What I’ve Learned From Living Alone
Coming from a close-knit family, living alone was never something that I had envisioned in my future. I thrived on spending time with loved ones and attending weekly planned activities with friends. Though, there was always a minimal yearning inside that was begging me to step outside my comfort zone. The books I read and documentaries I watched always evangelized the sensation of finding one’s true self. They advertised the excitement and experiences one encounters when discovering who they truly are. For me, I had always anticipated a life of traveling, unique encounters, and entirely new friends whom would shape my way of thinking forever. Nevertheless, most of these did not occur all at once. It has taken years to develop a sense of socialization from my peers. Yet, my college years are not over and this is what I’ve learned so far.
Unsurprisingly, living solo helped me to become more productive. Not relying on anyone else, I quickly took up a routine; wake up, work out, eat breakfast, and go to class. This is how it came to be in the first few weeks of college, and it stuck rather rapidly. In conjunction with my daily rituals, came a better sense of organization. I commenced using a calendar again, and scheduled literally everything. My calendar was now considered Holy scripture to me. I couldn’t go anywhere without it. In a sense, it created stability. In a world where everything is so fast-paced, and continuously fluctuating, a calendar and set of daily tasks were things that would never go away. It was seen as comforting to me, that for once in my life, I had control.
I began to return to my roots; my roots, being the time in my teenage years, when I didn’t care what other people thought. I started to read again. I exercised. I ate healthy. I meditated. I explored my love of music from an entirely new perspective, and overall, became self aware. Living alone lets you observe. When one spends a substantial amount of time on their own, they tend to speak less, and listen more. The Dalai Lama once said, “when you talk, you are only repeating what you already know; but when you listen, you may learn something new.”
In addition, living alone has helped me love myself. Originally as a young independent, I had not taken the time to truly think about who I was and what I wanted out of life. It was abundantly clear that establishing a thriving social life in college would be no easy task. It would take time and diligence in order to establish a supportive, positive group to associate with. As an introvert, this is not always easy, but one thing I learned instantaneously is that living alone gives you time to think; often more time than you would prefer. It took a substantial amount of philosophizing to recognize what I truly sought and where I saw myself in the future. This not only aided me in recognizing my goals, but it also helped to learn how to reach them.
The solo life is not for everyone. Though, for some it could be the difference between success and failure. I truthfully don’t know if I would have grown up, had I lived with a roommate. Taking care of yourself is a part of maturity, and it taught me more life lessons than could be accumulated in a semester abroad. There are obviously times when it can feel lonely, though the benefits are remarkable. Living alone may not be for everyone, but after everything I’ve learned, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.