Opinion and Editorial

A Guide to Going Places Alone

If you’re anything like me, you probably have two to three really close friends that you hang out with all the time. That’s all well and good, but when either of those two best friends has something else to do, you get that overwhelming sense of boredom and loneliness.

I call myself a lone wolf. Not because I don’t get along well with others, but because I am an extremely independent person, and I am confident in my ability to do things by myself.

That being said, I am also confident enough to go places by myself. Places that most people would typically only go to with at least one other person.

Going places alone can be a fun experience, and can be a great time for some deep self-exploration.

1) If you’re a beginner, maybe you’re not used to being alone, you just broke up with your significant other or you just had a fight with your best friend. The easiest and most relaxing thing to do is to take a walk or a drive. There’s no added pressure of being out in public with this option, which is why it’s great for your first time flying solo.

I have a car, so my therapy is driving around back roads with my favorite music blaring until I’m at least semi-lost. You probably think this isn’t an option in Bloomsburg, but I can assure you, your surroundings are more rural than you know. And if you do end up lost, GPS can be a wonderful thing.

Driving around during the sunset makes for some good photos too.

2) One of my go-to places when I’m alone and bored is shopping. Whether it’s the mall or just walking around Wal-Mart for 30 minutes. This has its perks because typically when you go shopping with a group, you don’t have time to actually look at all the options or try anything on. There’s nobody rushing you or giving you critiques on the things you want to buy.

One thing I’ve learned in the past few years is that shopping alone, especially for clothes, means that you can come up with your own style—you can figure it out for yourself.

3) Another good place to go when you’re alone is to the movies. Nobody is holding you back from seeing that super scary horror movie or judging you for seeing “Zootopia” for the 15th time in a row.

Despite what you might think, nobody cares that you are there alone. NOBODY. The first few times I tried this, of course I thought that the couple getting popcorn behind me was judging me for being alone. But seriously, who cares? And if they are snickering about you, they need to get a life.

4) A seasonal favorite of mine is flying solo at the Bloomsburg Fair. I usually do this once during fair week because there’s no pressure to do what other people in your group want to do. You can take your time and stroll around the buildings that everyone else thinks are boring or ride the sky ride by yourself. Plus, nobody judges you for eating apple dumplings and fried Oreos for dinner.

5) If and when you finally decide that you are an expert at doing things alone, try going out to eat. And no, the drive-through at McDonald’s doesn’t count. Go to a sit-down restaurant and treat yourself.

By far, the funniest experience I’ve had by myself was going to Olive Garden for lunch. I walked through the doors, and the hostess was visibly surprised when I said I needed a table for one. She then proceeded to sit me in a section of the restaurant with no other people in it. My waiter was very nice, but he seemed almost uncomfortable serving a single person. It was almost as if the staff was in physical pain trying to serve me. It only took me 20 minutes to eat and pay, and when I got in my car I just started laughing.

I was laughing because I was the one that was alone. I should have been the one who was uncomfortable, but I clearly wasn’t, and that rattled the staff. My confidence made them uncomfortable, and I liked that.

That meal was a turning point in my life. It was where I realized that I was independent, and didn’t need anyone’s help or approval to keep me going, nor did I need friends or a significant other to keep me company at all hours of the day.

So the next time you have nobody to hang out with, try doing something by yourself. You might discover a new place, a new style, a new passion, or a new outlook on life.



Dallas Kriebel

Mass Communications Student, Photographer, Music and Nature Lover