Why Being Alone is the Most Important Thing I Learned in College

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/camisphotography/
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/camisphotography/

If you’re one of those people that hates ordering in restaurants, calling people on the phone, or going anywhere new by yourself – then you and I have a lot in common. Actually, you and I have a lot in common with most people in our generation.

I used to think of myself as a pretty independent person, never really conforming and going against the crowd.  This was until my Junior year of college, when I came out of a four year relationship, and realized that I was dangerously dependent.  My mom has always aided me whether it was with getting into college, finding a job, or just doing my laundry.  My ex was someone I relied on for everything and did everything I wanted to do with.  I never did anything alone.

When I was thrusted into the world of independence, I clung to my friends immediately. But friends aren’t supposed to be there for every complaint and every cry.  They have their own lives, too.  So I learned to be on my own.

At first, I found it to be so difficult to go back to the way I was before a relationship and before college. But slowly, and with support, I began to learn that being on your own really isn’t so bad.  The world isn’t such a scary place.

One moment sticks out in my head more than others. There was a PostSecret event being held at my school, a blog that I had followed since middle school but not one that any of my college friends were really interested in or could attend.  That’s when I truly realized I could do things on my own.  I sat in a crowded auditorium, by myself, but feeling really happy.

It’s okay to eat alone, go to concerts alone, walk to class alone. It’s okay to do share these things with people too! There isn’t always going to be someone there to hold your hand every step of the way and that’s okay because you don’t need them to.  It’s fine to ask for help and it’s fine to try and fail.

Being alone gives yourself time to learn things about yourself you never would discover while piggybacking on someone else’s life.  How can you ever truly be happy with someone else if you barely know yourself?  Your independence and confidence will help you get very far in life, so make sure to be content alone and work on making yourself happy before anyone else.

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