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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

Since entering college, there’s one thing that I’ve consistently struggled with and that’s being okay with doing things on my own. As much as cultivating independence is essential to having a well-balanced college experience, it’s just as important to realize that it’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s normal for everyone to feel more comfortable with going out with friends or family. Having to learn how to be comfortable with your own company can be a hard pill to swallow. 

Growing up, I was raised by parents who never wanted me to go anywhere or do anything unless I was accompanied by either an adult or a close friend. Of course, it was for the sake of my safety but I never thought this would cause me to become dependent on never going out alone. This formed habit most likely fed into my expectations and need for company all the time. It was like a slap in the face realizing that I couldn’t bring that mindset with me going into college. 

Funnily enough, I have always enjoyed my alone time, but that only applied indoors. I always appreciate the time I have to myself whenever I’m at home or in my dorm. I found that the difficult part of being an independent person was having to go out in public with no one by my side. I think this fear comes from assuming that being seen alone is almost embarrassing. I don’t think that’s true at all now, but, having been so accustomed to going out with at least one other person all the time, I struggled to accept that being unaccompanied in public is okay. I constantly worried about being judged even when I was simply walking alone to class during my first semester of college. 

For anyone who has trouble with mastering independence, it’s an obstacle everyone will overcome in a matter of time. I like to think positively of the fact that having to learn how to be at peace with doing things yourself is something you’ll be forced to accept at some point. The important thing is that you’ll grow as a person and gain confidence in yourself.  

Of course, patience is key. It took me a while to gain the courage to study at cafes alone or get food by myself, but I’m luckily past that stage now. For anyone who is currently struggling with the same thing, I hope you can find comfort in the fact that it took me almost my entire freshman year of college to get rid of the anxiousness attached to practicing independence. Being your own friend can be a gradual process, so make sure to celebrate the progress you’ve made along the way!

Phenelope Pasco

UC Berkeley '27

Phenelope is currently a freshman attending UC Berkeley, majoring in Media Studies and intends to double major in Business. She is currently a staff writer for the Berkeley department. Phenelope has experience in journalism and design for school newspapers. She previously worked as Editor-in-Chief for her high school newspaper and oversaw the whole publishing process. She mainly loves writing and reading food reviews. Besides HerCampus, Phenelope also writes for a Pilipinx magazine called (M)aganda where she steps outside of her comfort zone and gives a go at prose and poetry. She is still exploring her options in regard to what career fields she may enter after graduating. With both of her majors, she hopes her future job will involve a blend of the two. Besides writing, Phenelope pours her love into her hobbies such as baking, reading, and cafe hopping. She also always has her handy digital camera with her and loves to capture moments of her family and friends.