Alone Time: Do You Get Enough?


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Last night I decided for the first time in awhile to go to bed early.  Early for me happens to be midnight, because I suffer from awful insomnia.  At times I truly think I'm nocturnal, but that's besides the point.  So anyway, I was unable to fall asleep for the longest time because my roommate had her lights all on and the TV blasting.  This also led me to think about the fact that she rarely attends class, leaving her in the room almost all of the time.  I love my roommate, and we're good friends, but is it bad that I never get any time to myself?  Therefore today I took it upon myself to look up how important alone time is for people.  And I was faced with a lot of articles that say it's extremely important.

In an article on Oprah's website, Katrina Kenison discusses the importance of time for yourself. She names three things specifically that alone time does for us.  It helps us to be more creative, it heals the things that ail us, and it helps us to see things more clearly.  This explanation makes a lot of sense to me because people are able to focus on homework assignments when in solitude because there are no distractions.  It's easier to come up with creative ideas when no one is bothering you.  I agree that the other two are true, but only sometimes.  I feel better and see things more clearly after some alone time, but I also usually need to vent to friends and get advice from other people before I'm fully healed and seeing clearly.

I also read in a blog post on Sheer Balance about other reasons why alone time is so beneficial.  You stumble across self discovery when you're alone and forced to think about yourself more than others.  You become more independent and your self-esteem increases because you're able to be comfortable on your own.  Feeling like your forced to compromise with people isn't an issue.  IT'S REJUVENATING!  You can get a new perspective on things because you don't have everyone else's perspective being shoved down your throat.  Last, you learn to appreciate those that you love much more when they aren't constantly around.  All of these things make sense!  I understand some people enjoy being social more often than not, but everyone needs alone time.  It makes you a healthier, more stable human being!

After these interesting discoveries, I'm happy to be going home for winter break soon.  It's going to be nice having my own room for two weeks.  I need the time on my own, and I think my roommate does too.  When I come back to school I will most likely be finding more time to be on my own!  How bout you guys?  Do you really think alone time is important or would you rather be surrounded by others at all times?

6 Comments

I think alone time is absolutely important! I've been talking to people about that recently, about how one of the things I miss most is just having time to myself. Living in a dorm you never ever get time to yourself. When you're in your room, there's people there. When you're in the bathroom, there's people there. When you're trying to sleep, there's people there. It gets SO frustrating! I find myself sometimes more prone to snap at people every now and then just because you hit a boiling point. I agree with you that I can NOT wait to go home and have my own room for a few weeks. Not only have my own room, but my house. In a dorm you have two options: in your bed or at your desk. You feel so trapped. When I go home I just enjoy sitting on the couch or being in the kitchen or the basement or even on my deck. Just being able to be anywhere other than my bedroom!

I agree with both the blog post and the previous comment. I definitely think that alone time is necessary for all people at some point in time. I was actually just discussing the issue of alone time with my mom on the phone the other day. I was explaining to her that with Penn State being such a large university, basically everywhere you go, there are going to be poeple there. If I want to study in my room, my roommate is there and floormates constantly come in and out of the room. If I want to study in the commons, there's always people there eating, talking, studying together etc. Even in the library, there are tons of people everywhere you go. After awhile, this becomes exhausting. It's hard to find a single moment of alone time and quiet each day, which is something that I feel is really important. As much as I love my friends and my school as a whole, I think that college students increasing their alone time would help them lower stress levels and become more calm and organized. In conclusion, I am definitely excited for Christmas break, especially to get some well needed alone time and rest!

Reading this blog definitely reminded me of how i felt while living in the dorms. I agree with the previous two comments as well about that fact that everywhere you go, even if the goal is to be "alone" like going to the library to study, there is always going to be other people around. I think that is one of the biggest challenges for people going to college, getting used to not having much alone time to get things done makes it difficult for people to set aside time to specifically to study or do homework. Also i often felt times, especially last year, where i wanted to snap at somebody, even my roommate whom i've known for over 10 years. Overall, I think that alone time is indeed very crucial, and learning to deal with not having much alone time is even more important, and this blog does a good job demonstrating that.

I can absolutely relate to this topic. Speaking from personal experience, while my roommate is one of my best friends, I just wish I could have the room to myself more often. I usually feel less stressed when I'm alone, and it allows me to be more productive with my time. This article* talks more about the upsides of alone time, citing the stress-related benefits as one of the primary reasons why it's so crucial to find time to be by yourself. It's definitely an interesting topic, and your blog really helped me realize how important this is.


* http://www.lhj.com/health/stress/relaxation-techniques/do-not-disturb/?page=2

As a very extroverted person who enjoys being with others, I still greatly enjoy alone time! That has actually been one of the hardest adjustments to college life; we rarely have the opportunity to be alone. I believe that being alone gives us the opportunity to think about things that we might not have time to process with others around. Furthermore, time spent on our own is important for us to lower our stress level. No matter how comfortable you are with people, you act differently around them than you would entirely on your own. This PowerPoint from Napa Valley College (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:uoUWVpdjZlQJ:www.napavalley.edu/people/gbell/Documents/Social%2520Psychology%2520%2520PSYC%2520SOCI%2520123/aronson_6e_ch9_group.ppt+why+do+we+act+different+around+other+people&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgahzj8bupj8U8Mq5GtnrCSiFTLibtO349uxUJZlwCn983DYEBUbCzlsR0qfWoXyH6MybtXFbfDfaiK5WmeKOwluT__GrkRMNK75PP05crZmekX6uM2mVO8x6sQBxiEZSjIV_h_&sig=AHIEtbTaZsXmqkCMgG0thkDpjcDX2gLh1Q)features a lot of interesting way that our behavior changes when we are around others including social roles, gender roles, and social facilitation, among others.

I definitely agree that time alone is necessary for even the most extroverted person. I'm pretty outgoing and would never in a million years want to live by myself. Having three roommates is a challenge sometimes, but I still think it far outweighs the possibility of living completely alone. That being said, it is essential for me to find time for myself during the day in order to better focus on my school work (like you mentioned).

This article on the American Psychological Association discusses psychologists belief that Tibetan monks are great candidates for various experiments because of their solitary lifestyle. Because of their "emotional control," "intensive mental awareness," and ability to observe "the inner workings of their own minds" (which is true probably because of their extended periods of solitude), they are considered to be great participants for surveys and studies that teach us how to better understand psychology.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec03/tibetan.aspx

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