Party of One
There’s a sort of unspoken stigma about going out and doing things by yourself. All too often we skip outings simply because we have no one to go with. When we miss out on opportunities because we don’t want to go alone, we only cheat ourselves.
When sitting at a table for one or purchasing a single movie ticket, it can easily feel like every pair of eyes in the vicinity has fixed a judgemental glare on you.
And perhaps some are, though most likely aren’t. You won’t be on their minds for more than a few seconds, and they’ll be on your mind only as long as you allow yourself to dwell on them.
There are several advantages to going out alone that you don’t realize until you’re actually out. One of these is that you get to do what you want to do at your own pace.
You can explore a museum as quickly or as slowly as you’d like, or choose to see a movie without having to worry if the other person will be interested in it.
It can also be easier to talk to others when you’re by yourself. When you’re not surrounded by your friend group, you may find yourself more open to get to know other people.
There’s no shame in telling someone that you went to an event alone, but there can be regret in telling someone that you decided not to go to the event after all.
During one of the first times I went out alone, I saw a show at the Lied Center. Admittedly, I was nervous walking into the theatre alone, but that nervousness soon turned into excitement. I was surprised how easily my self-consciousness wore off as I allowed myself to relax.
I found myself talking with others and enjoying myself. By the end of the night, I realized that I could have a good time by myself and I would’ve missed out on a great experience had I decided not to go out alone.
I find myself looking forward to outings by myself nearly as much as I look forward to going out with friends. This isn’t to say you should only ever go out alone or that it’s always safe to — it’s important that you always let at least one person know where you’ll be.
But it’s important to realize you shouldn’t let the stigma and your fear of going out alone stop you from enjoying yourself. I encourage everyone to take a step outside of their comfort zone and try it at least once.
Amanda McCarter is a senior studying biomedical science.