Why does one have to be a lonely number?

Strength can be found in solitude

As I sail through my last few weeks of summer and prepare to enter my junior year, I am savoring every last drop of alone time that I can before friends, professors, academic advisors, bosses, coworkers and anyone else I interact with begin to demand time from me that I cherish.

Alongside my parents, I have placed high expectations on my head ever since it was final that I was an only child; there was this never ending
list of things that society wanted me to learn or do at a specific pace. For the past week or so, I have had the privilege to study something that truly gives me the will to live: the art of tap dancing. After attending the Motor City Tap Fest last weekend, I felt more connected to a community of people than I ever have in my entire life. It was a combination of bliss and passion that was more powerful than anything I had seen at a wedding or other joyous occasion.

Because I was doing something that I love, I have been more productive while being alone this past week than I have ever been while being
barked at by others. I am more comfortable being alone than I ever have in my entire life because I have what I am passionate about with
me constantly. Don’t get it twisted: I adore so many of my amazing friends, family, mentors and teachers. It just turns out that I feel most
productive while alone.

Aiming to be inspired every day, by the earth and by people both living and passed, is my goal each and every day. Having the same goal every morning is something that has helped me build self-love and respect.

I encourage all students, no matter which grade or year they are in, to learn how to be productive alone. It is truly a superpower when harnessed in its full capacity. The way I go about making my alone time productive really isn’t lonely because I am being inspired by others
when I am practicing what I am passionate about.

Regardless, my belief is that self-love is best found through some solitude. At the end of the day, if you have built up the love you have for
yourself then you have been productive in the most important way possible. So go ahead and give yourself a break from the judgment, eyes,
touches and emotions of others. Learning to find pleasure in life by yourself just might pay off for your mental health this year.