Doing Things Alone Isn't The End Of The World

Doing Things Alone Isn't The End Of The World

Get out of your comfort zone, and experience your own life.
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I love being alone, and doing things alone has given me a confidence that I never had when I worried about who would want to spend time with me. Of course, this doesn’t mean that spending time with people and having healthy relationships aren’t important, because they are.

My first sense of being content with being alone was my first semester of college. I graduated from a small high school and then went right to classes at a large community college. It was weird to know that a lot of my friends from high school were also there, but I didn’t see them ever. For me, making friends at a community college was tricky, and kind of pointless. I didn’t move away and I didn’t have to start with a blank canvas because I still lived in the same town as all my friends, we saw each other less, but we were all still there. So, I didn’t even try to make friends. There was no need. So, I spent four semesters absentmindedly building my confidence around being alone.

I ate alone, I studied alone, I sat in public alone. All the things that were terrifying to do alone in high school turned out to be some of my new favorite things. It was refreshing, to not always have to worry about if the person I was with was judging me, to just sit, and read a book and not be concerned about ignoring anyone.

This confidence got so strong that when I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go to a concert in New York City with me, I just went by myself. I spent a little while thinking about it, and trying to find someone to go with me, but in the end, I knew that doing this for myself would be one of the best decisions.

So, I set off on my adventure. I got dressed up, and I looked good, for me. I took the train into Penn Station, and I walked to the venue, and I stood in line to get in, surrounded by groups of friends, and people talking and having a nice time together. I was comfortable. I could focus on myself, I wasn’t worrying if who I was with was safe, or happy. When I got inside, I found my seat, and coincidentally sat next to another girl my age who was also there alone. This concert, still, is the best experience of my life. I could put all my thoughts into the artist, and all my concentration into the songs he was singing. This one solo trip sparked others, and more memories that are special, just to me.

I guess the moral of this article is, don’t be afraid of being alone. I’m a firm believer that you need to be comfortable being alone before you can truly appreciate the presence of others.

Go forth!

Experience life through your own eyes, learn, and form your own opinions. Build your confidence, and put yourself out there occasionally, without your friends or family as a security blanket.

Cover Image Credit: PC Wallpapers

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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The Key To Self-Improvement: Moderation

Short-term solutions will never work for long-term problems.

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There's a famous quote that always seems to resurface in Instagram bios and yearbooks: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." It's a popular quote for a reason: it summarizes the idea of autonomy and accepting responsibility for our own shortcomings and successes quite nicely.

I think recognizing our own ability to shape our lives is vital to becoming successful adults—but that recognition can quickly become an obsession.

Of course, we all should aim to change the things we don't want to accept in our lives: but that is much easier said than done. It is so very, very easy to get wrapped up in the idea of self-improvement—and that can lead to some serious burn-out.

I have been trying for what feels like forever to find a lifestyle that helps me deal with various issues stemming from low self-esteem and anxiety.

I feel like I've tried it all: dietary adjustments, different exercises, journaling, social media breaks, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. None of it seemed to have the lasting impact I was looking for.

For the first time in my life, the lifestyle changes I'm attempting are working—and I think I know why.

One reason: moderation.

None of those lifestyle changes mentioned above is inherently bad or difficult. However, any time I have attempted to keep myself to a strict regiment of utilizing them, it's quickly fizzled out.

If I attempted to journal every night, for example, I would get upset with myself for missing one evening if I was exceptionally tired. Whenever I tried to abruptly change my eating habits, I would do really well for a couple of weeks before giving up altogether. The same would happen if I tried to run every day or give up social media.

I put so much pressure on myself to improve some area of my life quickly that every minor trip-up or break felt like a failure.

What I've been doing recently, however, is spacing out those changes. I'll run three or four times a week instead of every day. I try to eat healthy meals but I won't always skip dessert. I limit the time I spend online but I won't quit it altogether.

By giving myself some breathing room, it allows my body and mind time to adjust. Those lifestyle changes don't feel restrictive any more. By enjoying certain things occasionally instead of never, I don't find myself craving them.

Giving yourself an adjustment period is vital to making any major change last. Trust me on this one: short-term solutions will never fix a long-term problem.

While that quote is nice, I'd like to propose a minor addition to it: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Oh yeah—and the time to make it happen."

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