This year is my first year living completely and utterly alone. I had a single room my sophomore year, when I was an RA, but I was still on the meal plan on campus, so I wasn’t really ever completely alone. The first few weeks of RA training (really, most of September), they kept us so busy that I didn’t realize exactly how alone I was. But over the past few weeks, I’ve definitely felt my aloneness keenly.
Though I’m the head RA in my building, and still living in a residence hall, I have an apartment. I have a closet-turned-kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom, all to myself. It’s a great, cute little apartment, and I love it, but GOSH to I feel isolated sometimes. I honestly spend a lot of time alone, in my room. I’m a very social person, although I do need “me” time, but lately, everything has been just me, by myself. I’ve realized, that the only big difference between now and before is that I’m eating alone, and cooking for one.
My friends teased me last year about how I’d be cooking for myself and no one else. Before, meals were always a very social time. Sometimes, it was the only time all day that I would spend hanging out with my friends. I think that meals are important in that way. Before college, I’d eat with my family, at home, around the table. I know that not every family does that, but GOSH was it some of my favorite time ever. And then in college, my friends became my family, and we ate together.
Now, it’s completely different. Eating is a very…lonely affair. And when it comes down to it, I think it’s taken some of the joy out of eating for me. Having to cook is certainly a bit of an experience, since I haven’t had to cook before. But the actual eating is just…going through the motions.
I don’t know how to feel about it. But I think that recently, this has been the key to my feelings of loneliness. I think that in many ways, it’s not good for me to spend so much time by myself. For one, I get almost nothing done when I feel lonely because I’m always spending time on the internet, or talking to people online because it makes me feel like there are other people out there, and not like I’m on my own little island without communication with the outside world.
Second, I have too much time to think, and too much time to get down on myself. I’ve battled with a lot of negativity, especially when stressed, these past few weeks, and that bothers me. I like being my happy, bubbly self, and it makes me feel even worse to think about how down I feel.
Thirdly, I start, because of that stress, to set, believe it or not, HIGHER expectations for myself. And then when I fail to meet them, I’m just a ball of misery. Eventually, yes, I come out of it–usually with the help of my friends, and spending time with them–but I don’t like the cycle. And I want to break it. I’m a firm believer of mind over matter, and I hope that even writing this post will help. I haven’t been feeling as bad lately, mostly due to a lot of quality time spent with both family and friends, but midterms are about to happen, my life is getting busier, and I have a lot to do. Which, overall, means more time spent in my room, by myself.
So, does anyone have an advice on how to handle my loneliness? Please please let me know, and share any stories you might have. It’ll help.