As an introvert, I always knew I liked moments alone. After spending time with friends, or family, I always liked to have those sacred 2 or 3 hours to myself right before bed, curled up with a book or catching up on Netflix shows. I always thought that those few hours were enough, though; I wanted to make sure I had time to see those I love, too, and spend time with them. It almost felt like I was wasting a day by not sharing some part of it with someone else.
It wasn't until my junior year that I really realized how much I love being completely, and utterly alone. Spending a day on my own agenda, doing my own thing, at my own pace...I remember the first day when I realized how much I needed to be alone sometimes.
I had spent the previous day doing things that stressed me out: class presentations followed by group meetups in the library for other courses, frantically writing papers in an attempt to get them finished early and having to fight for space in the dining hall. I had overexerted myself, social-activity wise.
I needed a break. Luckily for me, my 2 classes for the day had been canceled, while everyone around me had a full day's worth of work. I had to figure out how to spend the next full day alone.
It was amazing.
It started with waking up whenever I wanted. Rolling out of bed and making myself a cup of tea, taking the time to walk down to the ice machine in my slippers and steep my earl grey over ice.
I had the dorm room to myself and got some work done. Being in charge of what I did and when, without having to worry about finishing it before classes started or before I met up with someone, made me realize that this is my preferred method of working. There was no stress, and with work done, I was free to roam around campus, hit up Java City for a muffin and some coffee, and listen to some tunes while I scrolled through Pinterest for some novel inspiration. Moving outside when I want some fresh air, my journal in hand and my head swimming with ideas.
Truth be told, that day went by so quickly, that when I looked up from my notebook to see other students returning to their dorms, backpacks slung over their shoulders, I was shocked to see the sun beginning to set over top of one of the nearby buildings.
I know it seems simple, and to some, it may even seem boring, but I really learned a lot about myself that day. I learned that I enjoy taking things slowly and that I work better under my own watch than I do the constraints of others. I learned that the best places to sit on campus are the ones outside of the food spots, with a cold drink in one hand and a pen in the other.
More importantly, though, I learned that being alone really lets you learn more about yourself, and that's the most important thing.