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Being alone is something we all have to be able to handle, whether it’s for long periods or shorter periods of time. One of the biggest thing about studying abroad that I’ve noticed (partially by my own doing) is that I’m alone a lot. At times, not everyone is going to want to tour the same area as you, or go on the same holiday weekend as you. Personally, I’ve gotten very used to and actually enjoy being alone, but it’s something that’s taken a long time to conquer. That being said, when you can handle it, being alone is the coolest thing ever! Here’s a few reasons why you don’t need to have a ton of friends around in order to have a good time!
YOU CAN BE PICKY
This one should seem like the simplest idea, but when you’re by yourself, you don’t have to compromise anything! That means if you want to watch all of Series 2 of Black Mirror on Netflix in one afternoon (basically what I did a few weeks ago), no one is gonna stop you. If you want to go on a weekend trip to Paris and stay in a cheap (but safe!) Air BnB instead of staying in a nice hotel, you can go for it! This is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t like going on school-sanctioned tours and trips, it’s kind of a waste of money to stay in a fancy hotel and listen to tours you’re only partially interested in when you can go on one yourself doing what you want to do. Just be sure to stay safe and always let someone know where you’re going in case something were to happen!
EAT WHAT YOU WANT (WITHOUT JUDGEMENT)
This kind of goes along with the previous perk, but when you’re alone, you can eat whatever the heck you want without any judgement. If you’re PMSing and are craving a big bowl of chocolate ice cream with a diet coke, even though you just had dinner, do it! No one is going to be giving you shady side-eyes when you eat your body weight in yummy snacks.
Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, so make sure you’re still getting exercise and staying motivated to go to the gym while at college!
YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU WANT
I cannot describe to you how great of a feeling it is to sleep when you want because you don’t have major plans. Since I normally only have one class a day, I’ll sometimes come back home and take a nap in the afternoon. There’s something so amazing about sleeping while the sun is still up, and you’ll feel so much more relaxed without a ton of busy plans!
This also means if you don’t have plans at night and you’re tired at 10pm — sleep! You can do that! It feels awesome!
YOU CAN DO A QUIET ACTIVITY PEACEFULLY
This might just be me, but I love reading and drawing, both of which I like to do alone. I guess if you wanted, you could invite someone to come over and read with you, but I’d much rather curl up in the lounge alone with my book. Plus, if you know you have friends that talk during movies or TV shows, watching without them might be the best way for you to do it.
Personally, this week I’ve been tucking myself into bed early with a copy of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Dream come true!
YOU CAN DO WORK WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS
This isn’t just for college students, but for me, it’s a huge relief when I know I have time carved out just for working on my studies and readings. This might not be the most fun activity to do alone, but when you see how much stress it’s taken off your shoulders, you’ll be pretty darn happy you did it.
KNOW WHEN YOU NEED OTHER PEOPLE
All of this being said, I know how easy it is to fall into the habit of becoming a hermit. As someone who struggles with mental illness on the daily, I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to keep your mental self healthy, especially while you’re in college or abroad. If you have to, force yourself to go out and socialise, at least every few days, or else you could go into a scary mental place that you definitely don’t want to be in.
But on a lighter note, remember that it’s perfectly okay to be alone! As someone who’s not the most social in the world, I know it can feel weird to go out to dinner by yourself or stay in rather than go out on a clubbing night with your friends. Just make sure you’re aware of how long you’ve been alone and try and get yourself out there after a little while!