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The importance of alone time
April 21, 2023
I consider myself a fairly outgoing and social person. However, there are few things I value more than spending time by myself.
I have always relished any time I get to spend without the company of others. Driving in my car, shopping and working out are all moments in my day I frequently choose to spend solo. For most of my life, I believed most people enjoyed spending large blocks of their time alone, too. However, a few years ago, when most of my friends began to get their licenses, I noticed I began to receive mounds of spontaneous invitations to run an errand, go for a walk, or get coffee with close friends because they had too much social anxiety to go at it alone.
While I immensely enjoy such spontaneous invitations, and relate to having social anxiety in public, in general I believe learning how to enjoy spending time alone is an important skill for everyone to learn.
Not to sound morbid, but the only person you’ll spend every second of your life with is yourself. It’s no question friends and family are vital parts of someone’s life, and we as humans can’t function without the connections and relationships we have with others. However, on a more philosophical level, we’re born alone and we die alone. I don’t necessarily think that fact needs to be something that’s alarming or depressing.
Spending time alone can be incredibly therapeutic. You’re able to fully relax without distraction from others, and able to explore new hobbies and interests. From a young age, I’ve had the nightly routine of shutting myself up in my room, curled under a mound of blankets, watching a sitcom a good hour or so before I fall asleep, and it’s the most cherished part of my day. It’s time just for me to put myself into a pleasant, relaxed mood to end the day. Not that everyone has to spend time alone at the end of their day, but I believe spending at least a portion of your day or week by yourself is essential to ensuring you’re properly caring for yourself.
Time spent alone is the perfect opportunity to put on a favorite album and go for a drive, go for a bike ride or a walk, or simply to put down one’s phone and try a new hobby or interest. It allows one to explore their interests and continue to learn and grow as a human being.
Additionally, I think being able to spend time alone is essential in ensuring one’s friendships and relationships are healthy. Too often people adopt the personality of their latest significant other, or their newest friend, and I believe being able to spend time solo is the perfect way to combat this. Becoming a person who is able to feel comfortable and confident by themselves is a sign of a secure, healthy person who won’t become overly clingy, or adopt another’s personality, because they have one of their own.