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As we return to in-person classes, I’ve noticed something very ironic. For the first time since last year, I’ve spent most of my time alone. 

For the majority of my spring semester I stayed at home, spending time with my mom while taking online classes. Now I live on campus, and almost all my classes are in-person this fall.

Honestly, it has been overwhelming to return to campus, having stress with new courses, and managing being around so many people again. 

However, while I’m around all these people, I began to understand the constant state of solitude I’m in. 

I think that the one thing people don’t tell you about college is how normal it is to spend most of your time by yourself. Friends have different schedules, and it is vital to be comfortable with being independent at school.

Here are some of my suggestions to feel more comfortable with spending time alone in college: 

ROMANTICIZE YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE

College is an exciting time full of self-growth and reflection, inspired by this newfound independence. Something that has made me feel more comfortable with spending more time alone is embracing the change that college allows.

Romanticizing college can translate in a million ways; even just studying in the library instead of your dorm room or walking around campus after your classes are done for the day.

For instance, when I walk around campus, sometimes I’ll play my appropriately titled playlist, “walking around campus feeling like I’m in a coming of age film”. Exploring campus and creating playlists to commemorate this exciting time in college is a perfect way to celebrate being independent in college. 

PRACTICE SELF-CARE

Being alone allows for ample time to practice self-care. Some common self-care practices include journaling or yoga to actively reflect on your day. Taking care of yourself can be difficult in college, especially when balancing a full course load, a job, and many other college student responsibilities.

However, it is important to create a routine for yourself to avoid burnout and understand your needs. I usually practice self-care by making time to catch up on Bachelor in Paradise every week, a fun distraction from my busy schedule. 

EMBRACE NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Lastly, embracing and taking advantage of all the new opportunities that college provides greatly improves your experience. While a lot of time in college can be spent alone, there are so many opportunities to interact and learn from others that propel self-growth.

I highly recommend joining a club! My time with Her Campus has been amazing. I love the network of people I’ve met through the USF chapter. I also suggest welcoming spontaneity! I met my closest friend in college waiting in line at the on-campus Chick Fil A. 

Hi! My name is Penelope, but everyone calls me Penny. I am an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida majoring in marketing and integrated PR and advertising. I'm a proud, communicative Gemini, who is excited to share on Her Campus! Some of my interests include watching movies (I consider myself an 80's movie aficionado), listening to music, going to concerts, and following hockey.
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