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

My journey in treasuring alone time and the difference it’s made in enjoying time spent with my friends

I’ve never liked being alone that much, and in the past I could confidently say that I would rather always be around my friends than be alone. I’m pretty extroverted, and for the most part recharge my social battery around other people. However, I only began to value time alone when I came to college. I now value and enjoy it more than I ever could’ve imagined.

As a freshman, I was lucky enough to have an amazing relationship with my roommate. She is still one of my closest friends at school, even though we don’t live together anymore. Although, I remember there would be days when I felt myself getting easily frustrated at the people around me and couldn’t understand why. I’m not sure I even fully realized it, but there would be moments where I thought about the last time I did anything by myself and it would be maybe over a week ago. Because I was lucky enough to enjoy spending time with my roommate and other friends on my floor so much, needing any time alone was never a priority. It wasn’t until the second semester that I started fully understanding just how important it was for me to have some time alone. 

At first, the thought of going places alone wasn’t even something I considered enjoyable. In my mind, it was always better to walk somewhere with a friend or go do homework with others, but I quickly realized this wasn’t the case. There was something anxiety-provoking about doing things alone to me. I thought people would think it was weird to be doing anything by myself. Even while being in the dorms, I thought people would question why I wasn’t out socializing all the time.

A year after my awakening to the importance of spending time with myself, I’ve come to understand my anxieties were nothing more than my imagination. In retrospect, I never thought it was strange when other people did anything alone, so realistically, why would anyone else care?  

I now live in an apartment with three of my closest friends and we all have our own rooms. I love to talk to them and hang out with them in the living room, but I now treasure the time I spend alone in my room. I’ve found that on mornings when everyone else is gone, I can peacefully read or do homework without distraction. I’ll often try to give myself a day where I can just enjoy watching TV alone or clean my room and not talk to anyone, and it’s made a huge difference in a number of ways. 

By actually recharging alone, I enjoy the time I spend with others way more. It’s strange to think that by giving myself distance from my friends, I am not only more excited to see them, but I have more fun with them. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of social interaction at school, and while FOMO is a very real thing, no one is really going anywhere. At this point in the year, there is so much time to hang out with friends and go places with people all the time, but the changes that taking time for myself have made are remarkable. 

Sophie Hyman

Wisconsin '25

California – University of Wisconsin 2025 English and Anthropology