Loneliness: The Side Effect of Living Alone

I have been in school for two weeks. That means, I have lived alone for two weeks. 

Setting up my new apartment!

Setting up my new apartment!

I’ve never lived alone until now. I’ve always lived with either my parents, roommates, housemates, or friends. In fact, my last two years of undergrad, I lived in a house of five friends. It was like How I Met Your Mother, living so close together. Except none of us got married to each other and we didn’t live above a cool bar. 

Now, I do live above a bar. Actually, a couple bars.  But, I’m not super close with anyone yet. I have some awesome new friends. We are just at the beginning friendship stages of “let’s walk to class together and share things we forgot to buy at the grocery store” level, not the really juicy BFF stages of “I’m gonna randomly knock on your door at 9:30 pm on a Tuesday and tell you about all my feelings while I raid your fridge without asking” level. 

I’m a little lonely. Not going to lie, I thought my introvert self would not feel lonely at all. I thought I would feel relieved to finally have my own space with my own rules. And I am relieved and happy in my space – just still a little lonely. 

That’s part of why I chose to live in a house of five people my last two years of college. I wanted to force myself to spend more time with people. I was so insanely busy, that I figured if I at least lived with people, I would definitely have human interaction every day outside class and work. Not surprisingly, those friends I lived with became some of my best friends for life.

For graduate school, I could have chosen to sign up for a random apartment-mate. This time around, I deliberately chose to live alone. I think it’s important for everyone to live alone at least once in their life. Living alone means you are completely responsible for yourself. Those dirty dishes in the sink? Yeah, I can’t blame the roommate. The dog ate my pillow and threw up on the rug? I have to clean that up by myself. On the other hand, the bachelorette is on tonight? I’ve got a date with myself, popcorn, and the big TV. 

I’m still glad I chose to live alone. Though a little painful at times, I know it will be good for me. The loneliness will subside soon as deeper friendships set in and my coursework magically and exponentially multiplies. I may never feel like an adult, but living alone is definitely one more step towards successful ‘adulting.’ 

After all, they don’t call them growing pains for nothing!