By Jeremiah Corley
The summer of 2015 was a pivotal stage in my development. So many aspects of my life were changing to the point where I felt like I was going insane. I was finishing my third year in college and I was about to embark on a four-month-long journey to New York City to intern for the entire fall semester. I was struck with fears of moving to the media capital of the world alone – left to maneuver through a gargantuan city by myself.
The idea of being alone for four months clouded my head. No close friends, no family or familiar faces would be physically present in my day-to-day routine.
At the beginning of the term I was so infatuated with the mere fact that I was in my favorite city in the world. I explored the streets and surfed the subway for the first three weeks with a feeling of gratification.
As the first month was coming to a close, I felt myself drifting mentally. I felt feelings of regret and anxiety for making such a rash decision to move. I felt as if I had made a mistake and that it wasn’t my time to take on such a big change in my life. The problem was that I was constantly comparing my situation to those back at home.
I came to a realization that I needed to be present. I needed to be mentally there in order to take advantage of the opportunities that were sitting right in front of me.
The idea of being forever alone terrifies some to the point that they resist the chance to take a step off the mentally pre-set path of what their life should look like or where it should be going. My time in the city showed me that being present in one’s own mind has proven to bring an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.
This fear of being alone, both romantically and socially, has become a popular topic of discussion that people use as a form of comedic expression.
Using negative connotations of loneliness so frequently is so self-deprecating that I still question how this has become such a common trend. My time in the city forced me to spend time with myself – times that I learned to really appreciate.
Certain tactics that I reinforced within myself to maintain mental positivity with this concept [loneliness] proved to work better than others. For instance, sitting at home binge watching Netflix and eating pints of ice cream proved to be very unproductive. Other methods such as, strolling through Washington Square Park with a coffee in-hand was very efficient.
We have the resources, some more than others, to take the initiative to understand one’s own interests in life. As a soon-to-be college graduate, this mentality works best when you learn to accept it sooner than later.
So take yourself on date and get used to it.