Activities on campus to experience, enjoy alone

By Aidan Finn, Staff Writer

Being alone in college has always had a nasty stigma to it. Being alone period has been subjected to societal assumptions of being depressed, upset or introverted. It is a shame such persists as the reality of being alone is not that it is a consensual phase but rather an inevitability.

It is not a take made in cynicism but an objective fact: You are going to be alone at some point in your college experience. Whether you be introverted or extroverted, part of an expansive and diverse social circle or struggling to find social footing in the transition to college life or even purposely alone in comfort. You will find yourself alone at times in between gaps of hanging out with peers or in month-long stretches of desired solitude. All in all, however, being alone in college shouldn’t have a negative image, as in many ways being alone can be personally liberating and insightful, a break from the social stressors of college life and time to focus more extensively on what can better you and your time in college.

There is no direct harm in finding happiness and contentment in playing a good video game for the evening. Take a stroll down Green Street yourself at the early hours of dusk to soak in its familiar yet tantalizing atmosphere. Many of the paraded and advertised activities found around campus can be enjoyed as significantly or even more so alone than with friends. It really opens you up to how expansive and liberating college can be when you do not need to coordinate meetups or continue conversation. It allows you to ponder whatever you have going on in your life more thoroughly, be more immersed in the mood of the evening and soak in the atmosphere of wherever you find yourself. Again, it is not an option to seek out companionship and friends for a nice night on the town, but in the eventual Wednesday night where your bestie is busy with his midterm and the rest of the squad is dealing their own struggles, there is always something to enjoy by yourself.

Here are three specific activities around campus that are great to experience alone:

The Rec Room
The most advertised of campus activities, the hangout destination is frequented by parties and clubs to enjoy an evening of pool, Dance Dance Revolution, bowling or overpriced Mexican food across the hall. A fun atmosphere to break from the studies, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying nearly all its amenities alone. Rent a lane and practice your bowling skills, try and fail horribly at DDR (embarrassment not included when done so yourself). Nobody realistically ever goes there to socialize or make companions, so no need to stress over approaching groups to hang out with. The best part of it all is that combining lane rates and cheap fast food in arms reach, the whole experience can be really inexpensive.

Green Street
The highlight of the campus area is the main street of action and inexpensive Korean food. Taking a stroll down at any time of day is great, most enjoyably in the later hours of the day when the surrounding crowds and lights create a small pocket of city atmosphere that never gets old. Being alone allows you to skip the roadblocks of arguing about where is best to eat or what time to coordinate. You can walk up to anywhere at any time, experiment with different places. Take time to see all the weird local
businesses and what they have to offer. You’re free to roam the whole area however long you please.

Residential Libraries
A more close-to-dorm experience that is, if anything, ideal for going in alone. The many resident hall libraries provide a great environment for those seeking an isolated study space free from noise and distractions, and those seeking a little, more convenient library space to browse the many selections of titles available. An unmarketed feature that should be more pronounced is the surprising selection of video games available for rent, an archaic yet inexpensive practice that can make for some great experimentation with genres you never dabbled in. The obviously extensive books and graphic novels are there for bookworms in need of that library mood on coziness, and all such is doable in full fashion without a needed friend group.

Overall, it may seem like a diluted experience on paper, and being alone does miss out on perks exclusive to being with friends. This isn’t aimed to promote either lifestyle, but that being alone is something that can actively be enjoyed as opposed to the stigma of it being all miserable. Being able to be happy and content with yourself alone is an undeniable positive and great in reading for later ventures in life. It’s all in your head really.

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