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

I know that if I suggested a cup of coffee to my younger self, she would’ve felt scandalized at the prospect. Looking back at my high school years, if I didn’t have a friend joining me on my little adventures, whether they were going to the restroom at school or getting the comfort food I was craving all week, these little adventures never happened.

Even until the end of my first year of college, I needed someone to accompany me wherever I went, or the idea of completing whatever errand immediately lost its appeal. 

Over this past school year, after some reflection and stepping outside my comfort zone, I realized that the obstacle hindering me was the fear and embarrassment that someone, regardless of whether I knew this person or not, would perceive me as someone with no friends.

I can’t speak on anyone else’s behalf about what might’ve stopped them from going on solo adventures, but I know myself enough to admit that I didn’t want anyone thinking I had no one to get a cup of coffee with.

Being in college meant more freedom to do what I wanted with my schedule, but it also meant that all of my friends had free rein over how they curated their schedules and the choice to do what they wanted with their leisure time. While my friends and I make time for each other, we rarely find a time that works for everyone to execute our plans.

Eventually, I found myself wanting to try new places alone. The first time I decided to trek to San Francisco, I chose a cafe I found online and read a new book I’d started that week. From taking the BART without someone to yap the entire trip with to wandering through unfamiliar streets of San Francisco alone, I knew this was odd territory for me.

While there wasn’t anything wrong with what I was doing, I became so reliant on having someone by my side to let the time pass by that being alone with my own thoughts was foreign to me. After spending a few hours alone in a cafe with my book, I decided to take it a step further and walk and walk and stop by whatever I found interesting.

I stumbled across a few bookstores and spent time browsing through all of the books for the sake of it. I ended up at the Ferry Building and enjoyed the breeze by the water. After exhausting my legs with all that walking, I made my way back to the BART station for my journey to my dorm. 

That initial solo date made me realize I didn’t need someone by my side every time I wanted to try something. Again, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy and appreciate every time I go out with my friends, but there was something special, and almost therapeutic, about me taking the initiative to try something on my own. 

“That initial solo date made me realize I didn’t need someone by my side every time I wanted to try something.”

Nevya Patel

It was then that I realized I was stepping outside of my comfort zone in a way I hadn’t acknowledged that I needed to. I slowly forgot about being embarrassed each time I went out for a coffee and a reading session by myself.

Whether it’s a day trip to another city or a run to the flower shop for a pick-me-up, I think solo dates must be encouraged for everyone’s sake! They’re an excellent way to feel better after a long week or difficult midterm. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do something on your own; everyone should experience the tranquility of relaxing without needing someone else to comfort you. I think being uncomfortable with yourself is the first step in learning to be comfortable.

Nevya Patel

UC Berkeley '26

I am Nevya Patel and am studying English at UC Berkeley. Although I am on the pre-law track, I am excited to join HerCampus to practice my writing and meet new people along the way. In my free time, I love reading and spending quality time with my friends.