The title of this post probably shocked you. You may be thinking: “She’s an introvert! How can being alone freak her out?” Which is understandable, because a lot of my posts are about being alone, or about being in the presence of one other person who makes you feel as comfortable as if you were alone.
But sometimes I get anxious about being alone too much. Being at a very small college (about 1,500 undergraduates), it feels like everyone knows who everyone is and is constantly judging. So when I’m eating alone, I can almost feel other people thinking, “She has no friends. What’s wrong with her?” Or when I spend a weekend in, I can feel people thinking, “She has no one to go out with. That’s so lame and sad.” It feels like the culture of my school is one of being social and going out (there isn’t too much else to do here). And don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy those things. I like the process of getting ready and listening to music and dancing and things like that. But I don’t like to be out really late. And I don’t do these things every weekend night. Usually, it’s more likely for me to stay in. Right now, I just feel like getting some work done and watching YouTube and drinking some tea and taking a nap tonight. And it often feels like I am being looked down upon for that.
I know that I should just do what I want and not care about what anyone else thinks. Maybe I’m just not old enough or mature enough to not be so bothered by what other people think. But sometimes I get confused as to what I really want to do and what I think others think I should be doing, because I spend so much time thinking about what others think. Do I really want to be social because I want to, or because I feel like other people think I should?
Maybe that’s just the nature of being in college and being surrounded by people all the time. Because in high school when I lived at home I don’t remember ever being self-conscious about spending a night in and falling asleep on my couch at 8:30 on a Friday night.
Do you worry about what other people think of you when you are alone? How do you combat our cultural stigma of needing to go out, especially on weekends? I’d love to hear in the comments 🙂
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