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Some Things I Learned Living Alone for a Month

The moment I heard that my housemates weren’t going to come back to our student house until after reading week this semester, I was devastated. That meant that I was going to live alone for almost five weeks. I had never lived alone in my whole life, let alone in a pandemic where all I could do was stay at home. I wanted to stay in Waterloo no matter what, so I decided that I was going to make the most of my experience living alone. Looking back, it was a month that I’ll never forget. I learned a lot about myself and how to be independent. Here are a few of the main takeaways from my experience living alone. 

Audiobooks and podcasts are great

The first things that really got me through the month alone were podcasts and audiobooks. I never realized how significant little conversations with my housemates were when we were cooking or getting ready for bed and brushing our teeth were until they were gone. These were the moments that were the most silent when I was living alone, so I decided to fill them with an audiobook or podcast. I started listening to them when I got out of bed in the morning to get dressed and get ready, when I cooked, on my walks and at night getting ready to go to sleep. They made me feel like I wasn’t alone and gave me something to listen to other than the creaks in my house.

A walk a day keeps you sane

Living alone, I spent most of my time in my room and in the kitchen. If I didn’t go outside for a walk each day, I would feel horrible at the end of the day after being inside for all those hours. So, I put on a podcast or a good playlist and went outside. My walks ranged from ten minutes to an hour depending on the day, but even those shorts ones made me feel good. A lot of the time, I also had a destination on my walks. The most frequent ones were Starbucks or the convenience store so I could “reward” myself for getting outside by buying myself a treat. This was a good motivator to get me outside and a way for me to know where and for how long I was walking.

Staying busy is important

There were actually very few times that I felt lonely when I was living alone, which was due to the fact that I was so busy. In all my time at Laurier, I have never been as busy as I was in the first half of this semester. The fact that I had very few social distractions might have been a blessing in disguise. If I wasn’t busy doing schoolwork or co-op applications, I made a point to do something else to keep myself occupied. This included working out, reading for fun and immersing myself in my extracurriculars. By doing those things, that month alone flew by so quickly I can barely remember half of it.

I am capable of more than I know

Finally, the most important thing that I learned while I was alone was that I am capable of more than I know. Before this experience, I don’t think that I could have confidently stated that I would ever be okay living alone and actually enjoy it. I am proud of myself for the big leap I had to take in my independence. If I am ever in a situation in the future where I have to live alone again, I now know that I could do it easily as I went through it the first time in a pandemic. 

As much as I got used to living alone, I’m glad that my housemates came back after reading week. The pandemic has been hard on many people because we are supposed to live in a community and not alone. So if you know someone who is living alone right now, call them to chat or send them a text to tell them you’re thinking about them – I know they would appreciate it.

Nora Pandy

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Nora is a business student at Wilfrid Laurier. When she's not busy studying or writing, she loves to read, play competitive board games, dance, drink coffee and tea, eat sushi, and hang out with the people she loves.
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