How to Stay Connected When You Live Alone

Don’t shut yourself off from the rest of the world!

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Chances are you just moved in, or are preparing to move-in, to your dorm or apartment for the fall semester. One of the most common living situations is having roommates, but every now and then you’ll be (or will know someone who is) living alone.

There are a ton of perks to having a single: you can come and go as you please, you don’t have to be accountable to anyone else, and your weird quirks are completely acceptable! (In fact, Elite Daily has a rather entertaining list of all the perks.) The downside to having your own place? It’s easy to get shut in– your dorm or apartment can actually prevent you from making new friends.

If you’re living alone this year, here are a few ways to keep your space private but still get that much-needed social interaction:

Study in Common Areas

One of the easiest ways to meet people, believe it or not, is through the formation of study groups and tutoring relationships. When you live with other people, I think it’s a lot easier to say that you need to go study somewhere else because your roommates are being distracting, or because you don’t have a lot of space.

Having the place to yourself, however, means you might feel perfectly at ease studying at home every single night. Try hitting up a coffee shop, student center, or library a couple times a week. If you have a single within the dorms, take your work with you to the common room.

Invite Friends Over

Something I’ve noticed is that my friends who live alone don’t ever invite us in! They have such “small places” or they think their apartments are boring. I agree, it’s easier to have people over if you live with someone else who runs in the same crew, or if you have a roommate who helped decorate your living room so you can comfortably seat people.

But if you live alone, you don’t want to tell people not to visit! Make it clear to your friends that they are welcome to come hang out at your place, or even invite people over for a movie night/dinner party. Having other people over will make your place a little more lively.

Meet Your Neighbors

If you live alone, you don’t get to have roommates that will complain about the little flaws in your apartment with you. (We’re not the only ones who do that, right?) And, if you’re like me, you won’t have anyone who can kill bugs for you.

It’s a good idea to quickly meet your neighbors, even if all you do is introduce yourself. This can come in handy when you need to borrow something in a hurry, or if you just need some company. If you hit it off, you get the benefit of keeping your space private but also being able to pop in next door when you get bored.

Just remember…

Living alone can be fun and exciting. It’s a solo adventure, but it also means that if you come straight home after classes you won’t have anyone forcing you to interact or go out. Be aware of how much time you’re spending alone in your apartment, since it can impact the relationships you make in college.

Even if you are an introvert, and prefer to stay in and not have to talk to that many people, having to survive college alone is scary and, quite frankly, impossible. So get out there and make new friends!

What do you think?

Do you live alone or do you prefer to live with roommates? What are your tips for staying social when you have your own space? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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