Being Alone Without Being Lonely

When I arrived at college, I was not prepared for how much time I would spend solo. I’m extremely extroverted, so being isolated can be draining for me. In high school, I rarely did anything by myself, because if I couldn’t find someone to go with, I wouldn’t go at all. Now that I’m in college, I don’t really have that option; my roommate and I have separate lives and aren’t on the same schedule at all, so I’ve needed to be okay with being alone sometimes.

 

           

1. Call or text someone you love

Even when you can’t physically be with someone, you can still connect with them through calls and texts. Sometimes I’ll call my mom while I’m eating dinner or doing homework to remind myself that I haven’t been abandoned, or anything drastic. I am just alone for the present moment. This practice of reaching out with technology has helped me gain perspective on my time spent solitary.

2. Listen to music or podcasts

This year my music taste has grown substantially. When you are hanging out with people music is a great conversation starter. You can even trade music with friends to help you get to know them better. Podcasts are great for times like in between classes; I particularly like listening to TedTalks. Listening to something can help distract you from being alone.

 

3. Read a book

Another thing I like to do when I have downtime, and none of my friends are available is to read. It can be a great way to de-stress and take your focus off being lonely. I would recommend reading light, fun books as a break from the heavy, academic reading we do for classes.

 

4. Go outside

Getting some sunshine can really help you feel less alone. Plus, you are putting yourself in a situation where you can potentially meet new people or see people you already know. I like to study or eat lunch outside on nice days. Just remember some sunscreen!

 

5. Do something active

You don’t even need to go to the gym to apply this tip (although the gym is great too!). I’ve found that even taking a ten-minute walk can boost my mood after a rough day. Being active can help shift your focus so you don’t feel lonely. I also like to take breaks in my studying to stand up and walk around.

6. Invest in yourself

There are some skills you can’t develop when you are around other people. Think about things you’ve always wanted to learn and start today. You can even use time alone to try new studying techniques and ace your classes. One of my favorite mantras about this is “be a person you’d want to be around.”

 

7. Schedule time with people you love

It’s easier to accept time alone when you have some plans to look forward to. Making plans can also benefit your friends if they are feeling lonely. It can also be fun to see what events are going on around campus. This can help maximize time when you and your friends do have time to hang out.

 

Lastly, to minimize your time spent alone, you can join clubs and get involved on campus. College is the perfect time to meet new people and try new things. Don’t wait for others to reach out to you— be proactive. Applying these tips can help you make the most of your time spent alone without being lonely. Remember that being alone is temporary! There are always people who love you!

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