College is your chance to potentially be more social than ever before – you probably live in a dorm, have roommates, communal bathrooms, dining halls, the works. This seems fun until you find yourself thinking “how will I ever be alone?”. It’s not a bad thing to want to be alone sometimes, it’s actually completely normal. Especially if you tend to be on the introverted end of the spectrum, you’ll most likely want some time to recharge from all that social interaction. But how do you do it?
Explore your campus
The logistics of this can vary depending on your school. If your campus is in the middle of a city, you probably won’t find that perfect tree to sit under and unwind, but don’t give up yet! The key is being open to checking out the less trafficked areas of your school. If you only stick to the main floor of the library and the route you always take to class, you could be missing out on your best chance at some alone time. Walk a different way back from class, and take the long way back to your room after dinner. When you have the free time, just take a walk without getting hung up on knowing exactly where you’re going. For example, on my campus I love wandering around the lake and just sitting on one of the little benches when I need some down time. Plus, as an added bonus it’s a great place to take some Instagram-worthy shots. The end result of this method will be different for every student at every school. Maybe you’re on an urban campus, and find a great corner near the Spanish department.
Get off campus
I know, I just told you to wander around your campus and wait for the perfect spot to strike you. Don’t let that limit your options, though. Sometimes a change of scenery, and being around people you don’t know and therefore don’t feel obligated to make conversation with, is just what you need. Even if you are on an urban campus, here’s the chance for a little dose of the outdoors. Look into local parks; I love walking through the Boston Public Garden. Maybe you don’t want to sit in public by yourself (but it’s totally okay if you do!). You can always go for a walk, and earbuds serve as a universal “do not bother me” sign. If you’re not feeling the outdoors or the weather is not so nice, take the time to check out local coffee shops. The background noise of people ordering, chatting, and conducting interviews can be the perfect atmosphere to sip your latte and zone out for a bit. However, if you’re looking for more peace and quiet, find your local public library. You’re almost guaranteed to find lots of unoccupied space and not be surrounded by people you know reminding you of all the homework you should be doing. You might even (gasp!) find time to read for fun.
Sometimes the simplest solution is also the easiest. Talk to your roommate(s). It’s okay to ask to have the room sometimes, provided that you’re not kicking them out all the time. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, at least share schedules with each other. If you know that she has back-to-back meetings on Monday nights, it’s easy to plan that time as your weekly Jane the Virgin and popcorn session. Also, while I’m not recommending that you lock yourself in your room and avoid social interaction, it’s definitely okay to turn down plans sometimes and just stay in. Remember, you don’t need to justify taking time for yourself.