When I was younger I used to be really shy. I’d stand next to my mom at birthday parties, cry for my parents on the first day of every school year, and I only kept a few close friends. In middle school and high school I went through a stage where my friends were my world You know what I’m talking about girls: same team in gym class, a select few at the lunch table, countless sleepovers, and god forbid one of you even venture to the restroom alone! However, once I entered college I became increasingly okay with being by myself, and I began to realize that this wasn’t so for everyone else. alone-seussIt’s hard for some people to sit by themselves at a cafe or go for a walk without being self conscious of other people, but I think everyone should try it. When your alone you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. There’s no wondering if the other person with you is having fun or them wanting to do something you don’t feel like doing. It’s all about you. It may sound selfish, but it’s important to spend time with yourself. If you can’t spend time with yourself how do you expect other people to do the same? Also, it’s a great thing to learn how to do before it becomes something you need to learn how to do. If you know you can be okay alone, it won’t feel so bad the next time you go through a break-up, whether it be with a girlfriend/boyfriend or a friend. Trust me, it’s very freeing. So here it is, baby steps!

1. Go shopping alone. Take notice of how nice it is not to worry about someone else wanting to go in a certain store or try something on when you’d rather just move along.

2. Sit alone at a cafe. Bring a book or your laptop if you’d like.

3. Eat lunch alone. A lot of places cater to this now, so don’t worry too much! Sit alone at a Panera Bread, a Starbucks, or a pizza counter and I’m sure you’ll do just fine. You will probably notice that you eat a lot slower and only until your full when you aren’t busy talking to a friend the whole time. (And try to avoid playing on your cell phone!)

4. Sit at a park alone. Bring a book, write, or just take in the quiet and do a lot of people watching!

5. Take a trip. I know this one seems difficult, but there are plenty of programs/tours that allow you to meet up with other people. If you have the money I definitely recommend EF College Break.

And remember, people are not thinking about you nearly as much as you think they are, they are too busy worrying about themselves (just as you’re doing)!

xx good luck!