How I Create “Personal Space” at College…When I Share Everything

College is hard for introverts like me. I’m so used to having my own little bubble of space that the transition to college has been more than nerve wrecking. I went from having my own bedroom to sharing a tiny dorm room. I went from having my own car to relying on others for rides, or taking the bus. I also went from being able to be alone to practically never being truly alone. With roommates, hallmates, students around campus, and mass transportation being alone is difficult. If you’re like me and need some genuine alone time each day to recharge your batteries listen up, because I think I’ve officially hacked the system.

  1. Headphones

It’s an almost universal understand that when someone has headphones on or earbuds in they don’t want to be talked to. I take of advantage of this by walking to class blasting my favorite music, working outside with headphones on (even if nothing is playing, people can’t tell the difference and won’t talk to you), and in my dorm room. Listening to music and being unable to hear other sounds around me makes me feel more cut off from socialization, and when I’m taking the time to be an introvert and recharge my batteries, that’s all I need.

2. Travel Mugs

This sounds strange, I know, but if you’re a student on campus and you’re walking around carrying a travel mug, people tend to leave you alone. I’ve asked around on why that is, and the general consensus seems to be that travel mugs mean you’re having a rough day, and no one wants to butt in and make it worse or get snapped at.

3. In Your Dorm Room 

Eventually you’re going to figure out when your roommate has classes. If you schedule things right, you could be out of class when they’re in class. Now I’m not saying take over your dorm room and hide out in there whenever you can, I’m just saying that the opportunity for a quiet mid-afternoon nap once or twice a week is definitely there, should you choose to take it.

4. Study Outside

College campuses are huge, and the greenery on some of this is to die for! So why not study outside during when the weather’s nice? It’s an almost guaranteed way to avoid going to the library when it’s packed and you get a full dose of vitamin D at the same time. A few good places to study on campus are memorial gardens, the quad, in the grove of trees or grassy area you pass each day you walk to class, or on the top of a parking deck. Some dorms have roof access, so I’d check that out too!

5. Taking Advantage of the Library

While the library is a great place to study, it can sometimes feel claustrophobic and crowded. The library on my campus provides study rooms for students, but those usually fill up quickly. If you’re planning on studying and want to be alone for a few hours, go to the library mid-day and check to see if any study rooms are available. Some libraries let you reserve a room. If that doesn’t work out I snoop around and check out all the other floors. You’d be amazed how crowded the ground level floor can be and how empty all the floors above are. Sometimes the reading room (it’s full of old textbooks and wood tables, so like a mini library within a library) at my university is completely empty, which means I get the entire place to myself!

Those are all my tips and tricks (so far) for finding alone time at a school where being alone is virtually impossible! If you have anymore suggestions, tips, or tricks feel free to leave a comment below!

xo Bailey

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