Eating Alone: Breaking the Stigma
Start writing a post

Eating Alone: Breaking the Stigma

There's nothing wrong with taking to the dining hall by yourself.

Eating Alone: Breaking the Stigma
Google Images

Of course, it's always nice to be able to sit down to a meal with friends, the more the merrier, and chat about the joys and stresses of everyday college life. However, sometimes that's just not possible. With classes, clubs, work, you name it, your schedule may not align with everyone else's, or even anyone else's!

There arises a crisis for many people. Do I dare go to the dining hall... alone? What would I do to occupy myself? Would I be judged by the rest of the people there, all merrily chatting with their friends? Where would I look? Certainly not around at other people, because that would be weird... There are so many fears associated with eating alone, but I am here to break the stigma.

In terms of my eating habits, I tend to eat breakfast and dinner with other people, but lunch is a different story. I have class during the designated lunch hour, so that's never an option, and by the time I'm out of class, my friends have finished their lunches and returned to class. So, most days, I eat lunch alone.

Honestly, it rocks. I'm not going to praise eating alone for every meal, because that does get a little depressing and lonely, but once a day is just fine by me. I'll bring some work with me, the book I'm reading for pleasure, or even just my phone, to be honest.

And no, I don't enjoy mindlessly scrolling through Facebook while I eat, because to me that is a sad way to spend a meal, even when already alone. What I opt for instead is the news. While I eat my meal, I catch up on the latest scandal within the Trump administration or take a look at National Geographic's new photographic adventure into underwater caves. Unfortunately, the news is seldom positive, but it provides constructive reading while I eat my chicken.

As you'll often have to do when looking at a screen for a long time, I take breaks and look around. I don't creepily stare at anyone else or eavesdrop (though some people admit enjoying that), but I scan the room, take in my environment, learn to respect the fact that this meal is time to myself, without bother.

Eating alone is even necessary, I argue. At college, among all the responsibilities and stimulation we are receiving constantly, wanted or not, there's seldom time to take a break. When you eat with other people, at petty as it sounds, you have to focus on asking them questions, striking conversation, keeping back those awkward silences.

But when you eat alone, you don't have to worry about keeping up conversation. All you have to worry about is fueling yourself for the remainder of a busy day and taking some time to just breathe. Get some tea, sip it slowly. Digest within the pages of a good book (or Facebook, if that's truly the only way you roll).

Don't worry about what others think of you, because chances are, if you take a quick glance around the dining hall, there are many single diners just like you. Think of yourself with distant company, all alone together, taking a moment to just be... and eat. It's quite nice.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments