Take yourself out on a date: be alone


It’s a place where we finally meet ourselves without the roofs of our parents or the friends we’ve had by our side since second grade who influence our everyday. Maybe you have a sibling or a significant other or a best friend, whatever it is, they have been there ready to help you through difficult times or “who know you better than you know yourself”.

What if you left them, what if you put yourself into your own world, where you are forced to be your best friend, the one who is always by your side? What if you had to find your own source of happiness? Something handmade by you?

University has challenged us students in many ways. We were thrown into a more difficult education system, told to figure out how to maintain our mental health by ourselves, and all a sudden had to become Gordon Ramsay with the cheapest ingredients all in one month. We started paying our own bills and made our decisions about where the rest of that money goes and comes from.

We needed to reassess where we put our energy and time to make sure our parents are happy, our professors are happy, our romantic partners are happy, and sometimes forget about ourselves. Our 20s are very messy, very emotional, very confusing, very difficult, but very rewarding. This is where we can decide who we are out on our own, without the pressure from others, so live like it.

Person looking at sign map

Taken in Scotland

I have recently fallen in love with solo travel, beginning in January with Tenerife, Spain for 3 days, then Sevilla, Spain for a week. This past weekend I went to a music festival alone and felt very powerful since going. I realized that everything I wanted in the past could be given to myself.

By going alone, I was able to make friends with strangers, dance by myself like nobody was watching, eat unique Ethiopian food, take a nap to smooth jazz and love myself more than I ever have before. I’m living many people’s fears, doing things alone, and I feel very confident and content being alone. Loving what many people fear feels powerful because I once too feared this. It’s when I said “Let’s do this” instead of desperately trying to find someone to go with.

So, as a university student writing to people of all ages, if you’ve never truly enjoyed time alone, do it more often. Make the time by yourself enjoyable and pleasurable, because our society keeps telling us we need others to be complete or happy. I believe it is when we can do things by ourselves is when we can fully be happy around others.

Examples include: Taking yourself out on a date, going into nature and colour or painting, dancing to your favourite music, playing an instrument, travelling outside of your town, making your favourite meal, camping, booking a concert, baking, creating a YouTube video.

If you do choose to go somewhere alone and are scared people will think you’re weird, you’re thinking too much about how others see you. I don’t think doing things alone means you will feel lonely, because I travelled alone and felt loved by strangers. Meeting people comes from doing things outside of your house alone. For some loving your alone time means being able to love yourself. You are complete now, not back then, and not later. I hope you feel that way.

Turns out passions are paired best with being alone.

Prose poem:

Being alone is underrated.

Is it true that sometimes we are scared to be alone?
Do we need distractions and productivity to keep ourselves always overstimulated?
Do we mold ourselves depending on who we’re around or is it when we’re around others that we feel the most unique?

What you do alone is important.
Who you are alone is important.
When you find peace in being alone without distractions, you find peace with yourself. I don’t mean endless social media scrolling but when you spend time doing what you love—your purpose. Maybe it’s expressing through art or appreciating art. Maybe you take in nature or history. Maybe you people watch or take pictures. Maybe you feel most like yourself when you’re alone, and maybe that’s scary. Maybe you feel most alive when you’re alone, and maybe that’s freeing.

Being alone is different for everyone but I have learned to appreciate it more every day. In a society full of over workers, burnt-out people, and constant do-ers, we lose track of who we are in work, in giving to others, and in our own expectations.
Being alone brings us back to ourselves.
Being alone helps us heal.

Being alone feels like a breath of my own soul.
Being alone feels like finding shore.
Being alone feels like jumping in water.
Being alone feels like acknowledging how insignificant I am in a massive world.
Being alone feels like catching up to who I’ve become.
Being alone feels like growth.
Being alone feels like passion.
Being alone feels like love.

Sunset in Tenerife

Taken in Tenerife, Spain

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