One Isn’t Always The Loneliest Number: Why It’s Okay To Be Lonely In Your Twenties

by Jen Ross

Loneliness is one of the most important things you can learn to adapt to, especially in college. It doesn’t matter how many roommates, boyfriends or besties you have, chances are you will feel alone ninety percent of the time. It’s okay.

Getting to know your 'self' is one of greatest gifts time alone will reward you. If you don’t know yourself, your inner most desires and thoughts, then how can you make logical decisions everyday? Learning to be happy alone is only a small portion of the battle. It’s acceptance of loneliness that comes first and foremost.

It’s time that you come to the realization that you actually only have three friends. Congratulations, you have three friends! Here’s a way to look at it in a positive light: The girl who lives next door only has two friends. By “friends,” I really do mean actual friends. Not your sorority sister who you go out with occasionally, or that cute guy who you sometimes watch movies with.

You have three friends, and they most likely live in your apartment with you. These are the friends that you can sit in complete silence with and there is nothing strange or uncomfortable about it.

Once you’ve found these people, hold on for dear life. Just like your friends from high school, your college pals will begin to dwindle when you hit 23. After all, “Nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three.”

There will be times in college when even these three friends can’t be what you need right at that moment. It happens, but after you accept your loneliness, your faults, your personality and your true self, these friends will come right back to your bed and snuggle with you as if you never had any problems at all. No one can fix your problems except you, so lace up your combat boots and put on a bra with no padding. This time is for you and no one else.

When you are alone, and I mean truly alone, you can do literally whatever you want. You can drive for hours until your toes can sink into the Atlantic Ocean or you can lock your door and not escape from your cave for days. Who the f*ck cares! No one. Accept that. Not only are you your own worst enemy, but you are also your own best friend.

The day that you love yourself, and I mean love yourself beyond every flaw, every tight jean moment and every pimple, you won’t need anyone else to love you = people just will. I have a friend whose boyfriend once told her, “How can you love me when you don’t love yourself?” Damn. For once the guy really did say the right thing.

When it comes to boys, college, and your twenties, be single. Date here and there sure, but enough with these four-year love sagas that just end with tears, cookie dough, and wasted fun. You can do anything and have anyone when you are present in your own life. Have everything and everyone, but keep it classy, obviously.

Be selfish, but seriously, be lonely. You have the rest of your life to meet the guy, get the ring, buy the house, have the kids, and go through menopause – just not right now, okay?

I constantly hear girls say that they want to be married by 25. Newsflash: You’ve barely graduated from college by 25. You’ll still be in your post-grad slump and trying to work your way up in the office. Work on you, not a relationship.

Your twenties are your time to jump off the deep end and even jump out of a plane. We hear so many sad stories about grown adults who have missed out on so much because they didn’t live for themselves in their twenties. As Generation-Y, we get to spoil ourselves and live the lives that our grandparents wish they had.

Sure, times were simpler back then, but we get to focus on us and no one else. That’s the beauty of life; that’s the beauty of our twenties. We get the opportunity to turn loneliness into adventure. Once you accept that you are lonely, something will click and you’ll just know how to ride out the rest of your day because loneliness is a gift. It gives you self-bliss

Top Photo Courtesy: Soli Art