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The Complicated Process of Learning Alone Time for an Extrovert

If you are anything like me, being alone is sort of difficult. Although not all extroverts constantly feel the need to be around tons of people and the center of attention, we do have the tendency to want company more times than not. Even when I am not talking to people, I like to have someone to sit with while I study, or possibly my roommate near while I scroll endlessly on my phone. However, being with people at every moment is neither possible nor healthy, especially in college. So it brings us to this tricky situation of alone time. How can I possibly just sit with myself and my thoughts? What happens if I get bored? Who am I going to talk to if I start feeling lonely?  I am still very much in the process of mastering alone time, but practicing whenever I can has brought me a sliver of wisdom.


To start, having a task to complete with some music in the background makes it a lot easier to be alone. Doing work is not the most enjoyable part of my day, but while I’m alone it gives me purpose and motivation to just think and complete the paper, or reading, or other miscellaneous assignments. With some tunes, being alone feels less empty.


But what happens when you’re alone and there’s not homework to do (or you just are not in the mood to do it right now)? This is the part that I am still learning, how to just sit and be alone without feeling totally miserable and lonely. It makes me tired and may be why I am often sleeping when I’m not with people. Despite my frequent naps, the trick is attempting to be intentional in those quiet moments by yourself. Think about who or what made you smile that day. Think about something that challenged you or made you question something. Do not doubt your own worth or dwell on your own anxious thoughts. It is so much easier said than done, but being alone is part of learning how to be your own friend. This is not going to be an overnight job, and it’s going to require time, but in doing so your relationships with other people will blossom because you know who they are talking to. You understand why they wanted to be your friend in the first place, and you want to be with that person too.


Being good at being alone is a learning process that is not always pretty, and sometimes it might make you feel even worse. But there is a greater benefit to being your own friend and being independent enough to want to just sit with yourself and be you for a moment.  

Brenna Wall is a Communication student at Saint Louis University and Chicago native. Along with being a part of the HC team at SLU, she is involved with a feminist forum on campus, KSLU Radio, the Micah Program, and a homeless outreach and ministry program. She loves coffee, dogs, intersectional feminism, traveling, and the wild outdoors. Follow my Instagram to see more of my adventures @brenna.wall. 
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