Moving from home to college is an adjustment. For me, I went from never sharing a room, to sharing a teeny, tiny dorm room and not getting much alone time. Emilee (my roommate) and I became great friends and we’re basically always together and we always seemed to have friends in our room. I went from spending a lot of time by myself, to barely any time alone. I got used to constant interaction and always having someone to talk to.
Sophomore year, I lived on my sorority hall and I loved the constant chaos. There was always something going on on the hall or someone willing to watch Netflix or do homework with me. I was home for exactly a week in between school and Italy, and then from Italy, I came straight to Paris. During that short week at home, I realized how much I loved having a roommate. I would get so lonely at night not having anyone to talk to when falling asleep. Now, halfway done with my college career I have come to learn that I am quite an extrovert and love being surrounded by friends!
Therefore, coming to Paris and being on my own and working for two months was quite the adjustment. Suddenly I was by myself, in a foreign city nonetheless, unable to speak the language, with no one I knew. I have now been in Paris for 3 weeks and have learned a lot about myself in that short amount of time.
I have always loved the idea of alone time, and occasionally I need some time to myself, but constant alone time can get lonely. I have learned what it’s like to live alone in a new city and I have never felt more independent. It’s definitely a shock at first, but I have quickly fallen into a schedule and learned how to live alone without constant interaction.
1. Plan social outings
Sometimes it’s easy to stay in all day and binge watch Netflix (some of my favorites!). I am totally guilty of this (currently watching How I met Your Mother and so addicted). Who wants to get out of bed when you could stay in your PJs all day?! It’s so easy to fall into this rut, although it is crucial to get out and have some social interaction! Luckily there are 14 other American interns all around my age staying in the same building as me! We are all working different places and don’t usually see each other much during the week since we all work so much, but it’s nice to have them on the weekends! This past weekend we went on a Champagne tour! Even though it’s easy to stay cooped up, it’s important to get talk to some real people, although Netflix is great ;)
2. Don’t be afraid to be alone
So many people are afraid of being alone. It’s something you have to embrace and learn to love! I have always loved alone time, but I also love being social. There are so many benefits to living alone! You can do your own thing and be on your own schedule. Living alone can teach you a lot about yourself and teach you how to independent!
3. Use your time to something you’ve always wanted to do!
I get off work every day around 6 and I try to do something after work for myself! Some days it’s simple and I come back and go on a run and make dinner and other days I pick a spot in Paris that I want to explore and wander around for a little bit before heading back! Use your time to be productive! Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read? Or a documentary you’ve always wanted to watch? A blog you’ve always wanted to start? ;)
4. Don’t be afraid to do stuff by yourself.
Is there a place for dinner you’ve always wanted to go to? Go to it! There’s absolutely no shame in doing anything by yourself. I’ve gone shopping by myself and explored many parts of Paris and I’ve enjoyed doing things on my own schedule! There’s no shame in doing/ going places by yourself.
5. Know that your friends are only a phone (or skype) call away!
I talk to my friends/ parents A LOT. It’s easy to get homesick and wish that they were closer. Thankfully technology these days rock and I know I can easily skype with them whenever I need to!
Living by yourself is a definitely a transition. I’m learning to enjoy living alone and all the benefits that come with it! By the end of July I think I’ll be ready to go home but right now I’m still excited to be here! Luckily Paris is such a great place for visitors and I have lots of friends and family coming to visit me while I’m here.