Alone Time: The Positives and the Negatives

Hey there!

I’m back again to discuss something that can be hard to get if you live with a roommate on campus, or even if you are a commuter with a busy home: alone time.

If you live in Jaeger or Ondrak, it might be a little easier to find yourself alone when your roommate is at class or work, but mornings and evenings will probably be spent together, even if it’s as simple as laying down for bed. As a sophomore, I live in Neuzil with three other roommates, and I have noticed that I had a lot less alone time than I did last year. Whether it’s in between classes or during meals, I’m constantly with at least one of my roommates, which would be uncomfortable if we weren’t all friends. On days like today when all my roommates are home or off-campus, I find myself feeling a bit conflicted because I’m a person who loves her alone time, but it is easy to get used to constantly having someone there to talk to. So, while I was waiting to come to work, I gathered a bit of a list of the positives and negatives of alone time:

Positives

  • You can blast any music you like as loud as you want without worrying about complaints from your roommate(s)
  • You can walk around in whatever you want without worrying about who might see you
  • You get a nice break from the person/people you live with, since everyone is bound to get on each other’s nerves at some point
  • You can take a nap without any interruptions or loud noises from your roommate(s)
  • You get a chance to think through any issues that might be bothering you without questions
  • You can get homework done without distractions
  • No one is there to make a mess that you might have to clean up, or even be in the bathroom if you want to take a shower
  • You force yourself to be more self-sufficient and responsible, because you don’t rely on others to remind you about things
  • You don’t have to worry about coming back and your things being out of place because someone moved stuff without asking

Negatives

  • There isn’t anyone to veg out with you to watch a movie or catch up on a TV show with you
  • No one is there is give you advice if you need it
  • There isn’t anyone who will tell you to do your homework instead of procrastinating like we all do
  • You can’t call your roommate over to help you if there is something you can reach or fix on your own
  • You don’t have anyone to go with you to lunch/dinner or to run a quick errand
  • There isn’t anyone to simply talk to when you feel like talking

Overall, alone time can be a blessing and total downer, depending on the type of person you are. One of my roommates is completely reliant on having someone around all the time and hates being alone, going to the point of having a friend sleep in our room if the other three of us are gone for the weekend, so she doesn’t enjoy much alone time. On the other hand, I could be a total hermit if I lived by myself, so I appreciate having roommates to force me to go out and do things.

The amount of alone time you enjoy could actually tell you what living situation you would need in college! If you highly value privacy and independence, maybe living alone would be better for you than living with another person, whereas if you enjoy the company of other people and being surrounded by others, having a roommate or a few may be ideal.

P.S. Make sure that you find a lot of people that you like to hang out with, because it is very easy to get sucked into one group of people. You’ll find yourself going to every meal and spending every weekend with the same people, which leads to getting annoyed by your best friends. Even if they don’t like it, go ahead and eat lunch with your friend from your science class or dinner with your friend from the third floor. No one likes monotony!

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