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Most students come into college having high expectations for their social lives. They expect to spend every waking moment with newfound friends, doing exciting things on weekends, and studying together all the time on weekdays. However, this is not always realistic — and that’s okay. 

Of course when you start college, you’re likely to make many friends as you take classes, join clubs, and meet people in your dorm. But as things get busier, your schedules likely aren’t going to line up, or your friend group will most likely widdle down as opposed to the one you might’ve started with freshman year. This means that you’re going to find yourself alone more often, or maybe even wanting more time to yourself after busy days. 

There are going to be moments when you have free time while your friends are in class and other times where you will be busy and your friends are doing nothing. This means it’s okay to take advantage of your own free time to do things by yourself! No one is judging you if you show up to the dining hall by yourself, even though that first trip you have to take alone freshman year can be intimidating. This goes for just about anywhere, like studying by yourself in the library (which I think is the best because I love quiet time to focus on work) or even going to a restaurant on your own time. Personally, I think there’s no better feeling than going to get coffee by yourself at a quiet time in the morning and enjoying the peace-of-mind. 

Independence and time alone also gives you the chance to have freedom to branch out and try new things, which is so important in college! There are so many clubs and activities offered, and while the friends you are already familiar with may not have the same interests as you, that shouldn’t stop you from trying something new or doing something you are passionate about. Once I got comfortable with using the equipment in the campus gym after a few trips with a buddy, I never let my friends’ schedules keep me from going to the gym myself. 

Most importantly: it’s okay to stay in and take a break. There are going to be plenty of times where your friends may want to hang out and you have coursework to do, or maybe you’re simply burnt out from the craziness of college life… balancing classes, jobs, activities, and a social life is tough. There will be many more opportunities to spend time with friends, but spending time with yourself in order to recover is necessary. It’s important to listen to your mind and your body (being lonely isn’t always a bad thing)!

Christina is a sophomore Political Science major at the University of Connecticut. She enjoys spending time with her friends, dogs, and writing!
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