On an average Tuesday, my busiest day on campus, I am constantly interacting with professors and fellow students; whether I am exchanging ideas in a class discussion, grabbing lunch with friends, creating study groups, or simply just getting involved on campus by attending social events. On campus, we are always engaging in conversation and spending time with others. But sometimes, it can be exhausting.
Of course, humans are social creatures. Social interaction is necessary because it fulfills our need to belong, shapes our behavior and personality, and allows us to learn a thing or two from one another.
In fact, we are constantly trying to find ways to be even more social, such as making new friends to expand our social circle. But do we really spend as much time alone as we need?
We all occasionally need a break from constant communication. We all need a few minutes of solitude in order to relax and collect our thoughts. Solitude can really improve our health and keep us sane as stressed out college students!
As a writer, I value alone time because it keeps me focused, boosts my creativity, and prevents distractions. Whenever I suffer from writer’s block, I’m always able to get the words flowing again after closing my eyes, clearing my mind, and relaxing.
Engaging in rigorous social interaction can put a lot of pressure on us as college students, which is why it’s important to set a designated time each day for solitude. Find an activity you love such as reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, or listening to music. Maybe something more active like running, working out or hiking. Sometimes it’s necessary to put on your headphones, listen to your favorite songs, and block out the world.
As a commuter, I don’t have the option to rest up in a quiet dorm room of my own, and I realize I’m not the only one who experiences the same conflict. However, there are tons of quiet, peaceful places on campus that can be utilized to clear your mind in between those stressful, exhausting classes. The student center lounge, the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication lobby, and the Pozycki Hall Lounge are just a few of the many peaceful places on campus. The library is always a nice, quiet place to get work done as well. Even working out at the gym alone can fulfill your solitary needs while simultaneously keeping you healthy.
Spending time alone can also enhance our independence, allowing us to become more comfortable in our own skin. Independence also leads to success throughout life and gives us the freedom required to execute everyday tasks. Not relying on anyone but yourself is a great accomplishing feeling. Although some people prefer social interaction to solitude, finding alone time has way more benefits than one could ever imagine.
We require solitude just as much as we require social interaction. Solitude is key to a healthy mind. Next time all your friends on campus are busy, don’t be disappointed. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to spend some time alone- you can really learn more about yourself.
PHOTO TAKEN by Brett O’Grady