Being in college, especially for first-year students, can be overwhelming in a variety of ways. You are suddenly thrown into a brand new environment with countless people that you do not know. You also most likely have a roommate that you have never met in your life, but now you are living with them for the entire year.
Everything is happening really fast and often you will forget a time where you were not with a single person but yourself. A lot of students forget that just a couple months ago they were alone almost all day besides when being with friends or family. Many get caught up with the social aspect of college and develop a need to always be with others at all times. Although meeting new friends and getting involved in clubs and organizations that you are interested in is a major part of college that every student should experience, many also get too caught up with all of this and forget who they are.
Finding appropriate alone time in college is just as important, if not more important, than all these other aspects that come along with the experience. It has many benefits to one’s mental health while dealing with these busy times. As stated earlier, it is challenging to not be surrounded constantly by people in college.
If you are like me, you enjoy the company being there, but once in a while it is crucial to get a couple hours alone to ground yourself and remind yourself who you are. It is easy to fall victim to negative influences and go down paths that you would not have if you had someone there to remind you of your true self.
Unfortunately, in college you are on your own. Nobody is there to check in to see that you are making the right decisions during every second of the day like high school. This is one of the main reasons why getting some time by yourself is so vital. It allows you to look at yourself and reflect honestly on what you have been up to in order to keep yourself on the right track. Nobody knows you better than yourself and alone time proves that to you.
There are many other benefits to spending time alone in college. If you are always with your friends, you will start to depend on them in social situations to allow you to feel comfortable. Doing things by yourself, like simply going to the library to do homework or going to eat at the dining commons to grab a meal, can improve your self confidence greatly.
A huge number of students forget how to do things by themselves because of the social pressure that is always surrounding them. Students can also benefit because when you are alone, you find out what is interesting to you and what is not. You may walk by a poster to a club and find yourself wanting to join it and realize that you may have been too nervous or not noticed it if you were around your friends. Essentially, alone time in college allows one to stay true to themselves during a time where new people and possibilities feel endless.
DISCLAIMER: This article is the sole opinion of William Pruett
William Pruett can be contacted at wpruett@kscequinox.