It’s okay to be alone sometimes

I am often the girl you see sitting alone in Starbucks or restaurant; the girl who people feel sorry for because she’s by herself and not with friends.

Don’t feel sorry for me, stop giving me sympathetic smiles.

I am not sad to be traveling alone or in a coffee shop by myself, and I probably chose to come by myself. There is nothing wrong with doing tasks on my own.

I have been an introvert my whole life. I have come out of my shell more since coming to college, but I still enjoy time to myself. I love coming home to find my roommates gone so I have a little bit of peace and quiet.

When I was younger I used to fear doing things such as going shopping or going to a restaurant unaccompanied. I felt like people would judge me and think I had no friends because I wasn’t with anyone. I eventually realized there is no shame in doing things on your own. Your friends will not always be available and it is nice to have some alone time as well.

I feel that doing things alone is sometimes better thank doing things with others. Sometimes people have a different agenda and want to do different things than you and can keep your experience from being everything you want it to be. I can think of numerous occasions when I went somewhere new with friends and I did not get to do all the things I wanted because they wanted to do different things than me, and regrettably, I did not have the guts to go off on my own. When I went with my friend to Austin City Limits Music Festival in high school, she wanted to leave early and didn’t want to see a lot of the same artists as me. I let her decide where we went and did not get to see the bands I wanted or watch and listen to the full shows.

It’s odd that doing things like lying in bed and watching TV alone are seen as acceptable, but going out on your own is not. Going out and exploring allows you to find new enriching experiences and helps the mind grow, and doing these things are sometimes even better without the distractions and restrictions of other people.

Just because I am an introvert does not mean that I don’t have friends or don’t enjoy being with people. I love my friends and family. They mean more to me than anything, and I love every minute I get with them. However, my alone time is a time for me to reflect about my future and the tasks I need to complete that week. I am fiercely independent and refuse someone prevent me from doing the things I want.

When I decided to come to Baylor, I didn’t have any close friends that decided to attend with me. I knew a few people, but I decided room with a random roommate instead. I wanted my Baylor experience to be what I made of it: I struck out all on my own and I could not be happier with the result. You should never let the prospect of being alone keep you from doing something you truly want to do.