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

To many people, the mere thought of experiencing things alone scares them. For whatever reason, doing things yourself seems socially unacceptable, pitiful, demeaning, and even pathetic. But I, however, do not have an issue doing things on my own. In fact, I always have the most thrilling experiences when I’m with myself rather than in someone else’s company. So you see, when you go out into the world by yourself, you don’t have to have anyone else’s opinions infringing on developing your own. Instead, you can view the scene in front of you and analyze it on your own terms. Through that, you will become more grounded in what brings you happiness that no one can deny you any luxury.

As a personal example, I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time on Valentine’s Day (what better day than the day of love)? I had been dying to see the show all year, and there was no way I would let the fact that I would be alone inhibit me from showing up and showing out. So, on the day of the production, I dressed in Rocky Horror attire and found myself in a crowd of the most eccentric and fascinating people I have ever seen in one sitting. I was in complete awe by the mass of outlandishly fashioned people there were in attendance and immediately felt myself one of them. The crowd felt more like a community than strangers. Long story short, I had the most invigoratingly sensational experience that I would never have had if I had let fear of being alone prohibit me from showing up.

Although this situation was not an anomaly for me, for I actively attend events on my own, I couldn’t help but be puzzled by the reactions I received when I told some of my floor-mates that I went alone. They were utterly shocked to hear that I had not invited anyone to such a large event. That is when it occurred to me that doing things alone is not as normal and frequent for many people as it is for me.

However, when you think about it, the only constant thing in our lives is ourselves, and at the end of the day, you remain. In other words, we are our own best friends, and with that, wouldn’t you and your best friend want to go out and explore the world together? When you force yourself to do something as little as reserving a table for one at a restaurant or as big as going to an overly enthusiastic performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, you develop a unique relationship with yourself that, overtime can and will develop into a lasting and flourishing identity. Because you don’t have to cater to anyone’s opinions or emotions regarding the activity you are pursuing, it allows you to focus on your own thoughts and feelings when presented in front of the unknown. As a result, you eventually begin to understand what it is you enjoy and what you don’t, leading you to discover (or avoid) different recreation outlets. This is exactly how you begin developing a sense of identity that will manifest in self-expression.

In conclusion, experiencing life for and by yourself is an act of revolution from the repressive force of “fitting in.” Individuality is diversity, and diversity is what makes this life interesting; a world where everybody looks the same, likes the same things and does the same things is boring. So instead, go out and experience the world through your own personal lens. Go on a walk and follow whatever catches your eye, for you have no idea what extraordinary things are just dying for you to uncover.

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Riley Bratsch

UC Berkeley '26

Riley is a first year at UC Berkeley majoring in English and Gender and Women Studies. When she is free from academic work, Riley enjoys walking around campus and people watching at Cafe Strada or Sproul. She has a deep passion for writing and jumps on any opportunity to express her writing voice.