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  • [Intro]

  • When I left for college, everyone told me the same thing:

  • That the next four years of my life would be the best four years of my life. There would be parties,

  • tons of friends, and it'd be amazing.

  • Once I got to campus however, things seemed to go differently.

  • My dorm was actually a suite, shared with six other people, in a hallway with fifty.

  • This was a big change from having a bedroom to myself.

  • Between lectures, group projects, date nights, and even the dining commons,

  • my people quota was constantly filled. I was never, never alone.

  • Everything and everywhere was constant noise, and I didn't get any solitude.

  • I learned quickly that having time to myself was a privilege... i took for granted.

  • By day, my head was constantly filled with voices.

  • Judgments, opinions and comparisons, that would simply just amp up my anxiety.

  • With school clubs and making friends, and doing all the social activities i thought I had to do to fit in. I became tired.

  • My mental capacity for school was drained. I was able to pick up my grades near the end,

  • but only at the cost of increased anxiety, stress and fatigue.

  • I knew I was losing myself.

  • Being an ambivert meant I needed a balance of social time, and me-time.

  • So I took a calendar out and scheduled some me-time, to regain that balance.

  • Child Development researcher and author Kenneth H. Rubin acknowledges that solitude is an important tool to bring balance into one's life.

  • It needs to be in healthy doses however.

  • It works when one has a social group, and can regulate their own emotions.

  • With this, solitude can be a time to achieve creativity and peace.

  • So I set out to find a place where I could be alone.

  • Study spots, secret nooks and crannies.

  • While i did get comfortable doing things alone, i ended up just feeling alone in the crowd.

  • I needed true solitude. I needed to be completely alone. In person, and through my phone.

  • I needed to be alone.

  • According to psychologists and professor Peter S., having time alone

  • is valuable for those with anxiety, as it protects from over-stimulation. In this world of constant access to social Media,

  • we have shortcuts in communication. Because of these ready-made interactions online, we're losing our chance to be truly alone.

  • I finally put the phone away.

  • Free to think for myself, free from judgments and opinions which weren't mine. I was finally becoming grounded.

  • No more over-stimulation, and no more people who would make my anxiety worse, and trying to calm me down.

  • Constantly asking if my anxiety has stopped being a thing.

  • The constant pressure of being watched made my anxiety worse,

  • but telling them that would only make them more persistent, and trying to make me feel okay.

  • but when I was completely alone, there was no pressure.

  • I cried, panicked, screamed if I had to.

  • Didn't need other people's stories and opinions. In that moment, i could just be me.

  • Express the way I needed to.

  • By finding that could finally find peace of mind.


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