If you're anything like me, you don't like being alone. Maybe you're an extrovert, or you just enjoy the company of others. Nevertheless, moving away to college for the first time may have been an eye opening experience when discovering that you happen to have a lot of time to yourself. Going to college marks a point in our lives where we are able to explore our independence and find what works best for us. But during this time, we also have a lot of time to ourselves. For some, this may be uncomfortable at first. Personally, it felt weird not to have my family with me all the time, or being able to go eat when I wanted without having to think about what someone else wanted for lunch. I didn't know what it meant to be alone. Here are 4 important things I came to learn my first year of college when I was on my own for the first time.
Silence isn't a bad thing
It may be tempting to fill the silence in your dorm, apartment, or walks between classes with music. It can be scary to be left to our thoughts. But there is something to be said of the calm of silence. In the silence we are not distracted. We can observe our surroundings while walking or take time to reflect in our dorms, and evaluate our goals. The silence provides us with a lot of options to spend our time.
Go out with friends, make new friends, or explore a new interest
The world is full of opportunities to explore. Most colleges have hundreds of clubs and organizations to take part in. There are clubs for sports such as gymnastics, soccer, and even Muggle Quidditch (it's intense). You can join a wilderness group, an a capella choir, or an improv team. Even if you don't end up joining any clubs, you will have met a lot of new people. Now you will have friendly faces that you recognize around campus. In the first month of college, I attended at least six club meetings. While I don't regularly attend all of them, I know I have friends in many places.
Take the opportunity to have some self-care time
Sometimes life can be crazy and overwhelming. When you're on your own, you have the perfect excuse to use some extra time to treat yourself. This could mean buying yourself an extra cup of coffee in the morning, or doing a face mask in the evening before bed. Meditating or writing in a journal is a great option to reflect and create some calm.
You are not alone
You will always have people with you no matter what. In an age where we are so digitally plugged in, it is impossible to be more than a phone call away from mom and dad, or a text away from a friend. So when the silence becomes deafening, you miss your friends from home, give them a phone call. If you don't live too far away from your friends or family, schedule a time to meet up at a restaurant, or take them on a campus tour. If that isn't an option, see if some of your new dorm mates want to hang out.
Even through the silence, and even among new friends and opportunities, it can sometimes be overwhelming after moving to college on your own. But you're not alone. Even something as simple as a text message can go a long way. Just remember that while you may technically be "on your own," there is always someone in your corner.