'm a first-year English major who loves to write and watch movies.
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