One thing that’s really fun about college is being able to live in a community of people close to your age for four years (or more) at a time. Getting together with people and socializing has never been easier—after all, your best friend might live in your room, your hall, or the building next door!
However, no matter how much you love people or how extroverted you are, everyone needs alone time now and then. The problem is, finding privacy on a college campus can feel kind of tricky! You’re more than likely sharing a room—and maybe even a bunk bed—with someone else, so finding a place where you can be physically alone for a certain amount of time can be tough.
If you’re struggling to find a space to escape to, whether it be to study, journal out your thoughts, or spend some time with the Lord, consider the following ideas.
1. Reserve a study room in the library
Most college campuses sport a library, and generally, libraries will have study rooms that you can reserve for a certain amount of time. Whether or not you decide to actually use this room for studying is up to you of course. If you don’t feel that you need a whole room to yourself, consider renting or reserving a library carrel. Simply having the physical boundaries that the walls on either side provide can be enough to make you feel like you have a little space to yourself. Not only that, but it sends the message to passersby that you are focused and working on something specific that you need quiet, uninterrupted time to accomplish.
2. Go work out somewhere
While it’s fun to work out with friends, working out by yourself can be a great way to get some alone time and process life. Consider going to an athletic facility or gym when it’s not in use, or go work out in the weight room early in the morning or late at night when it’s bound to be less busy. Exercise can really help relieve stress because it uses up all the extra cortisol in your body, so it’s a great way to process life and do a bit of thinking.
If you’re not able to go hang out in an athletic facility or other workout space, consider just going for a walk or run by yourself outside. Getting fresh air and taking a break from all the schoolwork can be a really healthy option if you’re needing time alone. As a word of warning, do try to stay in well-lit and safe areas of campus if you do plan to go out by yourself.
3. Visit your dining hall during non-peak hours
The dining areas on campus are more than likely going to be packed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but what if you visited your favorite booth at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon? The same goes for other areas on campus that might be busy during specific hours but deserted during non-peak times. Of course, you might run into a few people here and there, but more than likely, you’ll be able to work or read quietly in a mostly quiet space. The best part of hanging out in your dining hall at odd times? You can still snag some yummy snacks or drinks to munch on while you work.
4. Wake up early or stay up late
While staying up late can really wreak havoc on your wellness, there might be times where you find it necessary in order to get some time to yourself. Waking up early is preferable because it’s generally a little bit easier to control how many hours of sleep you get, and since you’re on a college campus, there’s a good chance that most people will probably still be asleep—especially if it’s a Saturday. Explore some new areas of campus that you don’t normally trek to, or go sit in a favorite peaceful spot with a warm cup of coffee.
5. Find a spot outside
Most college campuses are quite expansive. If the weather allows it, try to find a nice spot by a tree where you can spread out a blanket and relax in nature. Take a walk down by a lake or go check out the wooded path nearby. While you might see other students coming and going as you take a jaunt around campus, you can still pop some earbuds in and feel like you’re on your own, even in the midst of a crowd.