Carmen’s Team Pick:
You know, sometimes I just wake up, look around at my apartment, and think, “god damn it I miss living with 9 other people.”
It’s my last year of college and you know, it gets lonely. I live in an apartment now with one other person and the cutest dog in the world. Before this experience, I never lived with less than 6 other people in a house. I don’t know why growing up means not living with your nine best friends anymore. What could be better than living with everyone you love?
I thought three years ago that being a senior meant finally being old enough to go out every night. But being a senior means finally grappling with the real world and having this horrifying vision of you, picking up and going where you always dreamt of going – alone. You, finally taking the job offer of your dreams – alone. You, beginning your life – alone. And sometimes the knowledge that I’m going to soon leave everything behind makes being a senior the most overwhelming, bittersweet, annoying, nostalgic, emotional thing I’ve ever done.
But the art of being alone is something I’m learning, slowly. You know, like the art of eating Ramen and watching the Golden Girls alone without crying. This is a real and authentic challenge.
Erica Blonde is a senior at Yale and let me tell you, I am no senior at Yale. But being a senior is a communal experience, right? Totally. Especially because Erica is also learning how to be alone, and maybe with a much better and optimistic and flowery feeling than I could ever muster:
“I’m realizing as a senior that being alone will soon become a bigger part of my life, and I better get used to it. As I prepare to leave the life of suites, common rooms and dining halls behind to join the workforce, I want to be sure that I am someone I could enjoy spending time with. I want to be sure I could spend a hundred nights alone in my apartment painting my nails — and luv it.”
And being alone is totally not just a thing for graduates. It’s a thing for everyone. The art of being alone is simple in its concept. It’s about learning how to exist without someone looking at you and talking to you and acknowledging you. It’s about finding a personhood outside of who you are at parties and who you are at bars. It’s about who you are when you look in the mirror in your room by yourself. Because, like Erica says, “The people! We love the people! We NEED the people!” But what if we didn’t need the people? What if we needed ourselves?