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The Art of Being Alone: Find Peace and Comfort in Solitude

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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 U Mass Amherst chapter.

Loneliness. Feeling alone. Feeling like you have no good, real friends and no one in your life that you can count on. These are all feelings that no one wants to experience. No one wants to spend time alone and people usually prefer to be surrounded by their friends and loved ones and doing fun things with them. People usually don’t enjoy the idea of being alone with themselves too much. The fear of loneliness has been instilled into our minds since we were kids. We have learned that the kid who sits alone and has no friends is pathetic. In every book or movie, the kids who eat alone at the school cafeteria and have no friends are always portrayed as weak characters who needs to be saved. We don’t want people to think of us as someone who needs to be saved or mocked hence our dread of being alone.  

The world seems to be designed for extroverts, or people who enjoy socializing all the time. People seem to be afraid of being alone. To succeed in the modern Western world, you have to be a go-getter, aggressive (in a good way), and know how to network forever. In order to be successful in the working world, you have to be outgoing and talkative. 

When I started my freshman year at UMass Amherst, I had a really hard time for most of my first year. It was very difficult for me to transition from my high school life and being at home to the independence and freedom of being on a college campus. I felt very alone and very isolated. I would find myself spending a lot of time alone and eating by myself at the dining halls. I would always feel so embarrassed and ashamed that I was the only one who was eating by themselves at the dining hall when everyone else was eating with a group of friends. Later on, I saw that other people were eating meals by themselves too and spending time alone and I realized that that is totally okay. Embracing solitude challenged my prior perspective that being alone and spending time with yourself is completely okay.

I did make a good amount of close friends as my time at UMass progressed. However, I also learned to be okay with spending time by myself and spending time alone. After all, spending time alone allows you to grow as a person and helps you realize your true desires, wants, and goals. Spending time with yourself can help you discover your passions and who you truly are as a person. It offers time for self reflection and personal growth. I grew to love spending time with myself. On weekends, I enjoy staying in on certain nights rather than going out with friends. I find it refreshing and rejuvenating to just stay in and watch a movie or TV show, read a book, journal, or spend some time learning a new skill or developing a new hobby. It is truly amazing what you are capable of doing when you are alone and what you can learn about yourself. I learned to love being comfortable with being alone. I learned to love how I didn’t feel the need to go to parties just to fit in with others. The art of being alone is about having a good relationship with yourself; liking yourself enough to enjoy being alone. 

Embracing solitude doesn’t mean eliminating social interactions and social relationships from your life. It is all about finding a healthy balance between spending time with friends and loved ones and spending time with yourself doing things that you enjoy, things that make you happy, things that make you feel good about yourself, and things that you are passionate about. It is about learning to be okay being alone and lonely and growing throughout the process. Loneliness isn’t always a negative feeling although more often than not, it is perceived in this way. Loneliness can sometimes serve as a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery. In the quiet moments of loneliness, we’re forced to confront our deepest thoughts and feelings. We’re prompted to question our beliefs, our values, and our understanding of ourselves. It’s a time of introspection that can lead to profound self-awareness and personal growth.

Overall, embracing being alone with yourself and spending time with yourself is a positive mechanism for self-discovery and personal growth.

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Sravani Kaza

U Mass Amherst '25

Hi! I'm Sravani and I'm a student at UMass Amherst. As a shy and soft spoken person, I have always turned to writing to express my thoughts and feelings regarding various topics. I joined Her Campus to pursue my passion of writing and to share my ideas and thoughts with the world!!