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Most college freshmen will end up living in a double with a roommate, or even a suite with several roommates. It’s almost a rite of passage, really. There’s something magical, if you can call it that, about being crammed into a small space with a complete stranger for an entire academic year. But then there are those who go it alone, who are forced (or prefer) to live a life of solidarity during their early time at college. I’m talking about living in a single. It’s quiet, a bit boring, but extremely rewarding all the while.

In the spring before I came to college, I purposely looked to get into a single for housing. Even though it was the de facto worst college house on campus from an aesthetic standpoint, I certainly had my reasons. Firstly, if you’re the type to place great emphasis on academics in general, then living in a single may be conducive to doing well in school. Roommates are awesome, but when it comes crunch time, they can be a distraction if you like working from your room. Finding a place to study during midterms and finals can really be a hassle, so sometimes it really is preferable to work from your own room. Under these circumstances, having the room to yourself makes it easier to focus – especially if you’re easily distracted in a social environment.

More importantly, however, is the fact that you’ll likely have more space in a single. The size of my single is the same size as a double – the only difference is that I’m the sole inhabitant as opposed to a co-inhabitant. Pretty sweet, right? That means there’s more room for more stuff. By stuff I mean more cabinets, more decorations, more desktop inventory, more clothing, more household appliances, more everything. If you want to splurge, you could even by a mini-fridge for the room. Hell, maybe even a full-sized fridge or a television. Without a roommate, you have all the creative and recreational liberty in the world.

Not only that, there is no external imperative to actually clean your room. Don’t feel like vacuuming? Are you too tired to do your laundry? Got clothes lying everywhere? Well, who really cares? The single is your oyster, so feel free to leave your clothes wherever. I know I did. Now regardless of your preferences, there is literally no pressure to conform to any standard of cleanliness. You can be as squeaky-clean or lamentably messy as you want. Freedom, my friends. Freedom.

You also get to avoid another issue that roomies often have: getting sound sleep at night. If you’re a light sleeper and can’t stand the sound of snoring, you’ve just completely eliminated the possibility of having your precious sleep disturbed by the jarring sound of respiratory structure vibration. At the same time, if you’re the type who snores loudly, then you won’t have a roommate complaining about how the sound keeps them away with bloodshot eyes in the dead of night. It’s a win-win, really, unless the dormitory walls are thin enough for you or your neighbors’ snores to seep through.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you really have your personal space. I think that at some subconscious level, you’ll always have some form of pseudo-anxiety around your roommate or think, “okay, don’t be weird” because you have another human being present. You can fully relax and really be yourself when it’s just you, and that’s something that’s often taken for granted. For those people who would rather draw a distinction between their social and deeply personal lives, then the single life is the best life.

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the author

Nelson Dong is an incoming freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and hails from North Hunterdon High School. Born in a state overrun by loud, tan New Yorkers (yes, they're all from New York with the exception of Pauly D), he holds great disdain for the shore. He dabbles in dancing, singing and writing, among other artistic ventures and plays tennis to stay in shape. However, it must be noted that he absolutely does not lift because he doesn't have time.

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