I just want to live alone

A solitary college student’s housing struggle

The typical college student spends most of their time out with friends, studying with their friends or kicking back with their friends. Why would you spend any time alone anymore? Popularity is defined by time spent socializing with others. Snapchat is dominated by photos and videos of students at Shooters, Oakwood or whatever because they need their peers to know that they have friends and that they’re out doing things. 

Everyone is expected to be social at all times, because that’s what college is all about. 

I enjoy the company of others in very small doses. I am comforted by spending time alone. I want to live alone and Big Rapids makes it difficult to do so. Most off-campus housing is geared towards four people. I find it very hard to choose three other people I want to live with. I want the freedom to cook, clean and shower whenever I want. I don’t need other people judging me for walking around in a baggy T-shirt without pants on. I don’t crave the attention of others and I enjoy my own company. Many need the attention and validation of others to feel adequate and some panic when they’re alone. 

We describe people as introverts and extroverts but we exist on a spectrum. I would not consider myself a true introvert but rather on that end of the spectrum. There are times that I absolutely love socializing with people, like when I go on trips or outings and when I am in the mood to socialize. 

Sometimes, I feel as if socializing is a chore I do not want to complete and I often feel awful when I don’t want to go out, because I know my friends just want to spend time with me. Often though, when I have some social activity planned, my anxiety rears its head and I am left wondering if going is even worth it. 

I am currently on the search for a one bedroom apartment and Big Rapids is making it difficult. The apartment search is hard enough as it is. The landlords suck, the houses are gross and the rent is sky-high. The number of one bedrooms in town is abysmal and the ones that exist are either obscenely expensive or absolute shit. I toured one apartment, that was little more than a closet under the stairs and the girl currently living there told me: “if you’re nice to the people next door, they might let you use their washer and dryer.” Needless to say, I’m not paying $600 a month for that apartment. 

My search is not over though—I am not giving up hope on living by myself. Don’t think less of me because I don’t want to go to the bar with you, and don’t think I am a narcissist because I enjoy my own company. Just please leave me alone.