Why It's OK To Be Alone

Why It's OK To Be Alone

Sometimes you need to just disconnect and enjoy your own company.

Alone and lonely. Two words that are perceived as similar to each other, yet have completely different meanings. To be alone is often mistaken as being lonely, yet this could not be farther from the truth. Alone doesn't always mean you are lonely; being lonely does not mean you are alone.

In our society, being alone is a fear. No one wants to be alone; it goes against the very essence of human nature. We seek comfort and closeness in any ways we can—a friend, a significant other, family, it goes on. With the technology we have now, you can be thousands of miles away from someone and still be connected at the click of a button. Why is it, then, that in the midst of all the interactions and relationships we form, that we still feel a tug of loneliness at times?

Often, we surround ourselves with people in the hopes of finding happiness. We think that being around others, usually friends and family, will bring joy and fulfillment to our lives. Certainly, the people we surround ourselves with should enhance the individuals we are in some way. However, that doesn't mean we fill every gap and crevice in our lives with friends, work, acquaintances, and everything we possibly can in order to expel loneliness from our system.

Sometimes, constantly keeping up the facade of positivity and having to always socialize with others is just exhausting. At times, we just have to take a step back from it all and allow ourselves to be alone with our thoughts. There's no need to wear a mask, because there is no one to pretend for. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable and really understand more about the individual that you are. Unless you are comfortable with who you are alone, you will never truly know if you are choosing someone's company out of loneliness or love.

Embrace solitude. Learn what makes you happy when there is no one around to judge or criticize. Hear your own thoughts without the influence of others. It's so empowering to be fulfilled in your own company, to show yourself strength and actively engage in the possibilities your imagination holds. Constantly striving for social interaction and togetherness in a society that criticizes solitude can be detrimental to one's self-esteem and personal growth. "Aloneness" provides a lens of clarity through which your dreams, fears, hopes and thoughts can be genuinely understood and analyzed without fear; where vulnerability is not scorned and feelings are validated.

We must learn to embrace solitude and alone time without becoming lonely.

The fear of loneliness is so deeply ingrained that many times we do not even realize the effect it has on our behavior. When I first came to college, I refused to get food alone or go to a coffee shop and study alone because it was so rooted in my mind that only lonely people performed those acts. It's challenging, but I now understand the significance of taking time for myself to gather my thoughts. Being alone allows me to understand what is at the core of who I am.

We take so many chances in life, and place so much trust on those around us. Why, then, do we hesitate so much when it comes time to take a chance on ourselves? You will never know who you truly are if you do not gather the courage to discover that person, unassisted. You can come to conclusions without the influence of others, and embrace your free will.

So the next time you have some free time, take out some time for yourself. Paint your nails, have a spa day, read a book or go for a walk. Sometimes it's fun to spend time with others, but it's also important to enjoy your own company. Not every moment of your life needs to be shared with someone else. The greatest prison you can live in is the fear of what others think. By freeing the binds that hold you within yourself you can experience the freedom and joy that come from standing on your own path. You unlock the freedom to be who you are, with curiosity as your guide. And once you learn the joy in being alone, you'll never feel lonely again.

Cover Image Credit: EssayPro.com

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.


As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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