It’s no small feat to go anywhere alone. Society has convinced us that we need to have a buddy every time we go somewhere for fear of looking like a loner or out of place, but that notion needs to be erased. If you find yourself nervous when no one will agree to go somewhere with you or when friends back out of plans, here are some reasons to not sweat flying solo.
Photo: Paul Garaizar on Unsplash
“Me Time” can be all the time.
Many people don’t realize just how valuable it is to spend time by yourself. Sure, hanging out with friends is a great way to pass the time, but it can also be important to take the time for yourself to learn more about you and what you really like, not what you agree to because your friends like it. Try it out -- you might find that you figure yourself out a bit more, and can have a good time without any company.
2. You choose the plan!
No more arguing in group chats over where to go and when. If you go solo, you are the executive decision-maker. This means that you get to do everything that you want, and only the things that you want -- no following along just for the sake of others. If you object that you’re a bad decision-maker, it’s probably because you’re weighing the opinions of others. When you’re by yourself, the answer will be obvious: whatever your heart desires!
3. Be in the moment.
Without the distraction of others, you might find that you appreciate the little things more, like the color of the leaves on the trees or the intricate details of a building’s structure. We so often forget how nice it is to “stop and smell the flowers” -- not literally, but taking everything in and admiring the beauty and rareness of what is around us, and not necessarily that of nature. You might notice all kinds of things that you’ve never taken the time to notice before, like a certain procedure in a place that you frequent or a sweet interaction between strangers or friends.
4. You can make new friends!
While seemingly contrary to all of the points above, this possibility is too often ignored. When not going to an event with friends that are already established, it leaves you open to make friends with people that you would have ignored in the company of others. It is highly likely that you won’t be the only person alone at the event, and if they chose to be there, you already have a common interest! You never know what could happen if you strike up a conversation with someone at a concert, meet-up, or whatever type of place you’re going.
5. You’ll be able to go to so many more things.
How many times have you not gone to something that you wanted to go to simply because no one would go with you? Starting to branch out by yourself opens so many doors for you because you’re never limited by the plans or desires of other people. Go to the gym, go to that club meeting, go to that play… no one is stopping you!
While taking the first steps into flying solo is extremely difficult, especially when it’s something that you’re unaccustomed to, there are so many benefits once you get into the hang of it. If you want to take baby steps, start small: go out to eat alone or go to the gym alone. You’ll likely find yourself enjoying it and relishing in the joys of independence.
Stephanie is an undergraduate student at Washington College. She is an English major with minors in Journalism, Editing, and Publishing, and Justice, Law, and Society. When not writing, you can find her either at a concert, reading a book, or petting a cat.