Opinions: Rocca-ing the World: Me, myself and I

The benefits of time spent alone


Lauren Rocca

Take advantage of alone time by reading and relaxing.

Every weekend, and even week nights, a constant pressure to occupy my time with other people weighs down on me like a sumo wrestler standing on my back.

Whether it’s going out to eat after practice or taking a day trip downtown with friends, I’m constantly looking for something to do other than simply be.

But lately, I’ve discovered that alone time is necessary.

Doing something all the time is too exhausting and hard to keep up with.

Those weeknights I choose to go out to eat with my friends are more stressful than fun. Thoughts of homework and projects and to-do lists defeat the joy making it hard to focus on the fun of being with friends.

Homework has a way of stomping the fun out of things, but it also puts things in perspective.

So maybe I don’t have time to go out every night. However, I might have time left over after I finish my homework to do something and actually enjoy it.

But instead of stressing myself out with finding something to do with someone else, I’ve realized that I can do something all alone and still be satisfied.

Alone time has actually been linked to freedom, creativity, intimacy and spirituality.

Reading books, putting together puzzles or just listening to music and staring at a wall is surprisingly necessary to self-satisfaction and self-affirmation.

When I spend too much time with my friends, who, yes, I absolutely love, I reach a point of heightened irritability. My days stream together with one food place after another, one person after another, and one expense after another.

But coloring books last a while. Puzzles take a while. And there are always new books to read.

Alone time is surprisingly refreshing. There’s no one to impress, I don’t have to come up with ideas of things to do and I get to listen to all my favorite music without the worry of someone stealing the aux.

The way I see it, the only person I absolutely, positively have to spend every second of every day for the rest of my life with is…. me.

That’s a long time.

And if I’m going to be with myself for that long, I have to start becoming my own best friend.

I have to find out the things that I like and dislike, the things that I geek out about and the things that make me cringe, the things that I am good at and the things that I am not-so-good at.

But the only way I can discover these things is through alone-time, without other people’s opinions swaying my own opinions and without the facade I subconsciously put on in front of other people.

By spending time with myself, I’ve found that my favorite band is twenty one pilots, a screamy, angsty band I would’ve never listened to otherwise.

I’ve found that I like reading better than watching TV, which is kind of weird.

I’ve found that coloring books let me think my best thoughts.

I’ve found that puzzles are not just for old people… or kids.

I’ve found that taking pictures and writing are my favorite things in the world.

I’ve found that alone time actually makes me appreciate my friends and family more.

Most importantly, I’ve found that I don’t need to be with anybody, post anything or adventure anywhere to feel satisfied.

Alone is not lonely, alone is not even boring because of the simple discovery that I alone am, in fact, interesting. We all are.