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9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
By Aidan Kasner, Senior Staff Writer • 7:31 pm

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9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
By Aidan Kasner, Senior Staff Writer • 7:31 pm

Opinion | It’s OK to be alone

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Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

Making new friends is one of the hardest parts about college. Putting yourself out there is challenging and can get exhausting after a while. This is especially difficult when everything is a new adventure. This is why first-years travel in packs — going to the dining hall or the library alone for the first time is scary. 

Not only is living on your own for the first time daunting, but college comes with many expectations. Every adult talks about their college friends, and it seems like there is an intense pressure to make lifelong connections. That can be a stressor throughout college, but especially at the beginning when you don’t know anybody. 

After welcome week as a first-year, I felt incredibly discouraged. I went to as many events as I could and had a little friend group, but it felt like we were all just looking for the next thing. Even though the welcome week leaders will talk about making their best friends during the cheesy social events, it is totally normal for the night to end with ten new friends on Snapchat that you’ll never speak to again.

By the time an event starts, you’ll start to notice that the people who actually show up have usually already arrived in a friend group. I made the rookie mistake of thinking that showing up alone for events was a typical thing to do.

I let this discourage me from spending time alone. There were often times where I was out with people, but all I really wanted was a moment by myself where I could relax. First-years should remember that while putting yourself out there is important, taking care of yourself is also important. Social burnout is very real, and even though spending time alone is hard when you first arrive at college, it is an important skill. Eventually you will not feel insecure being alone out in public, but you must try.

For me and many others, college was the first time where I shared a very close living space with someone else and lived a short walk away from every single one of my friends. I also wasn’t used to the close proximity I had to all my classes. Sometimes it can feel like you are never really resting because you don’t get the same satisfaction of going home. It is hard to feel like you can settle down when your bed is a five minute walk from where you sit in lecture.

Exploring campus alone is fun. One of the best parts about college is the freedom of working anywhere. It took me a while to study alone in university buildings because for a few weeks I was constantly surrounded by friends who were equally as scared of exploring campus alone. Any new student should bite the bullet and get comfortable being alone on campus as quickly as possible. Now my happy place is sitting in a cubicle on the fourth floor of Hillman by myself where I can grind through my work without any distractions. 

Working alone is one thing, but you should also prioritize relaxing alone. Finding a new hobby could be good for utilizing personal time. In college, everything is now viewed as an opportunity to meet new people. I grew up dancing with the same people for my whole childhood. Then in college I had to make new friends, so I thought ballet club would be a good way to do that. This is all good, and it is always nice to meet new people with common interests, but it is also nice to have hobbies that you do purely because you enjoy it. This can be anything as long as you are taking time for the activity by yourself. 

Making friends isn’t easy, especially when you first get to college. Remember that within the chaos of it all, take time for yourself to reflect and relax. People will still be there when you are ready to socialize again, and there is nothing wrong with being alone. 

Jameson Keebler writes primarily about pop culture and current events. Write to her at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Jameson Keebler
Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist
Jameson Keebler is a junior Political Science major. She is from New Jersey and loves to read. She is interested in writing about literature and pop culture.