Alone, not lonely

Nina Ivancevic, Reporter

Feeling alone and being alone may sound similar, but they are completely different. For some, this concept may seem unimportant or just something to ignore, but I feel like it is crucial for people to know the difference and understand it.

As I’ve experienced high school and met different friends and people, I’ve come to understand that alone doesn’t always mean lonely. Throughout those specific years, many things come and go, and sometimes it’s things that you have no control over and I’ve had to learn to be okay with that.

By definition, loneliness is sadness caused by the lack of friends or company, but I also think you can feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by friends and people. You may experience it in a relationship or a friendship too. The cause for that can be because they don’t support you or your ambitions, or it could simply be because they don’t understand you. This is when you have to realize that not everyone is going to be on the same wavelength as you and it’s important to try not to take it personally; some people just don’t vibe with others. 

Meanwhile, being alone means having the confidence and bravery to do things on your own and not being afraid. It is your choice. You choose to work by yourself rather than with a group, or you decide to go to the library or Starbucks alone. It’s about learning to have a relationship with yourself and feeling confident sitting alone with your own thoughts and just being satisfied with that. There is an aspect of self-love in being alone; there’s the mindset of “I don’t always need somebody to be there” because being alone should feel just the same as having company and you should feel okay with yourself enough that it comes to a point where it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re with a friend. 

For me, I truly love to be alone. The perks of always being by myself are that I can run on my own time, I don’t have to talk to anybody, and I don’t have to worry about pleasing the person with me. Also, being alone is always reliable; I don’t have to stress about plans falling through or the disappointment of somebody flaking. It’s peaceful too. I can just put my headphones on and think without anyone bothering me. 

From what I’ve experienced, loneliness came to me whenever I felt I had expectations from other people, and when these expectations weren’t met it was instant loneliness. I felt alone because I surrounded myself with friends that didn’t support me or didn’t truly care about my thoughts or didn’t understand my dreams. 

Although I think the main reason for my loneliness was because I didn’t love myself enough. In reality, I was waiting for people to give me the love that in reality I had to give myself. I was waiting for others to appreciate me and support me when all along I always had myself patiently waiting for the day I realized being alone was okay.